Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland, Amanda Sloat, Hillary Clinton and the danger of war over the Ukraine

  

   Key figures in neocon politics, one – Victoria Nuland - a very prominent State Department person who worked over time on overthrowing the elected government in the Ukraine and produced a crisis with Russia, the other the intellectual leader of the Project for a New American Century, are supporting Hillary Clinton.  Kagan – and Bill Kristol who bruited about the Russia supports Trump position to distract from the DNC’s active suppression of Sanders’ supporters and the ugly words in the emails (who the Democratic National Committee is...)  – are both active “for Hillary.”  Rania Kalek’s Intercept piece has an interview with Kagan which makes clear that Hillary goes for war – and that means possible nuclear war – with the Ukraine – against Obama.  For after unwisely being drawn into provoking this conflict, Obama has – wisely – stepped back.  And oddly, though the line in the commercial press is that Russia is the firm enemy, actually Trump’s position on this is wiser.  

    Now Trump is a racist monster - and his and his campaign manager's motives for ties with Russia may be venal.  Russia took on Trump's business after Trump stiffed his investors, workers in the four casino bankruptcies in Atlantic City and no American bank would lend to him.   But I repeat: not taking Russia into NATO under Clinton and W., expanding up to its border, and expecting no response - well, consider the Soviet placing of missiles in Cuba in 1962 and the near miss for nuclear war. The nicest thing one might say about Barack's foreign policy in this area is that it  is naive.  For as John Mearsheimer has rightly emphasized, this transadministration policy is way crazy, way provocative, way stupid - and has now produced a fearsome threat of war.

      Robert Kagan has recast America historically as an expansionary, warmaking, land seizing “liberal” power.  Insofar as the United States was genocidal toward indigenous people and blacks, the adjective “liberal” is a serious mistake.  When pressed, Kagan sort of recognizes this.  But he uses his cleverer interpretation of America’s “dangerous” history to advocate more war.  For an account of his previous forays with Obama, see my article at Come Home America here

    And see also the New York Times report of his influential piece criticizing Obama (plus a sketch of family connections, Fred of the “surge”, father Don whom I debated on KGNU in the run-up to the Iraq war which led to Obama’s West Point speech about a more limited American war-making role here.  This article indicates that Kagan was already strongly with Secretary of State Clinton, in Clinton’s circle of advisors.

     In Dangerous Nation, the first chaoter “The First Imoerialists” traces the aim and activity of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin to expand a great empire Westward, by murdering Native Americans.  In old-fashioned, i.e. German, geopolitics, Kagan even uses the German geopolitical phrase Lebensraum (Hitler referred to the “Wild East” at p. 25): “[Benjamin] Franklin’s was in essence an argument for living space.”  There is the grim genocidal interplay of “geopolitics,” founded by Frederick Jackson Turner about the American Frontier and Friedrich Ratzel, who coined the term Lebensraum for the Wild West and conquering slavs in the Wild East.  Ratzel was a founder of the Pan-German League which fought for the occupation of Poland in World War I.

      This idea is basic to discussions, as Kagan says, to "high-level" foreign policy discussions opposed to ordinary people.  For Americans now widely object to aggressions and slaughter of innocents and immense wars for no good reason and torture.  Geopolics has nothing in common with a common good for ordinary people.  This is concealed by the phrase “national security state” in the conventional security literature, a phrase which is empty or has the silly operational definition – the interests of the state (Huntington, Krasner). But this phrase has a sinister connotation in all of its links to American genocides - Vietnam; Iraq; Chile, too – many other places… - and Nazism.

     Kagan’s Dangerous Nation was published in 2006, the same year as Robert Kaplan’s Imperial Grunts, which treats all the world, divided into 6 American commands, as “Injun Country.”  The first chapters of these two Bush-era imperial books – "The First Imperialists," "Injun Country" – dangerously and creepily mirror each other.  Kaplan invokes Karl Haushofer, drawing a map for Germany in 1931, of the 5 areas greater Germany should conquer.  He claims that it is a mirror for CENTCOM, PACOM, EUCOM, and the other American regions.  He does not say – he may not even know, that he is so flamingly racist that he would probably not care – that Haushofer’s military assistant and then student, was Rudolf Hess, secretary to Hitler.  Haushofer want to Landsberg prison in 1923 where Hitler was jailed for the Munich putsch, and gave both of them 5 hour sessions once a week.  Afterwards, Hitler spoke always of Lebensraum. 

     And Haushofer pushed this idea in Nazi Germany widely.

      There is a confusion in international relations between realism – an often critical study of American expansionism – and geopolitics (Kissinger, Hillary Clinton et al).  The former, as in Hans Morganthau and Ken Waltz was critical of all the American wars in modern history, especially Vietnam (see my Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy, introduction, chs. 1-2).  The latter is a Wild West, quasi-Nazi, frequently genocidal, often aggressive (Vietnam, Iraq)  enterprise of world domination...

   Amanda Sloat, a rising State Department "star" along with Nuland, is all for more bombing of Syria.  The liberal interventionist/neocon establishment is quickly becoming - Obama was wiser with the Iran treaty - simply neocon.  Bob Kagan and Victoria Nuland - frenzied lions of the new establishment...

   We should focus a spotlight on the Wild West of imperial fantasy and put a stop to it...

 ***

Robert Kagan and Other
July 25 2016, 10:04 a.m.
Rania Khalek

AS HILLARY CLINTON puts together what she hopes will be a winning coalition in November, many progressives remain wary — but she has the war-hawks firmly behind her.

