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I was Bill Clinton at the Peace March in Washington, DC. I've never been famous, or president, or had anyone but my mother want to take my photo before. But today well over 5,000 people snapped photos of me. I grinned, I smiled, I laughed... and no one saw any of it. I was the guy underneath an oversized (think "Jack" from Jack-in-the-Box) head of Bill Clinton. People stood in a row of 15 and took my photos. Click. Click. Click. Then in groups of 5. Click. Click. And on and on like that for hours. Of course, I wasn't just sporting an over-sized Bill head, I had on a pink suit and pearls with high heels and a pink purse to match. I was Bill as First Lady, campaigning for Hillary for president in 2008 with the Bill-for-First-Lady.com campaign.



Yes, I was Bill Clinton in a pink dress, heels and a matching purse, at Saturday's pro-peace rally and march in Washington DC. I stood in front of the White House with a couple of campaign staffers as the march passed by. We were campaigning for Bill's (hopefully) new role as First Lady in 2008.

When the Bill-for-First-Lady.com campaign decided to go to the march we weren't sure how our pro-Hillary and pro-Bill campaign would be received by Democrats opposed to the war. But since the campaign's staff is all strongly opposed to the war we wanted to attend the march and to take a stand. So we were surprised (and frankly a bit disappointed) that out of the thousands of people who stopped to take Bill's photo, only a handful expressed concerns about Hillary's position on the war. Perhaps they, like us, know that Hillary would never have invaded Iraq in a war of aggression, never would have tortured prisoners and never would have exploited terrorism to get no-bid contracts to her college buddies and other cronies.


(even the police wanted to pose with Bill)

We were not prepared for the level of excitement and love that our "Bill" received from the marchers. When we filmed Bill's First Lady "campaign commercials" we'd seen the kind of Beatles-like public reaction that only Bill Clinton in a dress could possibly generate. But we still were not prepared for the kind of reaction we say today. There was a non-stop line of people taking photos of Bill. Perhaps walking by Bush's White House to see a Clinton campaigning was the kind of hope needed on this day. Or perhaps Democrats are finally learning that we can have our differences and still stick together.

To the people at the march, I was Bill in a pink dress. There wasn't "someone" behind the eye holes looking out. But to me, I was that someone looking out. And what I saw was dizzying. I don't know how Bill makes it through a day! Even with the help of other campaign staffers, I could not walk more than 2 feet without being asked to stop, wave and look into a camera. My butt was pinched at least 50 times (I'm not complaining). I was hugged, kissed, high-fived and otherwise embraced by the tens of thousands of people passing by.

Today's march was a pro-peace march in a time of war. And there were moments that overtook me in other ways. As the parents and families of soldiers passed by, the tears behind the mask dripped down my face. While Bill's face was smiling, I was in tears. Looking through my tiny window into the world around Bill, at the moms and dads whose children were being asked to fight for an unjust and immoral war, I felt a mix of rage and deep sadness. And I realized how high the stakes are, just like I am sure that both Bill and Hillary do when it comes to sending soldiers into war.

One mother asked for a photo with Bill. She told me (Bill?) that her daughter was in Iraq. My hands trembled as I hugged her. I whispered to her that I cannot imagine what she is dealing with, and told her that we'd (Americans) would do what it takes to end the war. She looked me in the eye - through the tiny hole into the mask, and said: "Yes we will."

There were times when the Tom behind Bill's mask had to leave the march, sit down and think about the gravity of today's event (and relax my feet - how the hell do women walk in heels?). I am part of Bill-for-First-Lady.com because I believe that this is one way to help ensure that Democrats can turn back the radical agenda of the Bush administration. If Hillary gets nominated, she'll need grassroots defenders at her side. Our strategy is to use up the anti-Bill ridicule and humor, to get Americans used to Bill as "First Lady," long before the election – when it really matters.

We're using comedy as part of a serious political strategy. But there are some things that just aren't fun. One such thing is war. From behind Bill's mask, as the coffins passed in front of the White House, as Cindy Sheehan stopped to let Bush know that he's accountable for his actions as President, as hundreds of thousands of Americans marched together for peace, I realized how much Americans want to go back to the kinds of years that were the Clinton years.

Over and over people came and talked to me (as if I were Bill) to thank me and to let me know that Hillary is their woman. The Clinton years – years when domestic issues came before boogeyman politics – were good for many Americans, and for America as a whole. Person after person wanted to let Bill know this. And so, today I learned what it must be like (just a tiny fraction of it) to be Bill Clinton. To have seduced an entire nation, to have a nation be in love with you and what you stand for.

