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Major General Paul Eaton visited Hillary Clinton's Missoula campaign headquarters today to share his views about Clinton's ability to handle military matters. "I want Hillary Clinton to be Commander in Chief for my sons," he said. "If we don't get Hillary as president, we get John McCain." Photo by Alexia Beckerling

Major General Paul Eaton Goes to Bat for Hillary

The mismanagement of the Iraq War and Sen. Hillary Clinton’s preparedness to be Commander in Chief were the focus of an informal discussion lead by Major General Paul Eaton Wednesday at Clinton’s Missoula campaign headquarters.

Eaton, touring Montana on Clinton’s behalf, was the Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq, where he was charged with training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004. He said the current administration has waged the war incompetently, citing the lack of diplomacy in the Middle East and the lack of support for American soldiers and veterans.

“We’ve got to get a competent leader into the White House,” Eaton said. “Hillary Clinton is hands down electable because she is smart and she is tough.”

Eaton said he thinks Clinton is a stronger candidate than Sen. Barack Obama because she has carried important swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky and Ohio. Appealing to the blue-collar demographic in these states is vital for winning the general election, he says.

City Councilman Jon Wilkins, who attended the discussion, also said he believes Clinton is more electable.

“She has more experience really,” Wilkins said. “I get along with the Republicans on City Council and they are telling me that they’ll vote for Obama in our primary because they don’t think he’s electable either and that way McCain will win.”

Other people who attended the discussion felt differently, however. Jeff Renz, a professor of law at the University of Montana, said the discussion was interesting, but he disagrees with the statement that Clinton is more electable than Obama.

“[Obama] is pulling out people who haven’t voted before in numbers that haven’t been seen before,” Renz said.

Regardless of which candidate is more “electable,” one thing is certain — the looming Montana Democratic Primary is crucial to both campaigns.

“One of the good things about this very unusual election is that every states is, and has been, important. South Dakota and Montana, among the last to participate, for so long have been neglected…but now every American will have a voice,” Eaton said.

After the discussion, Eaton went on to visit with Missoula veterans and has stops in Helena and Great Falls planned for Thursday.

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  1. Doesn’t anyone find it interesting that the campaign that Obama beat keeps insisting that the Obama campaign who beat them isn’t strong enough to beat McCain?

  2. Susan Augustine

    Yes, I find that interesting, too, Sam. I’m for whoever can beat McCain! Sounds like you are in for some fun in Montana when the primary kicks in. Maybe Kaylee can interview Hillary or Barack!

  3. Jeff Renz, a professor of law at the University of Montana, said the discussion was interesting, but he disagrees with the statement that Clinton is more electable than Obama.

    “[Obama] is pulling out people who haven’t voted before in numbers that haven’t been seen before,” Renz said.

    Professor Renz’ point is a good one; however, as odd as it may seem, it’s not the case. There are a number of studies of the race available but the truth is that the higher the turnout of voters — and it has set records in a number of states — the better Senator Clinton does. Obama does not, actually, benefit from higher turnout. That’s the perception, yes, but it’s not backed up by the statistics. And it grossly understates the astounding surge of women who have mobilized behind Hillary Clinton.

    And a number of states where Obama has done well, with large turnouts, are not going to vote Democratic in November.

    The notion that Obama can win this race with “new” voters who are mobilized by his rhetoric is simply not supported by any analysis of the electoral college or of votes already cast in key states. There’s a saying going around now within the Democratic party: “It’s the map, stupid.” No disrespect meant — that’s just the slang of the day, these days.

    But the point is, looking at the electoral college map for the general election, the advantage of Senator Clinton versus Senator Obama is staggering. The “new voter” strategy simply doesn’t hold water. Nothing against Senator Obama. Seems to be a nice fellow, just not ready. And, at this point, not electable. You can’t be president if you don’t win the election.

    And, speaking to the article, Gen. Eaton’s appearance on Sen. Clinton’s behalf, as well as the appearance of the cadre of rural agriculturalists from New York State (many from upstate, traditionally Republican areas of the state) who are pounding the ground for her across Montana and S. Dakota, speaks volumes about the broad cross-section of voters that are backing her experience and toughness. If ever a person has been thoroughly vetted and tested in the crucible of politics, it is Senator Clinton.

    Best wishes to all.

