Clinton's Fight for `Invisible Americans'
Can Save the U.S.
by Debra Hanania Freeman
In the final 72 hours leading up to the Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary, a noticeable change in both the character and approach of Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination took place. In Clinton's own words, "Over the last week, I listened to you," that "you" being what, echoing the words and sentiment of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she later referred to as the "invisible Americans." "In the process," she said, "I found my own voice." Political pundits, both inside and outside the capital beltway, are crediting the shift with pulling her campaign back from the brink of disaster. While that may be true, what those pundits fail to understand is that Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire, more importantly, pulled our nation back from the brink as well.
What Actually Occurred?
Clinton's loss in Iowa did not come as a particular surprise. The truth is, her campaign never expected to win the Iowa caucuses. But, they also were not prepared for what seemed to them to be a rather peculiar response from the media. When all the votes were tallied, Barack Obama won one delegate more than Clinton. Although it was hardly a stunning defeat, the media portrayed it as a crushing, existential blow to the Clinton campaign.
Even before the weary candidates boarded their planes for New Hampshire, an extraordinarily vicious, British-orchestrated disinformation campaign was unleashed. On Sunday, Jan. 6, three days before the New Hampshire primary, polls conducted by CNN-WMUR and USA Today-Gallup reported Obama ahead of Clinton by 5-13%. On Monday, the day before the voting, CNN showed Obama ahead by a startling 29-30%, a Zogby poll gave Obama a 10 point lead, and a CBS poll had Obama ahead by 7%. The same day the press was attempting to organize the Clinton defeat, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg supporters, including a coterie of non-partisan fascists, were readying the "alternative" at a meeting in Oklahoma (see Feature).
Not to be outdone, the Washington Post jumped in with both feet, reporting in their Monday edition that Clinton's supporters were "worried that her campaign strategy could cost her the Democratic nomination," and suggesting that they might jump ship. In a blatant attempt to create a stampede of support for him, the Post wrote, "Obama is riding high while Clinton is slipping further and further behind her chief rival." International press, such as Germany's Bild Zeitung, joined the campaign, even reporting that Obama had won the New Hampshire primary before the votes had been cast!
The polling "results" were themselves a fraud, at least in the beginning. Like every Presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton's campaign conducts its own polls. Clinton's polling group is well known for its in-depth polls that yield unfailingly accurate results. And those polls told a very different story. They showed that although Obama enjoyed a small, expected surge of a couple of percentage points in the aftermath of his Iowa win, Clinton had absolutely nothing to worry about.
But, the media onslaught was relentless. Rumors were circulated that Clinton was about to withdraw. Clinton allies were subjected to unprecedented attacks. By Sunday, Clinton's own pollsters were reporting a shift in dynamic. The disinformation campaign was beginning to take hold. The faked results began to cause panic. Her numbers began to fall and an increasing number of voters were indicating that since the outcome of the election already seemed to be determined, they probably wouldn't make the trip to the polls after all.
This wasn't the first time that the Clintons had been the object of a British-orchestrated media campaign designed to destroy them. It was just such an operation that almost resulted in the destruction of Bill Clinton's Presidency. Lyndon LaRouche had warned weeks before New Hampshire that this apparatus wasn't particularly interested in Barack Obama, that just as they were anointing him as the Democratic nominee, they would turn against him. "They aren't interested in some kind of soft fascism," LaRouche warned. "They want the Schwarzenegger-Shultz-Bloomberg kind of fascism, straight out Mussolini in the 1920s, right out of the Liberty League, the pro-fascist, pro-Nazi apparatus in the United States, run right out of Wall Street."
Reaching Out to the Lower 80%
Bill and Hillary Clinton have weathered enough battles to know that at such points of crisis, the answer usually doesn't lie with professional campaign consultants. Sometime Sunday, the Clintons, including daughter Chelsea, and a couple of very close, longtime friends and advisors met. The Hillary Clinton that emerged from that meeting was a different person. She abandoned the campaign persona that had been scripted for her, and instead reached out to the population in the lower 80% of income brackets. It is not just that LaRouche had insisted that this was what any serious Presidential candidate must do, it was precisely what LaRouche's movement had been doing since September, in the drive to build support for the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA).
The Clinton campaign also began addressing the undecided "Millennials" or Gen-Y voters, with a series of roundtables, including one on the campaign bus with Chelsea Clinton who, at 27, turned out to be a very effective spokesman with her peers. The Clinton people also launched an "Ask Hillary" feature on their website, encouraging young voters to pose questions directly to the candidate. In so doing, Clinton herself was apparently surprised at the intensity of the economic angst among these voters, who number approximately 43 million, or 20% of registered voters nationally.