To find out more about our campaign and campaign strategy, visit the site: Bill-for-First-Lady.com. There are videos of "campaign commercials" with Bill getting ready to his new role as First Lady - including one with Bill in a pink thong and one with Bill in a men's restroom struggling with panty hoes and high heels. Hopefully you will join our campaign (we won't make you wear the mask).

Cross-posted at Bill-for-First-Lady.com's Campaign Blog.

disclosure

Originally posted to Tom Kertes on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 12:21 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  beautiful (4.00)
    and brilliant

    I love the shot of you leaving the port-a-potty!

    Damn, I miss Bill.

    "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by rioduran on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 12:31:12 AM PDT

      •  asdf (none)
        I also think it's pretty amazing that people treated you like you were him.

        "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by rioduran on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 12:38:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, it was (4.00)
          they would come up and tell me that they really like me, that that voted for me, that they missed me, and that they wanted me in the White House. I feel compelled to pass these messages on to Bill himself.
          •  Oh yes (4.00)
            you really have to let Bill know.  God how I miss him.  I miss his sincerity (no laughter...perhaps I should say excepting his extramarital activities), I really miss his intelligence and his curiosity, and I miss feeling safe under his leadership.  Please Tom let him know how much he is loved and missed.
            Also...Tom...nice legs!

            In the end, only kindness matters. -Jewel

            by japeechen on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 05:56:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hooray! (none)
            Oh, this is so funny!  Great photos.  I bet Bill gets a kick out of it, too.  

            George W Bush puts our security in the hands of incompetents.

            by daria g on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 10:55:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  AHHHHHH!!! MY EYES!!! (none)
            Tom - you really need a warning on that Thong video!

            aaah! i'm blind!  

            :-)

            great video, great campaign, i love it!!  whatever you guys need help in Texas please let me know!!

            the Clinton years, whatever everyone's opinions on Bill & avoiding a personality cult trap, were better years.  we were looking forward to the 21st century with alot of hope & altho there were problems then too, America had credibility & still believed in its future.  

            Bush took away hope & the man from Hope may just be the person to bring it back (along with his wife).

        •  "pretty" amazing (none)
          Pretty in Pink?

          BTW- Bush is a puppethead too, and we treat him like a person.

          ...learn something new every day...

          by nhwriter on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 11:07:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not to be impolite (none)
        - but what is your shoe size?

        looks impressive

        Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

        by sara seattle on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 11:13:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am crying (none)
        I just went to your website

        I swear they are the funniest videos - political or otherwise - I have seen in a long time.

        I was crying, gasping for air - screaming - laughing, - - - ok,ok, ok -

        I really had not anticipated thinking about Hillary - but you won me over with Bill's help.

        I will send your website around to all my friends - it is a scream.

        Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

        by sara seattle on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 11:33:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I took a picture of you and my friend (none)
        I was at the march but was unable to locate the Kos  contingent. Oh well. I still had a blast but am pissed at the lack of media coverage and the expected gross misunderestimations of the crowd count. I also have to say that the march did not make me feel "peaceful," it made me very, very angry. Particularly my confrontation with the "counter protesters." They really hated it when my (gay) friend called them gay. They started it! They called us losers and smelly hippies. I am neither. Even if I were, it's mean to do that. So we yelled and screamed at them at the tops of our lungs - I looked the kids in their eyes and told them if they support the war so much they should go fight it (that's where the gay thing came in, my friend said, "oh he can't, he's gay" - oh the anger in their eyes!) I told them they can all join the army since they are taking gay people and drug users and high school dropouts. I screamed at them how dare they accuse ME of denigrating our troops at the same time they accuse on their signs a soldier's mother of sympathizing with al Qaeda! They were pathetic, there were under 500 of them and they were so pathetic! What's worse is that I read the AP story on Yahoo that is the same length as the story about our protest even though they had a fraction of one percentage of the showing we had. So now I am even more angry. There was noting peaceful about this march except that we were a peaceful bunch. I'm proud of that, but at the same time, I feel ready for war.

        You are a catastrophe that walks like a man. -- Bill Maher on Shrubya.

        by missreporter on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 12:29:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nice legs Bill! (none)
      Why men wearing skirts is A OK with me.

      "You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment." Frances Urquhart (House of Cards)

      by Yankee in exile on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 06:27:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Miss him, too (none)
      Even though I've come to view his presidency with a more jaded eye, the larger world and my smaller one were so much better during his term.

      I nearly choked on peach pie over the porta potty pic. Damn, that was funny!

      "Bush should've hired Fed-Ex. They know when it has to be there overnight."

      by MissAnneThrope on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 06:43:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  See, now, (4.00)
    I don't even support Hilary in '08, but I still recommended this, and I still support what you're doing, and this still made me a tad misty...

