Clinton flies to north-central Wisconsin in storm: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted February 17, 2008 3:47 PM
The Swamp

by John McCormick and Rick Pearson, updated

MILWAUKEE -- With Barack Obama pinned down in Chicago, Hillary Clinton tried to mount something of a surprise attack this afternoon in Wisconsin.

But after getting to the area above Wausau, her campaign plane could not land and was forced back here.

As a major snowstorm wreaked havoc on the schedules of the two Democratic presidential candidates, Clinton had tried to make it to a campaign event in north-central Wisconsin.

Obama cancelled his only Wisconsin appearance scheduled for Sunday on what is the final weekend day before Tuesday's primary.

With the candidates slowed down by weather much of the day, their surrogates took to the telephone lines and airwaves to keep their campaigns moving ahead despite the snow.

Obama's campaign criticized a mailer sent to Wisconsin households by Clinton that suggests his health care plan would leave million uninsured.

"I was really shocked and very surprised that Sen. Clinton would put that pamphlet out," Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts told reporters. "It does a great disservice…to have that kind of distortion, misrepresentation and what I think is basically fear-mongering."

Kennedy, whose brother was propelled forward in his presidential bid by the 1960 Wisconsin primary, said he would not back Obama, if he did not think he had the best chance of passing universal health care.

"They both effectively have universal health care programs," Kennedy said.

Clinton's campaign, however, has repeatedly argued that Obama's plan would leave 15 million uninsured because it does not require all to sign-up for coverage.

The flap over the Clinton mailing follows one from two weeks ago when Clinton criticized an Obama mailer that showed a young couple sitting at a kitchen table and appearing puzzled over a stack of bills.

"Hillary's plan forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can't afford it," that mailing said.

The former first lady's campaign complained the message resembled the "Harry and Louise" TV ad campaign waged by the insurance industry in the early 1990s that helped kill a health care reform plan she pushed.

Clinton, meanwhile, charged that Obama has abandoned a pledge to limit his spending and use public financing, should his party nominate him and should his Republican opponent agree to do the same.

“That’s not change you can believe in,” Howard Wolfson said, mocking an Obama slogan.

Obama was asked about the matter Friday and said his campaign had simply sought a Federal Election Commission ruling as to whether he could participate in public financing, after opting out in the primary campaign.

The program limits spending by candidates and would provide about $85 million for the general election, paid for by a tax form check-off program.

"It would be presumptuous of me to start saying now that I am locking in to something when I don’t even know if the other side will agree to it," Obama said. "I’m not the nominee yet."

Obama had indicated late last year on a candidate questionnaire by the Midwest Democracy Network that he would forgo private funding in the general election if his major opponents agreed as well.

With ice and heavy snow in Wisconsin, Clinton cancelled an appearance in Green Bay and her campaign was trying to determine how much more time to spend in the state, before focusing on upcoming March 4 primaries in Texas and Ohio.

As Obama enjoyed a snow day in Chicago after canceling his event in Kaukauna, appearances in the state by three high-profile politicians on his behalf were also scrubbed. They included Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Not wanting to seem like weather wimps, Obama's campaign stressed that state officials had discouraged travel in Wisconsin.

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If Clinton will cede the nomination now, I'll be happy to discuss whether Obama should stick to public financing.

Living in New England, I don't admire ignoring travel warnings, either. Let's think of all the people who have to do security for these things.

Gotta love Global Warming!

I am not surprised to see Mrs. Clinton attacking heavily now. It just seems to me that common sense is telling us that neither will be ready on day one to be ready for this job. Bill Clinton wasn't, Obama would be a fresh start, and as they say new brooms sweep better. I personally find Mrs. Clinton too connected to big money and Wall Street. She makes me feel as if America owes her this presidency for her past 35 years of service...