“I would say all Republican foreign policy professionals are anti-Trump,” leading neoconservative Robert Kagan told a group gathered around him, groupie-style, at a “foreign policy professionals for Hillary” fundraiser I attended last week. “I would say that a majority of people in my circle will vote for Hillary.”
As the co-founder of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, Kagan played a leading role in pushing for America’s unilateral invasion of Iraq, and insisted for years afterwards that it had turned out great.

Despite the catastrophic effects of that war, Kagan insisted at last week’s fundraiser that U.S. foreign policy over the last 25 years has been “an extraordinary success.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s know-nothing isolationism has led many neocons to flee the Republican ticket. And some, like Kagan, are actively helping Clinton, whose hawkishness in many ways resembles their own.

The event raised $25,000 for Clinton. Two rising stars in the Democratic foreign policy establishment, Amanda Sloat and Julianne Smith, also spoke.

The way they described Clinton’s foreign policy vision suggested that if elected president in November, she will escalate tensions with Russia, double down on military belligerence in the Middle East and generally ignore the American public’s growing hostility to intervention.

Sloat, the former deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, boasted that Clinton will be “more interventionist and forward-leaning than Obama’s been” in Syria. She also applauded Clinton for doing intervention the right way, through coalitions instead of the unilateral aggression that defined the Bush years.

“Nothing that [Clinton] did was more clear than the NATO coalition that she built to defend civilians in Libya,” said Sloat, referencing the Obama administration’s overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. That policy, spearheaded by Clinton, has transformed a once stable state into a lawless haven for extremist groups from across the region, including ISIS.

Kagan has advocated for muscular American intervention in Syria; Clinton’s likely pick for Pentagon chief, Michelle Flournoy, has similarly agitated for redirecting U.S. airstrikes in Syria toward ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Smith told the audience that unlike Trump, Clinton “understands the importance of deterring Russian aggression,” which is why “I’ll sleep better with her in the chair.” She is a former deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden.
Smith left the government to become senior vice president of Beacon Global Strategies, a high-powered bipartisan consulting group founded by former high-ranking national security officials.

When Robbie Martin, a filmmaker who recently produced a three-part documentary on the neoconservative movement, asked how Clinton plans to deal with Ukraine, Kagan responded enthusiastically.

“I know Hillary cares more about Ukraine than the current president does,” Kagan replied. “[Obama] said to me [that he wouldn’t arm Ukraine because] he doesn’t want a nuclear war with Russia,” he added, rolling his eyes dismissively. “I don’t think Obama cares about Putin anymore at all. I think he’s hopeless.”

Kagan is married to Victoria Nuland, the Obama administration’s hardline assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. Nuland, who would likely serve in a senior position in a Clinton administration, supports shipping weapons to Ukraine despite major opposition from European countries and concerns about the neo-Nazi elements those weapons would empower.

Another thing neoconservatives and liberal hawks have in common is confidence that the foreign policy establishment is right, and the growing populist hostility to military intervention is naïve and uninformed.

Kagan complained that Americans are “so focused on the things that have gone wrong in recent years, they miss the sort of basic underlying, unusual quality of the international order that we’ve been living in.

“It’s not just Donald Trump,” Kagan said. “I think you can find in both parties a very strong sense that we don’t need to be out there anymore.”

“If, as I hope, Hillary Clinton is elected, she is going to immediately be confronting a country that is not where she is,” he said. “She is a believer in this world order. But a great section of the country is not and is going to require persuasion and education.”
Sloat agreed, arguing that “it’s dangerous” for people to draw anti-interventionist lessons from Libya and Iraq.

The Clinton-neocon partnership was solidified by Trump becoming the Republican nominee. But their affinity for each other has grown steadily over time.

The neoconservative Weekly Standard celebrated Clinton’s 2008 appointment as secretary of state as a victory for the right, hailing her transformation from “First Feminist” to “Warrior Queen, more Margaret Thatcher than Gloria Steinem.”
But the fundraiser was perhaps the most outward manifestation yet of the convergence between the Democratic foreign policy establishment and the neoconservative movement.

Hannah Morris of the liberal pro-Israel lobbying group J Street celebrated this bipartisanship as a “momentous occasion.”


“We could not be more proud to have [Kagan] here today,” she said.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

First Unitarian Universalist Church, 11:30AM tomorrow: initial exit polls as the only test for fairness in American elections


Here is the announcement (Clinton now faces the horrific racist Trump, but the inability to check whether elections in America are fair, except by initial exit polls, means that with 30 states with Republican governors and Secretaries of State, the general election, in yet another, completely off limits and corrupt way, in doubt).

Community Forum - Sunday, July 24th 11:30 a.m. –in the Sanctuary at First Universalist Church of Denver 4101 E. Hampden Ave., Denver, CO  80222 – (NE corner of Hampden Ave. & S. Colorado Blvd.)

2016 Primary Exit Polls and Anomalous Electronic Vote Totals – with Prof. Alan Gilbert

When exit polls diverge from electronic vote totals to an extent far beyond the margin of error it suggests the machines have been hacked.[and that registrations have been thrown out, as the 123,000 in Brooklyn this year] What’s going on?  Who’s involved? What is the purpose? What can we do about it?  

In the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primaries the exit polls in 15 of 17 states consistently showed Sanders coming out on average with 9% more votes relative to Clinton than in the vote reported on electronic voting machines, suggesting Sanders actually won in Ohio, Massachusetts, and Illinois.  Exit polls record how randomly selected people actually voted immediately after they voted, and have been long recognized as the most reliable type of poll.  The U.S. State Department/Agency for International Development has relied upon exit polls as the established standard for determining whether election results are fraudulent in 14 different foreign countries.