    The '90's were tough years for me in strictly personal terms, but the larger, deeper picture was one of hope and possibility and eager anticipation of the future... I remember that, and I miss it deeply. And when I ask around, I find that my contemporaries all feel the same, virtually regardless of political affiliation.

    You got the response you did (including the response from the police) because you reminded all of us of a better, more sane, more lighthearted time. We miss Bill. We miss that time, we miss that hope...

    Thanks for a wonderful diary.

  •  Bill for First Lady (4.00)
    I'm just happy it wasn't a blue dress ...

    (and with that unfortunate image, I'm off to bed - well done democratic citizens all)

  •  God, you rock... (4.00)
    I'm from Arkansas and I've met Billy several times...goddam he's never been as sexy as you in that dress ;)

    "What is it, George? It's the stem cells -- I hear their little cries!" -- Doonesbury

    by Myrrander on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 01:06:13 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant (4.00)
    ...and if it single-handedly accounts for Hillary winning the primaries, DAMN YOU TO HELL!

    "Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by reef the dog on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 01:40:47 AM PDT

  •  Next time you wear this I wish you could (none)
    Rig up a automatic camara looking at your admiring
    public.  It would seem you have room in the head to do this.  

    David Brooks IS the Queen of Sheba.

    by namnick on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 01:44:50 AM PDT

  •  Oh that was YOU! (none)
    wonderful and many thanks.  YOu and the porta-potty shot were fabulous.

    It isn't easy to be in heels all day now, is it?

    While in beautiful Ithaca, do not miss Cornell's gorgeous parking lots. http://www.redbudwoods.org (They bulldozed it down.)

    by Percheronwoman on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 02:31:44 AM PDT

  •  Pink is the new black! (4.00)
    Nice choice!  Did you have hose on too?  Now you understand Ann Richards famous quote about Ginger Rogers - she did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards and in high heels!
  •  You Are Good!!!!! (4.00)
    Genius. I'll be e-mailing links to the Bill For First Lady website. Hysterically funny. I'm committed to Wesley Clark but this might sway me.

    Seiously. I agree with others that people love it not only because it is flat out funny but because it allows people to express a nostalgia for a talented, popular leader.

  •  The Clinton Years (4.00)
    The Clinton Years were maybe the best that America could be. Coming out of the bleak Reagan-Bush years to a recovered and then booming economy, the computer revolution, the lifting of an unprecedented number of people out of poverty, a relative time of peace, low crime, recovered cities, community reinvestment.

    Signs of the looming, present disaster were all around us: The consummate corruption of our free press, the out-of-control Congress, extreme and unregulated corporate greed, inept and incompetent Democratic leadership.

    I guess we couldn't believe that five robed Republicans could assure the end of all we worked for.

  •  Nice legs Bill, er, Tom... (none)
    How did you make/create that head?

    Love the humor and creativity.

  •  Wow. (4.00)
    Did anybody who took pictures at the march not have one of you?

    I'm stunned by the simple brilliance of your costume and message. I'm sure it was one of the single most memorable sights at the march, and the fact that it got people to talk to you as if you were Clinton is utterly fascinating.

    Talk about getting yourself seen and heard! Everyone who went to that march or has seen the photos here "knows who you are."

    Wow. Great thinking!

  •  Wonderful! :D (none)
    Thanks for the healthy laugh of the day!

    "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas." -Winston Churchill

    by Johannes on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 06:02:57 AM PDT

  •  Great Stuff! (4.00)
    It's good to wake up on a Sunday morning to a great laugh! The picture with the smiling cops? Priceless.

    Good for you! And thanks!

  •  Comparisons between the Clinton & Bush (4.00)
    Administrations are striking at this point in time. Of course those of us who did not vote for Bush see them everyday.

    But when your typical conservative Republican who absolutely hated Clinton makes a 180 it's down right stunning.

    That happened to me yesterday with my brother-in-law (wrote about this in my diary yesterday).

    I know I miss Bill, but I have to admit BushCo even makes Reagan look good to me these days!

    I think if nothing else is true we need the likes of a Bill Clinton on the ticket in '08.

    THE BUCK STOPS AT BUSH!

    by jhewett on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 06:09:19 AM PDT

    •  BushCo even makes Nixon look good! (none)
      And that's saying a lot.  Many of us who came of age in the late sixties thought we'd never again see someone in the White House who was as bad as Nixon.  But we misunderestimated Bush.
    •  Competence (none)
      I think the response you got was because Clinton was perceived as competent. Even his enemies noted that.

      The Republicans are now in big trouble with Bush.  Do they really campaign by saying Bush has the right ideas he was too incompetent to carrying them out?