Perhaps if weather has caused Clinton, who waited til the last minute, to cancel 2 of her three scheduled events for today, this is proof of divine intervention? Or just proof that Obama's plan to hit early and strong was a better one. Clinton's plan to wait til the last minute means someone failed to look up on Wikipedia what weather is like in Wisconsin in February. What good is it to be "ready on day one" when your opponent was there and ready long before that? I wonder if she loses Wisconsin if her spin team will "Blame God" ? They've blamed everything and everyone else. They need to hire that old Iraqi Information Minister, he was much more convincing.

ted kennedy :
you and obama still living in the 1960

please we are black white
spanish females and males not voting for obama
in the general election

go home kennedy

The Clintonites continue to play the win-at-all-costs game even if it costs your party the general election against Mccain. The Clintonites would like you to believe that Obama is disenfranchising voters in FL and MI. The Democratic party as a whole made the decision to not allow Michigan or Florida because they decided to go against the rules that they clearly stated in advance and in fact are rules that had been in place for years. Rules that both Hillary and Obama have voted for and supported.

Now Hillary wants a mock primary where Obama wasn't even on the ballot to somehow count. What would really be the honorable thing to do would be to support the push to have the Florida and Michigan votes redone so that the voters could actually see both Hillary and Obama on the ballot and where they could actually choose between two candidates.

Why is the Clinton camp not pushing for that? Why are they pushing only for a win that they got in a mock vote where most people did not go out and vote because they were told it would not count. And a vote where Obama was not even on the ballot? Please explain how Hillary is not disenfranchising the Obama supporters and the independent voters? I thought we still lived in a democracy?

I live in Wausau, Wisconsin and although I will not vote for Hillary, I would still have liked to see and hear what she had to say. The conditions here were not that bad, just some snow. Even Hilarry supporters said they didn't think it was bad enough for the plane not to land.

Obama stopped by yesterday morning, but the event was not open to the public. How stupid in my opinion. You want to try and reach a broad audience and convince as many as you can to vote for you but you close the doors to the public?

McCain didn't even bother with this area.

Huckabee came by on Thursday, it was open to the public and had a good turn out. The people that support him REALLY support him.

As the current presidential slogan goes, "I Like Mike!"

As Hillary lies in order to get into the White House, so will she lie if she gets there! Obama is honest, and principled.

He has my vote!

As Hillary lies in order to get into the White House, so will she lie if she gets there! Obama is honest, and principled.

He has my vote!

I am not surprised to see Mrs. Clinton attacking heavily now. It just seems to me that common sense is telling us that neither will be ready on day one to be ready for this job. Bill Clinton wasn't, Obama would be a fresh start, and as they say new brooms sweep better. I personally find Mrs. Clinton too connected to big money and Wall Street. She makes me feel as if America owes her this presidency for her past 35 years of service...

Posted by: planejane | February 17, 2008 6:26 PM

Well put Jane. I think the country really has Clinton fatigue. Besides Clinton doesn't match up as well against McCain as Obama, despite the Clintons stating the opposite.

John McCain may claim he knows war and foreign policy, but to keep U.S. troops from being maimed and killed over political errors in judgement??? The most obvious rebuttle Obama could use to that is, "The best way to keep our troops safe is to get them out of Iraq, like when President Reagan withdrew U.S. forces from Lebanon in 1984."

Keep in mind that the playing field has changed tremendously since 2004. Polls show that Americans want the Iraq War to end. Polls show that Americans believe the tremendous financial costs of the Iraq War are leading us into an economic recession.

Don't forget that Barack Obama's likely VP running mate will be Virginia Senator Jim Webb, the Vietnam Veteran who was Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. That'll signficantly bolster Obama's national security credentials.

If Hillary Clinton is John McCain's opponent, McCain will have a much easier time winning due to the fact that Hillary is despised by about 50% of the electorate. If Barack Obama is McCain's opponent, McCain will have his work cut out for him.

In the 2000 GOP primary campaign, George W. Bush didn't get into specifics. John McCain got into specifics. Bush won. In the 2000 general election campaign, Bush didn't get into specifics. Al Gore got into specifics. Bush won. In the 2004 general election campaign, Bush didn't get into specifics. John Kerry got into specifics. Bush won.