Prof. Gilbert is not suggesting that Ms. Clinton played any part in these irregularities, which corporate interests could execute entirely on their own through a back door in electronic voting computer programs.  The corporate-owned media have been silent about these disturbing inconsistencies, have favored one candidate over another, and have been trying to redefine and discredit exit polls.  In fact, it was major media who contracted for the exit polls with Edison Group, which is now trying to discredit its own exit polls.

These discrepancies parallel the 2004 presidential exit polls showing that John Kerry probably won the presidency over George W. Bush by 4%, which particularly involved key swing states such as Ohio and Florida.  The Republican CEO of the leading electronic voting machine company, Diebold, had actually made an off-the-record oral guarantee before the election that Bush would win.  http://richardcharnin.com/OpenLettertoNateSilver.htm  http://www.democracynow.org/2016/2/23/could_the_2016_election_be_stolen 2/22/16 Harvey Wasserman on DemocracyNow!

richardcharnin.com
An Open Letter to Nate Silver from Richard Charnin . Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll) Updated: Aug. 2, 2010 . Nate, since your recent hiring by the NY Times, the R2K flap ...


Prof. Gilbert examines these abnormalities and elections going back of couple of decades. Have the media abandoned exit polls as the standard for honest elections?  Why are the media now denigrating exit polls? Why their silence? What can we do?  Prof. Gilbert is professor of international relations at the Korbel School of International Affairs at Denver University and teaches at other area universities. He is the author of Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence (Univ. of Chicago Press 2012) and other books.

See sworn testimony and statements by Clint Curtis, a computer programmer and Republican whistleblower, who says in 2004 he was asked by Florida Republican Congressman Tom Feeney to create and did create a computer program that would allow switching the vote on electronic voting machines from one candidate to the other without being detected, although he was told at the time the purpose was to detect cheating by Democrats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7tjnuG-l6g"

***

   For a detailed argument on why initial polling is the only test of fairness in American elections given the use of voting machines with "proprietary programs," the monopoly of polling of Edison and its spokesman Joe Lenski, the big media monopolies, and no public check, see here.

***

      Corporate commentators are forbidden to mention initial exit poll data since 2004.  There, such polling was right in 143 out of 144 cases in the United States, "wrong" only for the supposed Bush "victory."  So in 2008, exit polls were not reported in New Hampshire though they plainly showed, as Chris Matthews chortled and Bill Clinton mourned, that Hillary did not win. See here.   But, miraculously, she ostensibly did on easily manipulable voting machines.  How the manipulation is done in each case is a question. That it occurs is unfortunately hugely likely.  All the  sputtering of shallow corporate commentators - Phillip Bump, Nate Cohn, Joshua Holland - about  "conspiracy theorists" -  does not alter this fact. 


First Unitarian Universalist Church, 11:30AM tomorrow: initial exit polls as the only test for fairness in American elections


Here is the announcement (Clinton now faces the horrific racist Trump, but the inability to check whether elections in America are fair, except by initial exit polls, means that with 30 states with Republican governors and Secretaries of State, the general election, in yet another, completely off limits and corrupt way, in doubt).

Community Forum - Sunday, July 24th 11:30 a.m. –in the Sanctuary at First Universalist Church of Denver 4101 E. Hampden Ave., Denver, CO  80222 – (NE corner of Hampden Ave. & S. Colorado Blvd.)

2016 Primary Exit Polls and Anomalous Electronic Vote Totals – with Prof. Alan Gilbert

When exit polls diverge from electronic vote totals to an extent far beyond the margin of error it suggests the machines have been hacked.[and that registrations have been thrown out, as the 123,000 in Brooklyn this year] What’s going on?  Who’s involved? What is the purpose? What can we do about it?  

In the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primaries the exit polls in 15 of 17 states consistently showed Sanders coming out on average with 9% more votes relative to Clinton than in the vote reported on electronic voting machines, suggesting Sanders actually won in Ohio, Massachusetts, and Illinois.  Exit polls record how randomly selected people actually voted immediately after they voted, and have been long recognized as the most reliable type of poll.  The U.S. State Department/Agency for International Development has relied upon exit polls as the established standard for determining whether election results are fraudulent in 14 different foreign countries.

Prof. Gilbert is not suggesting that Ms. Clinton played any part in these irregularities, which corporate interests could execute entirely on their own through a back door in electronic voting computer programs.  The corporate-owned media have been silent about these disturbing inconsistencies, have favored one candidate over another, and have been trying to redefine and discredit exit polls.  In fact, it was major media who contracted for the exit polls with Edison Group, which is now trying to discredit its own exit polls.

These discrepancies parallel the 2004 presidential exit polls showing that John Kerry probably won the presidency over George W. Bush by 4%, which particularly involved key swing states such as Ohio and Florida.  The Republican CEO of the leading electronic voting machine company, Diebold, had actually made an off-the-record oral guarantee before the election that Bush would win.  http://richardcharnin.com/OpenLettertoNateSilver.htm  http://www.democracynow.org/2016/2/23/could_the_2016_election_be_stolen 2/22/16 Harvey Wasserman on DemocracyNow!

richardcharnin.com
An Open Letter to Nate Silver from Richard Charnin . Richard Charnin (TruthIsAll) Updated: Aug. 2, 2010 . Nate, since your recent hiring by the NY Times, the R2K flap ...


Prof. Gilbert examines these abnormalities and elections going back of couple of decades. Have the media abandoned exit polls as the standard for honest elections?  Why are the media now denigrating exit polls? Why their silence? What can we do?  Prof. Gilbert is professor of international relations at the Korbel School of International Affairs at Denver University and teaches at other area universities. He is the author of Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence (Univ. of Chicago Press 2012) and other books.