      (Brooks oday on MTP essentially already there.)

      Ein Land ist nicht nur das, was es tut -- es ist auch das, was es vertrÃĪgt, was es duldet.

      by MoDem on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:10:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Got My Pic of You (4.00)
    I just wish I'd known there was a Kossack underneath that FABULOUS pink dress! And even more one whose name I recognize. Thanks for being there - I'd say you DEFINITELY got your website's name out there for everyone.
  •  Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow. ;) n/t (4.00)

    Presidentin' is hard work. GWB

    by Caldonia on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 06:26:23 AM PDT

  •  We Are All.. (4.00)
    Bill in a Pink Dress!

    Thanks for a great story.

    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 06:30:38 AM PDT

  •  The scary thing is that... (4.00)
    when I first saw your pic on RenaRF's diary... I thought it was a very good Barbara Bush!
  •  Kudos, Tinged with Sadness (none)
    I understand what you're doing, and I think it's a brilliant piece of political theater.  But, I also think it's sad that people would perceive Bill as being somehow feminized if Hillary were to win the presidency.

    Yes, the GOP will run with it.  They've already painted Hillary as a butch bull dyke (not that there's anything wrong with butch bull dykes, but you know what I mean) so, of course, emasculating Bill would be their next step. It's probably good politics to pre-empt it with mockery.  

    But, I wish people could perceive both men and women as capable of strong leadership, and also perceive both as capable of support and nuture.  

    Here in Michigan, we're experiencing our first First Gentleman, Dan Mulhern.  He's doing a great job.  (The Governor ain't so bad, either.)  

    Don't get me wrong. You're doing good work. I just wish it weren't necessary.  

    •  we're more concerned with tackling (4.00)
      the idea that a "woman can't be president"

      We want that to be a silly idea, and want to associate it with the silliness of our campaign.

      Also, we love drag.  Bill in drag is just fun!

    •  Bill would re-invent first lady-ness (4.00)
      Of course twisted minds could denigrate both of them for shifting "traditional" roles, but that's going to happen any time you have married women rising to positions of power.

      The cool thing is that it makes you think about the role of first lady (or first spouse, let's say) -- provides quite a contrast to the apparent vacuousness of Laura Bush.

      •  How About "First Gentleman"? (4.00)
        Here's how Michigan's First Gentleman, Dan Mulhern, puts it:

        As "first lady" connotes a respect for her husband and her governor, it seems like "first gentleman" is an appropriate mirror image that conveys respect to the leader of the state.  Second, I chose the title with the thought that it might help to inject this word back into our vocabulary.  I think all men should strive to be "gentlemen," a word, and perhaps therefore a style, that has unfortunately lost meaning in our culture.  We have lost appreciation for the humility and civility that the word connotes.  So, I see the title as something I try to earn every day, by showing respect to my elders, love for my wife, kindness to children.
      •  I completely agree. (none)
        I wince every time I hear Laura Bush.  How vacuous must she be to live with this nitwit.  When I heard her saying hurricane Corrina several times, I thought what else could you expect from the poor dimwit.

        Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

        by macmcd on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 10:04:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you have to admit (4.00)
      ..that the idea of Bill Clinton holding one of the most high-profile jobs for women in the world, that was held by 43 women and zero men before him, would be perceived as feminizing for anyone. I don't think there's any way around that -- there's no GOP framing necessary. It doesn't mean that Bill's going to start being a drag queen; it just means the jokes are inevitable. Kind of like a 7-foot NBA start deciding to be a horse jockey.

      I didn't take his presence yesterday to be demeaning to women or anyone else. I think it was just a humorous take on what would be a political oddity.

      "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

      by CaptUnderpants on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 09:02:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bill Clinton is so competent that he (none)
        will have absolutely no problem being First Gentleman.  I have never met him in person and he is not my personal type but I have heard that those in his presence never feel the least doubt about his sexuality...;-)  But he is my type of president and leader, intelligent, well-informed, thinks brilliantly on his feet, etc., etc., etc.

        Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

        by macmcd on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 10:09:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I should have known (none)
    ...that had to be a Kossack under there.

    Brilliant!  Thanks for letting us all know what sorts of reactions you got.  I bet the real Bill wouldn't the slightest bit offended, but just find it funny.  I hope he reads this.

  •  HAAAAAH (none)
    You're in my photo diary - also on the rec list.  Loved it - even if I don't necessarily agree with the Hillary 2008 campaign, the message was awesome and you guys did great.

    Sept. 24 March in DC - Meetup details found at my blog!

    by RenaRF on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 07:08:37 AM PDT

  •  I love the hair (none)
    You could make a bed for a labrador retriever out of that hair.