A close advisor, mindful of the fact that the youth vote had provided a critical margin of victory in the 2006 campaign, had been urging Clinton to reach out to the Millennials. "Young people may not know that the inflation-adjusted earning of new college grads has fallen almost 10% since 2000, but they can feel it. They don't need a degree in economics to understand that their parents are struggling to stretch a buck. They lived through the mass layoffs earlier this year—they saw their parents get burned. They watched 401(k)s that never got paid, parents losing health insurance."
The fact that Hillary Clinton was the only candidate to call for a moratorium on home foreclosures and a freeze on monthly mortgage payments was moved to the forefront of the campaign. At an event on the eve of the vote, Bill Clinton, speaking on Hillary's behalf, responded to a question about the subprime mortgage issue with a relatively elaborate presentation of the history of the crisis, including an assault on the hedge funds.
The decision to take charge of her own campaign and to address some of the vital economic issues facing the nation, and the lower 80% of the population in particular, including the crucial issue of the wave of foreclosures, broke through. It was responsible for her victory.
Exit polls conducted for the National Election pool, a consortium of news agencies, show that Hillary Clinton won significantly more votes from those with incomes under $50,000 a year (47%) than did Obama (32%). Among those with incomes of $50,000 a year, Obama got 41% compared to Hillary's 35%. Obama clearly had greater appeal to wealthier voters. He also got the votes of 40% of voters who have college degrees, as opposed to Clinton's 35%. But, Clinton outpolled Obama among those who couldn't afford college and among trade unionists by more than 10%. She also won a clear majority among voters aged 25-29.
LaRouche: 'They Lied With Malice'
The day after the election, LaRouche commented that serious consideration should be given to formally charging the Washington Post and other media with intentional election fraud. "They lied, they lied intentionally, and they lied with malice, pronouncing the results of the primary before the votes were even cast. No one should be confused that this was somehow an honest mistake," LaRouche said.
But, he pointed out, this time the fraud was caught and it failed. "They tried to box Hillary in," he said, "but it blew up under their noses, and now they don't have the clear 'cakewalk' to dictatorship they were looking for. Bloomberg is not a shoo-in. So the U.S. elections have suddenly changed." Clinton's New Hampshire victory forces the issue, and all of the other candidates now have no choice but to respond to the issues she has defined.
In thanking those who came out for her in her New Hampshire victory speech, Clinton said, "I've met families in this state and all over our country who've lost their homes to foreclosures, men and women who work day and night but can't pay the bills and hope they don't get sick because they can't afford health insurance, young people who can't afford to go to college to pursue their dreams. Too many have been invisible for too long. Well, you are not invisible to me."
So far, she seems to be keeping that promise. On Jan. 11, she called on the President and Congressional leaders from both parties to enact what she called an emergency, fast-acting legislative package to address the current crisis. Her package includes a $30 billion Emergency Housing Crisis Fund to assist states and cities to mitigate the effect of mounting foreclosures; $25 billion in emergency energy assistance for families facing skyrocketing heating bills; $5 billion to aid those seeking to make their homes more "energy efficient"; and $10 billion to extend and broaden unemployment insurance. She added that the depth of the crisis is such that this $70 billion may not be sufficient, and that Congress must stand ready to issue an additional $40 billion rebate to working families.
Although Clinton's plan falls far short of LaRouche's clearly enunciated economic recovery plan that begins with the HBPA, the fact is that it does make clear that Hillary Clinton has finally figured out who her friends and who her enemies are. This proposal is a loud, aggressive, and unmistakable shot fired across the bow of her enemies, and it represents a dramatic shift in dynamics of approach.
Is it enough to save the nation? No, it isn't. But, what it does mean is that now we can save the United States. "Hillary is right to call for a moratorium on foreclosures," LaRouche said, "but it won't work without legislation which establishes a firewall to salvage the banking system and the productive economy from the collapsing global financial system. The entire financial system is coming down; and only a change in the entire system will work."
This is where LaRouche and the LaRouche Youth Movement, are indispensable. "Our job," LaRouche said, "is to continue to organize relentlessly for the HBPA and educate people as to the reality of the ongoing global economic meltdown. We did this to excellent effect on the ground in New Hampshire, where the LYM intervened in over 20 events and distributed thousands of pieces of LaRouche PAC literature, producing a clear mass political impact." The crisis that LaRouche has repeatedly warned about has now happened. Either his policies are adopted, or you cannot save the United States. And, if you cannot save the U.S., you can't save the world. Those are among the lessons of the New Hampshire primary.