See sworn testimony and statements by Clint Curtis, a computer programmer and Republican whistleblower, who says in 2004 he was asked by Florida Republican Congressman Tom Feeney to create and did create a computer program that would allow switching the vote on electronic voting machines from one candidate to the other without being detected, although he was told at the time the purpose was to detect cheating by Democrats. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7tjnuG-l6g"

***

   For a detailed argument on why initial polling is the only test of fairness in American elections given the use of voting machines with "proprietary programs," the monopoly of polling of Edison and its spokesman Joe Lenski, the big media monopolies, and no public check, see here.

***

      Corporate commentators are forbidden to mention initial exit poll data since 2004.  There, such polling was right in 143 out of 144 cases in the United States, "wrong" only for the supposed Bush "victory."  So in 2008, exit polls were not reported in New Hampshire though they plainly showed, as Chris Matthews chortled and Bill Clinton mourned, that Hillary did not win.  But, miraculously, she ostensibly did on easily manipulable voting machines.  How the manipulation is done in each case is a question. That it occurs is unfortunately hugely likely.  All the  sputtering of shallow corporate commentators - Phillip Bump, Nate Cohn, Joshua Holland - about  "conspiracy theorists" -  does not alter this fact. 

***

     And a similar altering of the results occurred in 2008 in New Hampshire.  Read this election night commentary, and think about how it conforms to a pattern:


Chris Matthews Hardball, Jan. 9, 2008, New Hampshire Primary
Guests: Eugene Robinson, Howard Fineman, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Wesley Clark,  Jay Carson, Terry McAuliffe, Howard Wolfson, Pat Buchanan, Rachel Maddow, Tom Delay, Dee Dee Myers, Tom Ridge
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR:  The first hint came a little more than five hours ago.  The office of New Hampshire‘s Secretary of State reported phone calls from towns and precincts statewide.  They were running out of ballots.  Eight hours to go before the polls closed and they were running low on ballots.  For now, that is all we know.  It may be all we need know.  
Good evening from our headquarters in New York.  This is MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the 2008 New Hampshire primaries.  alongside Chris Matthews, I‘m Keith Olbermann.  Here we go.  
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Well, a long night for the Republicans.  
OLBERMANN:  And for the Democrats.  
MATTHEWS:  I think the Democrats‘ night will be shorter based upon early notions and the (INAUDIBLE) {initial exit polls]
OLBERMANN:  And let‘s repeat now, in case anybody thinks we‘re jumping the gun, notions of what?  
MATTHEWS:  Notions entirely derived from yesterday‘s experience and looking at the size of the crowds up there in New Hampshire where I tried to go to all the major events.  Hillary had a large crowd but a lot of it from out of state.  The Obama crowd was growing and growing at the every turn and at the end of every session people were more pumped up than they were at the beginning.  He was raising the crowd up in spiritual interest.  Let‘s put it that way.  
OLBERMANN:  Is the story of Obama going to be eclipsed still by the story of the Democratic turnout?  Are we going to see that kind of numbers we saw in Iowa last week, that was 91 percent growth from the 2004 campaign, which was by itself a year of activism?  
MATTHEWS:  I think the same story.  I think it would be fair to say if Barack Obama wasn‘t in this race, we wouldn‘t see this excitement.  And certainly, you could say the excitement may also be simply the great battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  It‘s a championship battle.  It‘s not a boring campaign at all.  And American politics has been, to a lot of people in the past, boring.  Young people have turned off to it.  Young people have turned on to this campaign.  Adults have been refreshed in their interest in politics.  This has brought back politics the way Muhammad Ali brought back boxing as you know.     And by the way, it died after him.  
OLBERMANN:  Yes.  Or Tiger Woods and golf.  
MATTHEWS:  Right.  
OLBERMANN:  And we could beat that analogy into the ground for the next seven hours.  I think that‘s our timeframe.  
The election‘s supervisor in Londonderry, New Hampshire estimated at midday that he‘d get 70 percent turnout of his 15,000 registered voters.  Seventy percent.  While those voters are still voting, we are going to be assiduously walking that tight rope about not characterizing how candidates are doing, but certain data is available to us.  
MSNBC‘s Norah O‘Donnell is tracking that.  The exit polling.  
Norah, good evening.  
NORAH O‘DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening to you, Chris and Keith.  
One of the big questions in New Hampshire is how independents will vote.  They‘ve always played a key role in creating the state‘s go-your-own-way image, particularly in the primaries, because in New Hampshire, as we have mentioned, independents can vote in either party‘s contest.  
So taking a look at our exit polls, those who consider themselves independent made up a bit less than half of the participants in the Democratic primary.  Now that‘s comparable to what they attracted in the 2004 race, where independents, again, made up about half of the Democratic primary.  You have to keep in mind there was no contested Republican primary four years ago.  Independents had nowhere else to go if they wanted to vote.  This year with a hotly contested GOP race, independents made up about a third of the Republican electorate for the primary.  
Now when you compare these numbers to the figures we saw last week in Iowa, you realize how important independents are in the New Hampshire race.  For the GOP there are three times—you hear that?  Three times as many Republican independents voting in this primary as there were in Iowa.  Only 13 percent of the Republican voters were independent.  Now for Democrats, remember, just one in five of the caucus goers in Iowa called themselves independent, compared to nearly half of the voters in the Democratic primary today.  
And you know, Chris and Keith, because there is still voting going on, we cannot tell you who these independents are leaning toward.  But we can tell you at this time, one of the issues that is bubbling up for Republicans in this primary and that is a very bitter feeling they are expressing about President Bush and his administration.  That‘s right.  More than half of the Republicans in our exit poll say they are either dissatisfied or downright angry with this president.  Only two in five were satisfied and a very small percent were enthusiastic, but what they have experienced in the past eight years.  
So that sort of confirms what we‘ve been hearing about this electorate from other polls.  There are a lot of angry people about the direction of this country.  
Chris and Keith?  
OLBERMANN:  Picture‘s worth a thousand words.  If a picture‘s worth a thousand words, then a number like 8 percent is worth a thousand pictures, I assume.  
Norah O‘Donnell looking at the exit polling for us.  
We‘re going to go up to Manchester now.  NBC‘s White House correspondent David Gregory manning the central desk there.  
David, good evening.  
DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening, Keith.  
The independent numbers are very interesting and those feelings about President Bush, because that goes beyond New Hampshire.  That becomes an issue as to whether Republicans dissatisfied with President Bush and the Bush years are more likely to vote as Democrats in a general election, something that you‘re starting to hear about as well.  
MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you, David, it seems to me that this anger is hard to read, if you look at all the candidates on the Republican side.  You know, John McCain, although he‘s a maverick, has sided with the president on the war.  And you could argue maybe if you‘re right.  
GREGORY:  Right.  
MATTHEWS:  .pro-Bush should stick with McCain.  But on the other hand, his personality is so different than Bush‘s and his person.  It‘s hard to read that, isn‘t it?  
GREGORY:  It is difficult to read, and that relationship has gone up and down.  But I think for New Hampshire voters, these New Hampshire voters and independents who are upset with President Bush are still going to find an ally in John McCain.  They remember him back in 2000.  They supported him heavily by 18, 19 points back in 2000.  This is somebody who voted against the Bush tax cuts as Mitt Romney has been trying to remind them of, somebody who was critical of Donald Rumsfeld, critical of the war, critical of the administration generally, but then very supportive of the surge.  
So he would still have a base here.  And I think if we look at the overall, being on the ground here in New Hampshire, we are looking very closely at that independent vote.  John McCain‘s staff saying that that supports their base of support, although they were still looking very closely at a much tighter contest, who is going to turn out the Republican votes?  Is it Romney?  Is it McCain?  They were running pretty tight.  Of course, McCain looking for those independents to take him over the top.  