    Go Bill!

  •  that is !@#$%& great! (none)
    lol

    beautiful!  my only question is how the !@#$%& did i not see you?!?!

    : (

  •  Funny thing is... (none)
    I was reading your diary and imagining me running up to you and saying "I love Bill, I miss him!" I would have been one of those saying it! LoL

    That port-a-potty pic is priceless.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Dunbar on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 07:21:13 AM PDT

  •  Amazing! (4.00)
    Seeing this makes it easy for me to visualize Hillary as President. I am willing to bet that we'd also get the benefit of Bill's exerience in the WH with Hillary there -- from what I've heard, they were always great at discussing the issues.
  •  I hope it was a freeper port-o -potty (none)
    You know how they hated Bill taking their issues.  Imagine how their heads would blow up at him using their precious potties.

    ps... I am working on getting Gore to run as I prefer him to either Clinton.  However if Hillary is the nominee I will work for her for many reasons.  She is going to have to make a hell of a confession on the IWR vote though.

    Liberal, Christian, Feminazi, Mom.

    by TeresaInPa on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 07:55:53 AM PDT

  •  Sunday mornin' (none)
    10:10 a.m. and already you made me laugh and you made me cry.  Incredible, and a bow for the lady in pink.  

    Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    by panicbean on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:15:59 AM PDT

  •  'Scuse me, ma'am... (none)
    Perhaps they, like us, know that Hillary would never have invaded Iraq in a war of aggression

    Yeah, I "know" that too, but I'm tired of settling for candidates who we have to "know" are against the things liberals are against. I'm ready for a candidate who will open up her yap and say she's against them. And cast votes that echo her words.

    In other words, love the costume but I'd rather you'd marched in Boxers!

    The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:16:02 AM PDT

  •  I still worry about those votes. (none)
     You said about people who aren't worried about Hillary Clinton's "yes" vote for the Iraq War resolution: "Perhaps they, like us, know that Hillary would never have invaded Iraq in a war of aggression, never would have tortured prisoners and never would have exploited terrorism to get no-bid contracts to her college buddies and other cronies."
    What concerns me is that Senators Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and John Edwards while harboring presidential ambitions and at a time that the mood of the country was pro-war never took responsibility for how their "yes" vote was certainly going to be used (and was used) as political cover by Bush for his war. Did they buckle under to political ambition afraid that a "yes" vote would be used against them? If so don't they share some responsibility for the misuse of our soldiers and the Iraqi people in this misguided war? I don't think they showed courage and presidential leadership. They failed to stand up against, what was obvious to anyone who was listening, a sure progression towards war, and I think they bear some responsibility for what happened to our soldiers and to innocent Iraqis. I tried to call the offices of these senators to beg them before the vote to vote "no". I reached Edwards' and Kerry's offices to express the above opinion but Clinton's office was not taking calls. And I think that it was concern for their political futures during a time when public sentiment was not anti-war that ultimately won their "yes" votes. These Democratic senators who had presidential ambitions and voted for the war, it seems, were either worried that a "no" vote would hurt their careers or were totally taken in by the propaganda on WMDs. I saw CIA Director Tenet testify before a congressional committee before the war and he said he didn't know if there were WMDs or not but that Saddam Hussein in his opinion was well contained and if there were WMDs he might only used them against our troops if we invaded. (Of course a few days later he had been co-opted by Bush to sit behind Powell at the UN and nod cynically.)
    Hillary never apologized for her vote that I have heard.
    I want people who run for president to say they support a progressive foreign policy too. It doesn't make this country stronger to pay lip servive at home to progressive values and then allow foreign policy to be used to steal other people's oil.
    •  Hillary's Iraq vote (4.00)
      Here's how I look at it (and maybe you'll totally disagree, but this is just my opinion):

      Hillary, Kerry and Edwards all have to take responsibility for the text of exactly what they voted for -- no more, no less. At the time, Shrub and friends were telling us we had hard evidence that Sadaam had WMD's and plans to attack us, but for security reasons, they couldn't present all of that evidence to us. So they were being asked to vote for a resolution that said we had the option to attack if Iraq violated the UN resolution. The two things to remember are (1) They didn't know whether the accusations against Sadaam were true or not, and (2) they weren't authorizing war, only giving the president the option to go to war if Iraq didn't hold up their end of the bargain. Under those circumstances, if they had voted "no" and the adminstration had turned out to be right, and we were attacked by Iraq, they would have been skewered by the GOP and the rest of the country. With their "yes" vote, they put the responsibility in Bush's lap. Iraq did hold up their end of the bargain, but Bush attacked anyway. It was Bush who violated the resolution and caused this mess.