The American electorate doesn't seem to care too much about hearing specifics. Hillary Clinton has been laying out specifics in her Democratic primary campaign and it hasn't worked very well. Obama has been using a more generalized optimistic change theme and it's worked extremely well.

If Obama gets the Democratic nomination, he'll have the creme de creme of Democratic policy advisers getting him primed and ready to get into specifics when needed during the general election campaign. Obama will be more than able to out-debate McCain by the time September rolls around.

No woman, or African American, has ever come so close to winning the presidency. But by all means let's have Sen. Clinton drop out so we can hear "dal's" opinion on public financing (first posting).

Comments such as dal's are emblematic of the superior, elitist platform of the Dem. party. And all of you are so emotionally involved in the campaigns (rather than examining actual issues) that by the time your convention (in August) is over, and the losing side gets over their bruised and hurt feelings, you all will have --at best-- 2 months to run a nationwide campaign.

Whether or not you want to admit it, you know in your heart that it's not enough time. But hey, at least the Dem. nominee will have the moral victory.

See you next time. That's 2012 in case you were wondering.

I like how Kennedy is all about change now when he has had DECADES in DC to change things and hasn't.

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

Clinton's a deep liar, and she needs to stop distorting his health care plan; Obama's plan does not leave out 15 million people, he will make it affordable for ALL people, and not mandate that all people have it like Clinton's who will garnish wages if you don't take her plan. Obama '08!!

Too bad she wasn't flying with Richie Valens and the Big Bopper.

wisconsin primary voters have an historic opportunity, no matter how bad the weather, to go out and vote for the first woman prez! so do it. let obama get some training first. maybe vp with hill! your vote in wisconsin in very important and hillary is the best candidate for the middle class! she is the only one now with universal health care. the only one! obama is a nice guy, but we need a real person, to get things done. washington dc will not roll over for obama. so hillary will have to use her tested strength and intelligence to get things done. she has worked with even newt gingrich! and republicans in upstate new york. so she can get things done. obama will be wishy washy, trying to please everyone. he will waste the frist 2 years learning the ropes. so wisconsin, pls do the right thing. go hill 08! thanks.

I am in The NorthWoods of Wisconsin. Basically, I am tired of being told by the media, loud mouthed supporters of Obama and the rest of the crew how I should vote. I do my own research and my own deciding, so button up!

The weather above Wausau yesterday was vile, as it is today. And yet, there were plenty of snowmobilers from lower Wisconsin and Illinois flying down our trails. Planes are so unreliable, suggest the candidates go to snowmobiles and dog sleds. I haven't seen a candidate up north, so I presume we are not worthy of a visit, too few of us up here to rate that kind of attention. Hmm, maybe that is why Russ Feingold plays so well in WI. He makes a point of visiting each county each year. I give Clinton a point for trying. Obama is an Il. Flatlander, so that explains that. Still, it might have been worth the trip out to see him decked out like an eskimo. I have seen all of McCain that I need or ever want to and Huck too. Still looking for my candidate, so that should tell you something about how the Wisconsin vote will go. There are a lot of us that will make up our minds at the last minute, so by all means, hold your breath and never second guess Wisconsin, you will be fooled every time.
Oh, and by the way, the most negative campaigning I see is on comment spaces like this. And I see that most of it coming from Obama supporters. Here is a small bit of information for you: All the candidates are liars and political insiders. They are all lying to you, yes, even Saint Barack. Not one better than the other. Once again we have a field of very run of the mill political crap. And I would suggest that if you voted for Bush in his first or second term, you had better take a harder look at the way you vote. You are the ones that have really screwed things up for all of us and your judgement is in question!

As for me, I will trek out to vote tomorrow. I am very near to deciding who will get my vote. But I can tell you this for sure, it won't be because a bunch of spouting words from unknown keyboards say I should vote this way or that. I'm going to trust my gut instinct and vote my conscience, which is why I DID NOT vote for Bush.

Let it snow baby! Works for us !








I am glad Senator Clinton has finally taken on the gloves and make Obama account for this empty rhetoric. We need a doer not a bag of hot air and a bunch of speeches.

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