OLBERMANN:  David, could there be too many independents to make that number really a milestone or an indicator?  Could there be too much information about independents for us to say, look, the independents are driving McCain, the independents are driving Romney, the independents are driving Obama?  Are the early numbers lining up with the fact that this is a state that about half of the voters are registered as undecided, as independent?  
GREGORY:  Right.  You‘ve got 45 percent.  I mean, if I get your drift here on the question, I think what‘s significant about this is that it may not be indicative of the candidates‘ true strength on either the Republican or the Democratic side.  For instance, if Barack Obama is turning out young people, a lot of independent voters, it‘s not giving us as good of an indication of how he‘s doing within his own party.  That becomes really important down the line.  The big February 5th states, South Carolina as well.  That‘s certainly true in history tells us back in 2000.  
John McCain‘s victory back in 2000 was really about independents.  He narrowly edged out George W. Bush among Republicans and then, of course, couldn‘t close the deal when it came to South Carolina.  So the independent number being so large in New Hampshire doesn‘t give us a real sense of the candidates‘ strength within their own parties.  
OLBERMANN:  Independents good in the nominating process, or maybe good in the nominating process, great when it comes to the election process.  
David Gregory in Manchester.  
GREGORY:  Well.  
OLBERMANN:  We‘ll get back to you and we‘ll expand about this throughout the evening.  
GREGORY:  Sure.  
OLBERMANN:  Thank you, David.  
MATTHEWS:  Let‘s bring in NBC‘s Tom Brokaw.  Tom, I think luck—I think everyone would agree, especially you who‘ve seen so many of these that it plays such a part.  Here we have a spectacular weather in New Hampshire today.  As Barack Obama said the other day, it‘s balmy out there.  It‘s the tropics for January.  It seems to me if I were the Clintons, I‘d say, “Damn it, one more problem we‘ve got to face—everybody‘s coming.”  
TOM BROKAW, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, I think in this case in New Hampshire, everybody would come whether the weather was inclement or balmy, as you described it.  I felt like that way in Iowa last week.  The whole nation and the whole world is looking in on New Hampshire.  They take their civic responsibility very seriously, as you know.  It would be hard to imagine that in this kind of a spirited campaign, “They‘d say, well, there‘s a little more ice on the sidewalk, dear.  I don‘t think I‘m going to go out tonight.”  
I think that they know everyone‘s looking in.  They feel passionately about the issues and the candidates who are before them, and it is New Hampshire, after all, Chris, where summer comes around the first of July and winter begins on the first of August.  
MATTHEWS:  Well, I want to ask you further about the alignment of the stars.  If you look at—I guess I‘ve never seen so much crowd, so many exciting crowds.  I mean, I was at the Obama events and I can say what everybody else has seen and heard and felt there.  They are electric.  I saw Hillary Clinton last night in a very plaintiff appeal to her troops, many of them brought in from outside, but a lot from New Hampshire.  A huge room last night.  A lot of almost old-time politics.  It was almost like people were going around with torches, you know, and the old kind of politicking.  A lot of in-your-face, but also a lot of show business.  
BROKAW:  Well, Chris, it‘s no longer just a bandwagon.  We have an entire three-ring circus going here and it‘s not just the politics of New Hampshire, it‘s also all of this.  We‘re not the only channel on the air, I‘m sorry to say.  There are a lot of others, and they‘re going 24/7 on this race between Hillary Clinton and Obama with John Edwards also a contender, and on the Republican side as well.  And when you can‘t escape that, you‘re bound to get excited by it if you‘re breathing in upright.  And certainly, in New Hampshire they are.  We do have new faces in this campaign, we have larger-than-life figures, and my impression is, having traveled the country for the last two years is the country really is ready to seize the political arena again.  
They feel that it‘s been taken out of their hands at the national level and they want back in, and you‘re seeing a manifestation of that here in New Hampshire and again last week in Iowa, where they had almost twice as many people participating in the caucuses as they did four years ago.  
OLBERMANN:  Tom, with so much going on, it‘s almost tough to digest it, let alone keep track of everything that‘s happened in the last five days.  What do you think we‘ve missed?  What have the voters known on the ground in New Hampshire that we have not seen as members of the media?  
BROKAW:  Well, I think, really, that before this process is all over, we‘ll look back and say that there has been a profound realignment of the voting population in this country, Keith.  No longer do the rules and the old labels of a Republican or Democrat.  We‘re seeing a great, great rising tide of independents, as you know, about 35 percent of the country now registered independent.  A lot of them younger.  A lot of the voters that are coming into the process now have grown up with the Internet as their culture, and on the Internet they make their own rules.  They don‘t play by the old rules, and they bring that application to their political emphasis as well.  
So I think that may be something that everyone missed.  There was a lot of talk four years ago about Howard Dean and how he‘d tapped into the Internet.  But in the end, he was beaten by a more conventional politician using more conventional techniques, and that was John Kerry.  Since then, the Internet has grown exponentially, and as you know from your own roaming during the day, there are so many more political blogs out there and people generating interest in what we‘re all talking about here tonight.  
OLBERMANN:  Tom Brokaw, who we are fortunate enough to be able to say, will be with us throughout the evening.  Great thanks, Tom.  We‘ll get back to you in a little bit.  
BROKAW:  OK.  
OLBERMANN:  Andrea Mitchell is covering the Clinton campaign for us tonight, where it‘s been a day—I don‘t see any fireworks actually going off in that room behind you, Andrea, but I imagine symbolically they‘ve been going on all day.  Good evening.  
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Good evening, Keith and Chris.  
It really has been rough on the Clinton campaign today.  They are anticipating the worst, hoping for a better outcome.  They do not really have great confidence of pulling off a victory here.  Top advisers were telling me we hope we can keep it in single digits.  They know what‘s going on in terms of the generational change that Tom was just referring to.  That‘s one reason why Barack Obama completed his campaign rallying today at Dartmouth College early this morning, trying to rally the younger people, talking about passing the torch to another generation, obviously invoking echoes of John F. Kennedy and, of course, of Martin Luther King, inspirational heroes.  
There is a lot of bitterness.  Bill Clinton is really voicing that bitterness.  Hillary Clinton seems to ream.  And although we saw her fatigued and somewhat emotional, she is kind of above the fray looking towards the next races.  Bill Clinton today lashed out at New Hampshire officials, saying that they did a disservice to their own voters here by scheduling this primary for so few days, so quickly after the Iowa results.  It didn‘t give anyone a chance to absorb what happened in Iowa and to recover.  Of course, it didn‘t give his wife, his candidate a chance to recover from the loss in Iowa.  
The bounce being felt from Iowa is still being—still reverberating here, really, Keith, and there is no time to fix that in time to avoid a loss tonight.  That‘s at least the view from within the Clinton campaign reflecting their own tracking.  
