An ABC News analysis of the videotapes of at least four stockholder meetings where Clinton appeared shows she never once rose to defend the role of American labor unions. The tapes, broadcast this morning on “Good Morning America”; were provided to ABC News from the archives of Flagler Productions, a Lenexa, Kan., company hired by Wal-Mart to record its meetings and events. A former board member told ABCNews.com that he had no recollection of Clinton defending unions during more than 20 board meetings held in private. The tapes show Clinton in the role of a loyal company woman. “I'm always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it better than anybody else,”; she said at a June 1990 stockholders meeting. Clinton would not agree to be interviewed on the subject but now says she no longer shares Wal-Mart's values and believes unions “have been essential to our nation's success.”
Video here. Found via Al Giordano's wonderful blog, The Field. I love this post by Michael Scherer that I just read over at Swampland, and it pretty much explains why I am so completely turned off by the Clinton campaign and its cynical machinations.
On Why It Matters When Candidates Treat Voters Like Fools
All things considered, this seems like a modest request. But we as a country know better. We have all been let down so many times before. It is painful, in fact. When our politicians try to deceive us, when they slant reality or dumb down the details, it makes us want to turn off the television and put down the newspaper. It chips away at our faith in democracy. In 2000, David Foster Wallace described beautifully, in a Rolling Stone article, how many Americans react to their politicians.
What one feels when they loom into view is just an overwhelming lack of interest, the sort of deep disengagement that is often a defense against pain. Against sadness. In fact, the likeliest reason why so many of us care so little about politics is that modern politicians make us sad, hurt us deep down in ways that are hard even to name, much less talk about. It's easier to roll your eyes.
This is why candidates who say things they know to be misleading should not be excused for just “playing politics.” What they are actually doing is much worse. They are hurting America. And we in the news media have a role to play here. We should be shaming them back towards honesty. It is nothing less than a patriotic duty. This is why it is so upsetting when Mitt Romney stands up at a press conference, or at Tuesday's debate, and claims he has virtually no ties to “Washington lobbyists.” “I'd go to Washington as an outsider — not owing favors, not lobbyists on every elbow,” Romney said at the debate in California. He knows this is misleading. He had just flown in from a week of campaigning in Florida, where a Washington lobbyist, Al Cardenas, who was also his state campaign chairman, stood literally at his elbow almost everywhere he went. This is why it is so upsetting when Hillary Clinton chose to campaign before South Carolina's primary by intentionally distorting the words and record of Barack Obama. As Joe Klein pointed out, her attacks on Obama about his legislative record in Illinois were disingenuous. As Jonathan Chait points out in the Los Angeles Times, the same can be said for her statements about Obama's comments on Ronald Reagan's legacy. The key fact about these episodes has nothing to do with voting records or opinions on Reagan. The key fact is that the American people–including, as it turned out, the Democratic voters in South Carolina–could tell that Clinton did not believe what she was saying. She was playing a game, and trying to put one over on us. It was offensive, and it hurt…
When even people like Joe Klein are commenting on this crap, maybe it's time it came to a screeching halt. Seems to me the only way that happens is if voters turn their collective back on whatever candidate is using such torpor-inducing tactics.
Anyone has any better ideas, I'm open to hearing them.