      I hear what you're saying about political cover, and I think that after our invasion, when the shit hit the fan and no WMD's were found, the Democrats did a poor job of framing the whole debate. Truthfully, they were the ones who had political cover. They should have stood up and said, "Hey, this isn't what we voted for! You violated the resolution and got us into this mess!" But they didn't do that, and so they got framed as "enablers" and villified by liberals.

      Again, going strictly by the text of what they voted for, they did the intellectually honest thing. But they just let the GOP walk all over them politically, like they do year after year after year. Kerry finally got this towards the end of his campaign, but it was too late to change the impression people had of him and his views on Iraq by that point.

      So I don't hold the Iraq vote against Hillary. In fact, she's got one of the best voting records of any senator this year, so I'm looking at her in a pretty positive light (although I haven't decided who I might support three years from now). I just think that Hillary, Kerry/Edwards, and the whole Dem leadership should have played the political game a lot better. After all, that's part of their jobs.

      "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

      by CaptUnderpants on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:52:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you completely. (none)
        Actually, I think I have heard Hillary discuss her vote in much the way you framed it.  I think that John Kerry did such a poor job of answering questions about his vote (probably more accurately, one question) on the war and then the GOP spin machine made it sound like that is what everybody said.  And of course, during the campaign Kerry was the only one who said anything that mattered anyway so his mismanagement of the question painted all Democrats with the same doofus answer that he had made.  I am certain that neither Hillary nor John Edwards ever said anything like as idiotic as what Kerry said about his vote.  

        I agree that the war is Bush's mistake and the votes were based on lies told by this madman administration.  I suspect that had I been in a position to vote, even though I was against the war, I would have voted exactly like Hillary did even though I was unalterably opposed to the war.  I believed we should have allowed the weapons inspectors do their job and keep on keeping on just like we were with Saddam.  I never thought we needed to go anywhere except after Osama.  But, at the time, that was not an option on the ballot and the Democrats voted on what they had.

        Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

        by macmcd on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 10:39:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hillary's Iraq vote (none)
        The reason your argument doesn't satify my concerns is that the factual evidence of how things played out may give Senator Clinton's actions plausibility but it doesn't account for the political nuances at the time. For example, pre-war, I attended a town hall meeting that my neocon Republican congressman held to talk up the war. He, too, told his audience that the war was necessary because president "knew things" that he couldn't share with the public. (That's the disadvantage that you say Clinton, Kerry and Edwards had too). I publicly asked him if CIA Director Tenet knew everything the president knew and he admitted "yes" Tenet would. I then mentioned Tenet's recent congressional testimony where he said that he didn't know whether Sadam Husseing had WMDs or not but that Sadam was "well contained" and the biggest risk we faced was that if Sadam DID HAVE WMDs that the thing most likely to trigger their release was an invasion and then he'd use them against our troops. So Tenet seemed like he was leaning against an invasion until someone in the White House "turned" him. (Surely Senator Clinton knew about that or should have known about that.) Furthermore, my congressman got very angry at me for saying all this out loud and he blurted out. "It doesn't matter what you say, we're going to war anyway." So, as you say there was a political war game going on by the Bush Administration to put Democratic Senators into a corner on this. It took a lot of courage to say "We are being drummed into a war, the UN resolution bit is just a sham, the administration is committed to taking the country to war for a whole variety of reasons, including asserting their power over a frightened country. Iraq is a "well contained" poor country and if I vote "yes", Bush is going to use it for war. The "text" of the resolution is not meaningful to an administration that is willing to do anything including lie to get their way." I guess it was the poor judgement of those who were smart enough to know better, like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, to trust what Bush said instead of knowing in their gut how it would be used against them and the country. At the very least they should have demanded that a "yes" vote would have included the stipulation that Bush come back to the congress to get authorization if the inspections failed.
      •  But now what? Now that she knows intel was crap? (none)
        At this point in the Vietnam cycle, the domino effect described the rate at which Senators and Congressmen/women began denouncing the war-- in droves. So if Hillary, Kerry, Edwards et al were voting their conscience, i.e., their votes weren't cynical, political calculations, then isn't it time for them to express their outrage at having been duped? The knee-jerk 'support the troops' argument shows a total lack of leadership and courage. It is a stranglehold horror of a frame. Like death tax and tax relief.  Someone's got to smash it. That's what leadership is. How about this: "faked intelligence is the worst way to squander our military resources, shows disrespect for the jobs our men and women in uniform are asked to do." It's a horrible dilemma.

        I understand the political quandry. But how can she (and others) go on w/out denouncing this genocidal, purposeless war?