OLBERMANN:  There‘ve been stories all day, Andrea, of nothing less than a blood bath in terms of the hierarchy of the Clinton campaign.  That‘s been roundly denied in terms of specifics and names that have been thrown out on other cable channels.  But is the overall sense that change is coming there, if there‘s not a good performance from that candidate tonight—is that sense correct?  
MITCHELL:  Yes.  That sense is correct.  I interviewed Carrie McCullough earlier on MSNBC and he said “Yes, we want to bring people in.  We need help here.”  And people who have been supporting Hillary Clinton for years, decades, want to join in.  That said, he personally called James Carville and Carville told him “No, I‘ve got too many obligations, I‘m not joining.  I‘ve always been a supporter.  I‘ll continue to advise informally,” but Carville‘s not joining, Paul Begala is not joining, John Padessa is not joining.  His name was thrown out in the “New York Times” story today, a former Clinton White House chief of staff.  
Others may come in.  My sense is—they‘re testing the microphone behind me—they‘re going to bring people in layers, some of the campaign officials who have been long aides of Hillary Clinton.  She‘s not firing people right now unless they leave on their own, but they may well be bringing in new people.  I think the campaign advertisements will be different, and they are clearly evaluating how much to invest in South Carolina, even whether to bypass South Carolina, where Barack Obama is so strong.  
MATTHEWS:  What about the possibility they‘re going to bypass not just South Carolina, but Nevada next week and really.  
MITCHELL:  Nevada.  
MATTHEWS:  .put all their chips onto the February 5th, the superday?  
MITCHELL:  I would not rule anything out, Chris, depending on how big their defeat is tonight, if they do turn out, losing as they expect to do.  They are clearly going to Nevada for our debate on the 15th, and they know that the culinary workers are likely to endorse Obama tomorrow.  That‘s a big deal.  Edwards has some support in Nevada among union people, but so does Hillary Clinton.  They‘ve been well organized there.  
But, you know, that‘s also a state where Bill Richardson wants to stay in until Nevada, because it‘s a neighboring state to New Mexico, and that would take—drain some support, potentially, from Hillary Clinton.  So they‘ve got problems in Nevada, too.  And I would not be surprised if they bypassed everything and went directly to Florida, California and New York.  But that‘s still beyond tonight‘s returns.  Everything‘s up in the air.  
OLBERMANN:  The support this candidate by February 5th or we‘re off this campaign theory, we‘ll see if that comes to pass and if it works.  
Andrea Mitchell at Clinton headquarters, great thanks.  
Given that Mitt Romney chased all week by that fun fact that no Massachusetts senator or governor has ever lost in a New Hampshire primary in current format has set up at sparks restaurant in Bedford where our Ron Allen is standing by—Ron?  
RON ALLEN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT:  Keith, yes, he is favored to some extent because he was a governor from a nearby state.  I was struck by how optimistic Mitt Romney was today.  He‘s an optimistic, sunny guy, but he was very bright and upbeat today because they think they finished very strong here over the past weekend in particular at two debates that happened, especially the one on Sunday that was a more intimate forum where he was able to really take on Mike Huckabee and John McCain very face-to-face, and the campaign feels that in that particular setting, Romney seemed to be the smartest guy in the room and he seemed to be more presidential and more in command than his rivals.  
And so they think they got a big bounce for that.  They‘re hoping that the undecided Republicans fall their way.  They‘ve been making—they sent 100,000 phone calls yesterday, trying to following up, trying to make sure that those undecideds come to their camp.  They‘re also hoping that all those independent voters here vote for Barack Obama and the Democrats and not John McCain.  Now, if that happens, that helps their case somewhat here, because they‘re certainly not going to get independents supporting Mitt Romney.  
So, again, a feeling of optimism, a feeling that a second place would be fine as well because they feel if they have a second here, second in Iowa, a win in Wyoming, and they‘re heading to Michigan, which is, again, another state where Romney was born, his father was a three-term governor, so they feel like their chances are pretty good there as well.  
OLBERMANN:  Is there any doomsday construction there, Ron, in case it‘s not a good night for the governor?  Do they have any—even that earliest rumble of, “Well, this is where we may have to get out,” or is the jigsaw puzzle for the Republicans so complicated that nobody‘s thinking about that yet?  
ALLEN:  I don‘t think they‘re thinking about that at all.  They haven‘t given any hint of that at all.  And remember, Mitt Romney has a lot of money to go forward.  And they‘ve got ads up in Michigan, they‘ve got ads up in a few other states.  There is some scuttle about maybe skipping South Carolina down the road, but I haven‘t really been able to talk to the campaign much about that.  At this point, again, they‘re focusing on here and Michigan next week.  
And you know, the bottom line, though, is that they have to come up with a win sometime.  You know, they‘re talking about second place, talking about the total number of votes they‘ve accumulated.  But they‘ve got a lot of infrastructure in place in a lot of different states.  Nevada‘s another place where they think they have a pretty good infrastructure in place and they can do well.  All the Republicans seem to be hoping that the field is muddled, that they can keep on going.  And Romney, in particular, I think feels that if this becomes a real war of attrition that he can wear down the rest of the field, again, with money and resources.  
OLBERMANN:  Ron Allen is at the Romney headquarters in New Hampshire.  
Great thanks, Ron.  We‘ll get back to you throughout the evening.  
MATTHEWS:  Let‘s bring in the panel now who will be with us all night, MSNBC‘s Joe Scarborough, “Newsweek‘s” Howard Fineman, “The Washington Post‘s” Eugene Robinson, and “The Nation” magazine‘s Katrina Vanden Heuvel.  
Take it away, Joe.  
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC‘S GOOD MORNING JOE HOST:  Thank you so much, Chris.  
You know, let‘s start with you, Howard.  We always try to construct these doomsday scenarios.  Hillary Clinton must win Iowa or else.  Hillary Clinton must win New Hampshire or else.  Mitt Romney must win New Hampshire or he‘s gone.  It‘s just not that simple, is it?  
HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, nothing is ever simple as we make it in politics, and we don‘t know, by the way, what the results in New Hampshire are going to be.  It‘s possible that Hillary may have sewed some doubts, that Bill Clinton may have sewed some doubts about Barack Obama.  The finish may be closer than we think, which would then, you know, not help Obama.  The expectations have gotten so far out there.  
SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  Hold it.  You just said the word, expectations.  It happens all the time.  
FINEMAN:  Colossal.  Colossal.  
SCARBOROUGH:  Bill Clinton‘s expectations in 1992 terrible.  He loses and he‘s still the comeback kid.  
FINEMAN:  Right.  
SCARBOROUGH:  Could Hillary Clinton do the same thing?  If she loses by, let‘s say, three, four, five points, the Clintons are going to say, momentum‘s on our side, right?  
FINEMAN:  Well, yes.  If, if, if, if.  That‘s true.  And on the Republican side, we don‘t know.  I saw John McCain the other day in New Hampshire.  He was already taking his victory lap, but this is, I think, going to be a close race between McCain and Romney.  So again, expectations can be something you can play with between those candidates.  
