Bill Clinton's tirade stunned some delegates

Bill Clinton's tirade stunned some delegates
April 2nd, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Bill Clinton's tirade stunned some delegates

Bill Clinton's tirade stunned some delegates

Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Bill Clinton who met privately with California's superdelegates at last weekend's state convention was a far cry from the congenial former president who afterward publicly urged fellow Democrats to "chill out" over the race between his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Barack Obama.
In fact, before his speech Clinton had one of his famous meltdowns Sunday, blasting away at former presidential contender Bill Richardson for having endorsed Obama, the media and the entire nomination process.
"It was one of the worst political meetings I have ever attended," one superdelegate said.
According to those at the meeting, Clinton - who flew in from Chicago with bags under his eyes - was classic old Bill at first, charming and making small talk with the 15 or so delegates who gathered in a room behind the convention stage.
But as the group moved together for the perfunctory photo, Rachel Binah, a former Richardson delegate who now supports Hillary Clinton, told Bill how "sorry" she was to have heard former Clinton campaign manager James Carville call Richardson a "Judas" for backing Obama.
It was as if someone pulled the pin from a grenade.
"Five times to my face (Richardson) said that he would never do that," a red-faced, finger-pointing Clinton erupted.
The former president then went on a tirade that ran from the media's unfair treatment of Hillary to questions about the fairness of the votes in state caucuses that voted for Obama. It ended with him asking delegates to imagine what the reaction would be if Obama was trailing by just 1 percent and people were telling him to drop out.
"It was very, very intense," said one attendee. "Not at all like the Bill of earlier campaigns."
When he finally wound down, Bill was asked what message he wanted the delegates to take away from the meeting.
At that point, a much calmer Clinton outlined his message of party unity.
"It was kind of strange later when he took the stage and told everyone to 'chill out,' " one delegate told us.
"We couldn't help but think he was also talking to himself."
When delegate Binah - still stunned from her encounter with Clinton - got home to Little River (Mendocino County) later in the day - there was a phone message waiting for her from State Party Chairman Art Torres, telling her the former president wanted him to apologize to her on his behalf for what happened.
Still, word of Clinton's blast shot all the way back to the New Mexico state Capitol, where Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley reiterated Tuesday that his boss had never "promised or guaranteed" Bill and Hillary his endorsement.

All points bulletin: Even before the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to condemn China's human rights record, San Francisco police were bracing for massive protests - and huge overtime - with next week's arrival of the Olympic torch.
Two months ago, police brass issued a department-wide bulletin that canceled days off on April 9 for all 2,245 members of the force to ensure a major law enforcement presence along the torch route.
On any given day, as many as 600 patrol officers are off duty - and pulling them back on assignment could translate to upward of $360,000 in police overtime.
Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin said he's been told the department's full overtime costs on torch day could top $400,000.
It's the kind of OT that helps explain why 393 police officers - 20 percent of the force - earned more than $150,000 in 2007.
Police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said the OT cost for the upcoming torch run "was not that clear cut" because the department could decide to bring officers in early for shifts or keep them a little later. He declined to provide any actual cost estimate, however, citing security concerns.
And it won't just be San Francisco police picking up overtime when the torch comes through. The California Highway Patrol and federal agencies, including the FBI, are also being called in to assist with crowd control, Gittens said.
"You can't encourage every event - every demonstration, every All Star event - to come to San Francisco and then not understand that there is a price to pay for this in the form of police overtime to provide public safety," said police union boss Gary Delagnes. "But these politicians want it both ways. They want the events, but then they complain about overtime being exorbitant."
Delagnes' remarks brought a quick retort from pro-Tibet resolution sponsor Supervisor Chris Daly, who shot back on his personal blog. Daly said that despite the board's approval this year of a $407 million police budget, the department "has already blown $7.5 million past their entire overtime budget ... (and) meanwhile, our city homicide rate is through the roof.
"We've encouraged no protest that has contributed to the outrageous police overtime incurred so far," Daly said. "Second, it is our understanding that Police Department brass has been meeting with the Newsom administration and Chinese officials for months, discussing every detail of the proposed torch route."
In other words, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said, the cops knew well in advance that this day was coming and had plenty of time to budget accordingly.
Bottom line, no matter where you stand on the torch run, the pot is getting stirred for another big political show - and a big police overtime bill to boot.
In the pocket: The hottest ticket in San Francisco this weekend may well be the $2,300-a-head reception for Democratic hopeful Barack Obama at the Pacific Heights mansion of billionaire couple Ann and Gordon Getty.
We're told more than 400 guests are expected, but not Mayor Gavin Newsom, who - despite his close business and family ties to the Gettys - remains a big-time Hillary Clinton backer.
By the way, the gathering is being co-hosted by another Newsom business partner, Joe Cotchett, former state Controller Steve Westly (a possible Newsom rival for governor in 2010) and District Attorney Kamala Harris (who has been on the Obama bandwagon from the start.)
EXTRA! Catch our Web page at Play the Moammar Khadafy greets Bashar Assad caption contest. Pick the best reason for taking in a major-league baseball game.

Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. Phil can be seen on CBS-5 morning and evening news. He can also be heard on KCBS radio Monday through Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. Got a tip? Call them at (415) 777-8815 or drop them an e-mail at
This article appeared on page B - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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