        •  Well said. (none)
          That troubles me too.
          It also troubled me that Bill Clinton (maybe a year ago?) was going around with Tony Blair supporting Blair on the Iraq war. Bill Clinton was a better president than most on domestic issues but I think he seems to be in the old mold on foreign policy along with, it seems, many of our recent presidents both Democrat and Republican. I think maybe Bill and Hillary made a plan to sound tough on foreign policy because they decided that was key to Hillary's winning a presidential election.
          Or else they really believe in a tough foreign policy. I still don't understand why Bill Clinton agreed to send $3 Billion in military aid to Columbia, wasting taxpayer money and making Columbia more violent. Was it about "protecting" oil pipelines?  
  •  personally (4.00)
    I'm not sure if I would support Hillary in the '08 primaries, but hey, it's still three years away and nobody else (Feingold, Clark, etc.) has swept me off my feet yet either. (I'm one of those people who keep clicking "undecided" in the Kos straw polls)

    I definitely think she should run, though. If nothing else, Hillary has definitely got what it takes to defeat whatever Republican schmoe wins the GOP nomination. And that's even more true for anyone who can defeat Hillary in the primaries.

    Good work, Mrs. Bill! Keep it up!

    "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

    by CaptUnderpants on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:27:49 AM PDT

    •  I agree (none)
      with your earlier post that Hillary is a very effective senator and also with your current statement "If nothing else, Hillary has definitely got what it takes to defeat whatever Republican schmoe wins the GOP nomination. And that's even more true for anyone who can defeat Hillary in the primaries."
      I guess what underlies most of my concerns on this is that many supposedly progressive Democrats support progressive domestic policies but then turn "hard" on foreign policy. I am very troubled by a foreign policy that is decades old that runs roughshod over indigenous populations in reactionary countries whenever large multinationals want our soldiers misused to "protect" contracts and pipelines, etc. I think it's unfair and also puts us at risk from blowback. I know that Democrats are under pressure to "talk Tough" on foreign policy but I really don't think we can have a truly progressive set of policies here at home unless we have progressive foreign policy too. (e.g. labor policies).
      I'm hoping that the Democratic candidates for president in 2008 articulate this and that the press gives it good coverage. I was troubled, too, that Bill Clinton sent billions of dollars to Columbia for "military aid" supposedly for the failed "drug war" but maybe to protect oil pipelines...people are dying there too.
      I think Wes Clark would be a great candidate.
      Of course I'd support Clinton over, say, Frist but I hope Senator Clinton starts talking about a progressive foreign policy if she wants to do what some people seem to think is critical to get our country and our self-respect back.
  •  You have (none)
    Very nice ankles!

    "Part of the facts is understanding we have a problem, and part of the facts is what you're going to do about it."-- G.W. Bush, April 15, 2005

    by flashlass on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:51:03 AM PDT

  •  People love (4.00)
    creativity and humour and (as Ugly Duckling noted) beauty. A friend ran for Congress in the 80's and we had this huge dove puppet (one of the big puppets that has gotten such bad press around here) that took four or five people to fly- it was amazing the people that would join us off the street to get a chance to fly it. Our little parades always drew crowds. It made them happy. It was beautiful and fun.

    I don't think we need to worry too much about Bill being feminized. Un hombre demasiado macho...

  •  Amazing experience for you (none)
    Thanks for being Bill and blogging about it.  That sounds like it was a very amazing experience for you to be a part of yesterday.  Many people here took pics of you and posted them last night.  I wondered who was behind the mask.  It's great to learn it was a fellow Kossack.  
  •  Hilarious... (none)
    ...but PLEASE!!!! Anyone but Hillary in 2008. Gore/Clark!
    •  in the primaries we compare (4.00)
      candidates and choose the one's we want to send to the general.  I'm all for vigorous debate on the issues and on policy.  But I am opposed to (and this is not at all directed at you) any personal attacks or attacks based on right-wing reactions to ANY of the Dems running.  I sure hope that Hillary is not canibilized by her party in the next 3 years.  THis would be a diaster if did manage to get the general but had been defined on republican talking points by democrats.  
  •  Hillaryarious! (4.00)
    Great job.

    80W-71S
    The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that." -G. Keillor

    by Eddie Haskell on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 10:23:37 AM PDT

  •  Bill Clinton is More Man (4.00)
    in a pink dress
    than George Bush is
    in his rodeo hat and dress boots.
  •  that is freaking hilarious. (none)
  •  Thank you for this fabulous idea and effort. (none)
    I DO support Hillary.  She is intelligent and has wonderful leadership abilities.  From my location in the far west, I think she is a wonderful Senator for the great state of New York.  I have been concerned because there seem to be so many Kossacs who fear that Hillary will incite the Republicans to come out against her.  Of course, they couldn't have come out any more against anybody than they did about Kerry and I figure they have already used ALL of their ammunition against Bill and Hillary anyway.  It seems to me that Hillary is the best choice for somebody who has already handled every libelous rant from the Republicans that could possibly be hurled.  