SCARBOROUGH:  Katrina, let‘s talk about the numbers on the Democratic side.  
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”:  Yes.  
SCARBOROUGH:  The Clinton camp will be happy if they lose to Barack Obama by what?  
VANDEN HEUVEL:  Five, six, seven points—five points.  But I think it‘s tough.  
SCARBOROUGH:  They can still claim momentum if they lose by let‘s say five or six?  
VANDEN HEUVEL:  I think it‘s tough for Hillary Clinton to call herself a comeback kid.  This is a radically different, compressed, front-loaded schedule.  And Nevada will go for Obama, if he wins by five points.  You‘ve got the culinary workers union ready to endorse him if he wins, and then into South Carolina, a state where, again, he has this grassroots presence, a state that is on the Democratic side majority African-American, ready to vote for amending.  He might have been skeptical about winning but look at Iowa and New Hampshire, two predominantly white states.  So I think you have a lot of momentum on Obama‘s side even with the percentage.  
SCARBOROUGH:  And Gene, I suggested over the past couple days if Hillary Clinton‘s blown out here, she should skip South Carolina.  I‘m told by Democratic Party activists you can‘t do that without insulting the base there.  
EUGENE ROBINSON, “THE WASHINGTON POST”:  Yes.  That would be a problem.  African-Americans are such an important part of the Democratic Party coalition.  They are half the Democratic primary voters in South Carolina, and it would seem like a real snub to just bypass South Carolina, but for a state where you have a large African-American vote.  I don‘t see how she can do it and still have any claim to a constituency that she has to at least split with Barack Obama if she has any hope of getting this nomination.  
SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  
FINEMAN:  And she can‘t skip Nevada, either, because the same argument.
VANDE HEUVEL:  Labor.  
FINEMAN:  .applies about labor and Hispanics, which on the Democratic side are key.  That‘s why they put a primary in Nevada for just that reason.  
SCARBOROUGH:  And I‘ll tell you what, all those decisions obviously will be affected by tonight.  
Chris, back to you.  
MATTHEWS:  Well, thank you.  Keith?  
OLBERMANN:  The panel will be with us throughout the evening, and when we come back, Dee die Myers and Tom DeLay and many more from New Hampshire and throughout the precincts.  
MATTHEWS:  Mr. Delay.  
OLBERMANN:  Yes.  
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
OLBERMANN:  We rejoin you with MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primaries.  Let‘s go back up to New Hampshire with NBC News political director Chuck Todd.  
Chuck, good evening.  
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR:  Good evening, sir.  
OLBERMANN:  All right.  Let me give you another doomsday scenario.  We‘ll talk about our third one of the first half-hour of coverage.  We had President Clinton‘s explosion at the timing of New Hampshire to a lesser degree, his commentary on the media, and we had some dramatic day of events for Senator Clinton yesterday that raised some hackles in some quarters.  We don‘t have to go into details about that.  
What happens if all that stuff took place and it turns out to be a good night for Senator Clinton, a near miss or even a victory?  What happens to all this, this sort of atomic material that the Clintons spent today and yesterday?  
TODD:  You know, I think it‘s not going to still be a healthy thing inside the campaign, because all of a sudden, all of the knives came out really quickly and everybody—oh, everything‘s supposed to be OK.  It‘s going to make for a tough operation.  I think you‘re still going to see somewhat of a shake-up.  You know, they‘ve done some minor things already.  The “Washington Post” is reporting this evening our colleague, Chris Cillizza, said Maggie Williams, a long-time Hillary Clinton confidante, is going to be coming over.  It sort of hinted that that maybe she overlays Patty Doyle.  We‘ll see.  
I mean I think what‘s going on here is they‘re going to overlay some of 
these folks, bring in sort of old hands, trusted hands, because, frankly, 
it‘s going to be hard to get people that haven‘t been in the Clinton orbit 
before to suddenly come in and work against Obama.  There‘s a lot of 
pressure inside the Democratic Party not to be the ones that work against -
they don‘t want to be on the wrong side of history and sort of in the nature of the Obama candidacy.  
OLBERMANN:  And if, apart from any material improvements that anybody new to the campaign might make or any addition by subtraction by anybody who‘d be leaving it, is there also a philosophical sense here that if it is a disastrous night, as it certainly was in retrospect in Iowa for the Clintons, that this disastrous night could almost be written off by, look, we‘re—as of tomorrow—or as of Friday, we‘ve started Hillary 2.0.  This is the second start.  They get themselves a second opening day with a new campaign management team?  
TODD:  Well, I think, Keith, that‘s exactly the plan.  I‘ve talked to one person, a few people, frankly, who could be in this new inner circle, basically, people that used to be in the inner circle.  And one scenario outlined to me—not a scenario that has been signed off on or anything, would have just sort of what you suggested.  They would bring in this sort of new leadership team.  They might say, “Hey, guess what, because of this we‘re really not going to be able to compete in South Carolina or Nevada.”  That‘s not to say they‘re going to skip it, but that they‘re not going to really be able to compete.  
And instead, the referendum on her candidacy comes on February 5th.  We need 10 days, a week to 10 days to sort of retool, to get the new message out, to see the new television ads, all this stuff.  This is, like I said, a scenario outlined to me by somebody that if they had—if they were allowed in to start messing around, this is one way they would do it.  So we‘ll see.  It feels like that that‘s somewhere where they‘re going with this, that they know that South Carolina and Nevada look very difficult, no matter how they come out of here, and instead, they‘ll make February 5th a referendum on whether you really want Obama as the nominee.  
Almost sort of forcing Democrats to realize, look, this is it.  It was cute in Iowa and New Hampshire, but this is it.  
MATTHEWS:  You know, it seems to me, Chuck, that what they‘re doing is they‘re operating almost like Kenyan politicians.  They‘re trying to de-legitimize everything that‘s happened.  The president—former President Bill Clinton today said this election‘s being held too soon.  There‘s something wrong about it.  It‘s unfair to the voters.  These complaints about the nature of the campaign, the fact that the last campaign wasn‘t thoroughly vetted, there wasn‘t a clear-cut look at the candidate by the voter, that somehow the media has failed, the voter has failed, the timing of the election has failed.  I have never seen a politician in America make so many complaints against the institution of the vote itself.  
TODD:  Well, I mean, I guess I‘d argue that any time you‘re losing, that‘s what you do, you blame the refs.  You blame the officiating.  
MATTHEWS:  Well, in Kenya you do.  That‘s what they do in Kenya.  In Pakistan they do that.  Usually in America you live by the rules.  You say damn it, I lost, and you concede the election.  You don‘t complain about the timing of the election like Clinton did today.  That was strange.  
TODD:  There‘s no question.  And I think that‘s going to be difficult.  If anything, though, it did allow Obama to be on the same level as Bill Clinton.  He almost looked presidential by accident because it‘s Bill Clinton taking him on and not Hillary. "