Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton comes home to Chicago: the old Hillary introduces the new Hillary--and there is no change, just more money.

Hillary's one million dollar evening:

Hillary Clinton stopped in Chicago last night for two funders, and her campaign claimed she raised one million dollars collectively at the two events. Doubtful. Team Clinton only permitted media to attend the Hyatt Regency event, in the Loop, which charged a minimum of $25 per attendee. This crowd had the look mostly of $25 per head fans. With Team Clinton claiming 700 in attendance, if the great majority gave the minimum, that event produced 40K, or less.

The glitzier event charged a max of $2300 per individual, the Fed Max, and was held at the Drake Hotel in the Loop, after the Hyatt event. Assuming 300 attended and all paid the max, the gross revenue estimate associated with the event would be about 700 K, and a total for the evening of about 750K.

Maybe Team Clinton got to its promised million, but that number seems more fanciful than real.

The Terry McAuliffe warm up act: Hillary’s Goo Goo Doll

The Clinton funder estimates are not unlike longtime Clinton fundraiser and FOB (Friend of Bill) Terry McAuliffe touting tonight that the Clinton campaign cumulatively has raised 120 million dollars (see here) and was leading in 24 of 27 states, apparently conceding that Clinton is behind in the very early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, trailing Obama and perhaps Edwards (in Iowa), as well.

Promises, Promises

Hillary was making the usual Democratic Presidential Promises: High Quality Health Care insurance provided to anyone who wants it; High Quality education, from pre k to college for all who want it.

Of course, school choice and charter schools were not mentioned because the Democratic Party doesn’t believe in competition and especially not in competition for schools or teachers. The Democratic Party, which may like kids, draws the line at anything that might upset teachers’ unions. After all, about ten per cent of the delegates to the Democratic Convention are either public school teachers or former public school teachers. No Democratic Presidential candidate wants to take on those folks, no matter how helpful that might be to the kids the Dems purport to serve.

One has to wonder why Hillary didn’t promise free, high quality housing, transit and clothing to everyone. Maybe that is for next time.

Paying for the Great Society

No estimate was given for the cost of the expanded domestic programs and how they would be financed. Since she promised to end the War in Iraq, one supposes she would count on about 120 billion dollars per year as an Iraq War peace dividend. There is the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the rich that might produce, according to Obama, Clinton and Edwards, another 200 billion dollars, or so, in revenue to finance domestic programs. Of course, this ignores the fact that taxes paid by the rich have gone up, not down, as a result of the Bush tax cuts.

And, then, as Edwards, Clinton and Obama remind the nation daily, after the revolution comes, we will regulate and tax Big Oil, Big Drug Companies and Big Insurance, even more than now. Any other questions, they would say?

The Hillary makeover

But, the positive sign for Obama and Edwards was that much of Hillary’s 20-minute speech tonight was devoted to a Hillary bio makeover. Sixteen days to the Iowa Primary, and Team Clinton has decided that the voters still don’t know the real Hillary. The Hillary that went to church as a young girl—not exactly part of her image over the last three decades. The Hillary that went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund, not a big law firm. But, those lost billing records? Weren’t they records of time spent by Hillary at a big law firm, the Rose Law Firm—at least big for Arkansas.

The Hillary that attached herself to Mr. Bill so she could do good for the State of Arkansas and then for the whole country as the first lady. And, then she became the U. S. Senator from New York because the good New Yorkers believed in her as a selfless do gooder.

Hillary is saying, clear as night follows day, “Take a good look at my bio.” It is about working for change for the last 35 years, not like that Obama guy who has been “hoping,” for change or that Edwards guy—who says he will “demand,” change.

So, vote for me, says Hillary. Change is just a word unless backed up by experience. That’s the new Hillary bio, she says. Funny, most of us who follow politics thought that was the old Hillary bio. At her core, Hillary is a Frenchie—the more things change, the more they stay the same. Yet another definition of change for the Iowa caucus goers to consider.