    This warms my heart and makes my outlook brighter.

    RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!

    Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

    by macmcd on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 10:48:03 AM PDT

  •  Great Street Theater, (none)
    brilliantly executed, and puts me in mind of my current favorite saying, which is "What was it about Clinton you didn't like....was it the peace, or the prosperity?"

    However...

    Hillary would never have invaded Iraq in a war of aggression, never would have tortured prisoners and never would have exploited terrorism to get no-bid contracts to her college buddies and other cronies.

    No, she just enables Bush to do it.

    Let's shrink Grover Norquist down to where he can be drowned in the bathtub.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 11:23:53 AM PDT

  •  Was that lady's restroom? ... tz, tz, tz ....(nt) (none)

    Mimi wants a new President and that's her noble cause.

    by mimi on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 11:38:10 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant (none)
    I take back every nasty thing I said about crazy hippies doing street theater.  I was wrong.  This is very cool, and obviously very effective.

    No, really.  I'm sorry that I doubted the cred of performance art.  As a dude in a band, I should know better.

    You rock, Tom.

  •  Those are some (none)
    meaty gams!

    I'm curious how you can be at a protest march all day in costume and stay up all night blogging?

    Nice accessorizing by the way.

  •  Thank you! (none)
    You made me have a hearty laugh
  •  You're talented and funny (none)
    I hope you will dedicate your talent and humor to getting the eventual candidate elected.  However, a Hillary candidacy would be a godsend for the opposition and a disaster for us.

    Furthermore, both she and Bill are utterly wrong on the most important issue of the day:  this stinking, monstrous, criminal war.  If you can persuade her to appear at a pro-peace rally with you, I would consider contributing to her Senate campaign.  But a presidential candidacy?  Never!

    Also, I think a nice pair of flats is more appropriate for protest marching!

    www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 12:44:34 PM PDT

    •  I think it is a big mistake for any (none)
      Dem to spread the myth that Republicans would love to see Hillary.  Remember, they were also frothing to run against Dean, who could of better beat Bush than didn't Kerry.

      If the Republicans say that they are wanting to run against someone, they are lying.  What they really want to do is to take out a strong candidate by tainting them.

      Let's focus on issues and priorities, and leave the personal attacks and dangerous (to Dem candidates) memes to the Republicans.  Our primaries should be to select the best candidate, not to diminish the top dog and do the Republican work for them.

      •  Hillary is the top dog? (none)
        She finishes near the bottom in polls conducted on dkos...

        I'm not borrowing memes from the repugs.  I don't care what they profess to want in an opponent.  I think we would be spotting them a couple of touchdowns if we selected Clinton as our candidate.  That's my opinion.

        And, believe me, we will be discussing issues in 2007, first and foremost the war.  But in Clinton's case also globalization and trade, the neoliberal project in general.

        But I'm all for getting her reelected next year, Tom.  That's something we can agree on.

        www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 09:23:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  street theater (none)
    is one of the most effective things we can do, because the other side is incapable of it.

    it is the same reason why the Daily Show is so effective.

    Bring back TV Nation!!!

  •  Tom (none)
    A suggestion:

    Is it possible for your website to just start playing your videos?  -- it would spread like wildfire - more hilarious than the first jib-jab.

    Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

    by sara seattle on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 03:53:40 PM PDT

  •  I took a picture of you (none)
    So did other members of our dKos contingent... wish we'd known it was you! That mask is great, it really looks like him.
  •  Fuck Bill Clinton (none)
    (metaphorically...VERY metaphorically...of course)

    Who's that hot guy next to you?

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 05:08:50 PM PDT

  •  i saw you! (none)
    hey, i saw you and high-fived you yesterday! i took a photo as well! loved the costume... don't agree with your message, if it was intended to be serious. hillary's stance on the war is weak and needs to change. until she starts growing some balls on the issue(irony intended), she will not have my support. Feingold 2008!
    •  I can appreciate your point (none)
      let's see what happens closer to the election.  We'd like to see Hillary's view on the war change, just as we'd like to see Americans more relectant to go to war in general.  All and all, I think Hillary's the right woman for the job.  But first she's got to get through the primary, and so long we debate on issues and policies, all's fair.  She should be taken to task by all Dems for her views on issues and priorities, that's for sure.
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