  4. Hillary believes in all of “US”, including those of us in small towns. Obama is an elitist jerk and if the shoe fits. How can Americans even give him a glance? Go Hillary and the rest of “US” left to vote, “we can do this together”. I feel the small towns and big towns too, rising to the support of the American President who represents us all. Now, that has finally become obvious to us all- Obama “we in small towns are bitter”!!! Get a life and go back to your rookie senate position & leave America to Hillary. Remember folks, America faces the most serious times ahead and we need someone who is prepared to lead not talk about it and make promises of empty hope. Think about your country in need not your preference for a smooth talker (sometimes). Hillary is clearly the only Democrat candidate prepared to meet these tough challenges ahead.

  5. Gary A Anderson

    THANK YOU,Major-General Creamer,for your positive comments and support for Senator Clinton. She is, indeed,”smart and…tough.” May I add, Hillary is also a caring and compassionate candidate that is both tested and resilient. Our candidate will “never give up” on us and we will never give up on her. Clearly, Hillary is substance ready to be Commander-In-Chief on day one!! Finally, Montana voters please know the recurring theme that Senator Obama is ahead in the popular vote is designed to depress Hillary supporters in your upcoming primary. In short, vote your conscience based on facts not rhetoric.

  6. Do we really want another year 2000? This time it would be at the hands of our own party not counting all the votes! Wow, talk about a losing combination, Obama and all votes not counted, for the fall. I know I will not support Obama. Yes, we women and many men by and large will vote for anyone but Obama. America faces the most difficult times in our nation and we don’t want, need, or can we handle a controversial, questionable, rookie to lead “US” into these, the most critical times of any Presidency to date. Go Hillary, and please far left wing, wake up!!! Comparing the bases of support Clinton is far and away the best candidate for the Democrats in the fall. Otherwise, we lose again!!!
    Thank you, Mary

  7. I say if the DNC doesn’t vote fairly on FL or MI and Hillary loses the nomination, she should run as a independent. I’m sure she has no problem beating both of the men in the General Election.

  8. I just watched Wolf Blitzer spent most of his program making Hillary into a villian who made painful statement about the Kennedy. My God I was so livid I went to the Political Ticker Blog to reply to Wolf but was unable to do so as no more comments were being taken. Well I hope someone from CNN will read this & take note of reality. Hillary made an innocent comment which was factual, & meant no harm to anyone, but people like Wolf & Obama’s surrogates jumped in line to get their chance to villify her. You know if anyone wants to know what courage & character are in a person take a good look @ Hillary Clinton. For what she has endured from all her enemies & to show the strength & fortitude is admirable for me as a woman, & all men who admire those qualities should be honored to have this woman fighting for all of us. Hear this also Obama & Democrats who want her out: SHE WILL NEVER PREMATURELY GET OUT OF THE RACE UNTIL ONE OF THE 2 CANDIDATES GETS THE REQUIRED 2210 pledged delegates needed for an official Nominee. Obama seem to think the race is over since he is strutting around trying to act presidential, can someone please remind him the race is not yet won!.Another news flash for the Democratic elites who are under some false illusion that Hillary’s supporters will forget & forgive the way she has been treated & betrayed & fall in line in November to vote for Obama if Hillary is not the Nominee. Whomever think this is out of touch with reality,because there will be NO party unity. Why should we be loyal to a party with so many who did not hesitate to be disloyal to her?. She was betrayed by people who owe their political lives to the Clintons, yet “within the twinkling of an eye”they sold her down the river for less than a nickel. “Worse than what Judas got for betraying Christ Jesus.

  9. Neil Farbstein

    This week Newsday on Long Island published a scurrilous article labelled a snesw that states that Hilary Clinton is schizophrenic. It was made to look like news analysis but it was not a personal commentary or analysis with a personal byline it says Hilary is schizophrenic because she changes the emphasis of what issue to talk about. It is slander and libel of the worst sort. Today is Saturday the 24th of May. I don’t have the exact date but last week it was published and you should know about it. You ought to sue Newsday. There is no way they can defined themselves from a libel action Hilary. Find out if the opposition had a role in writing it, it is the worst sort of dirty politics. I have never seen a news article that bad in my entire life!!!!!!!! You should really investigate it. . They were not even using that phrase in the colloquial sense, there was a sense of hostile slander in the way they stated that, that is shocking!!! As I stated I have never seen libel of a Presidential candidate that was that off base in my life. They were nuts to print it. Make them print a retraction.

  10. Everyone should not have bent over backwards to be “nice” to O’Bama. His shortcomings are worse than his lack of experience:
    1. He cannot win over McCane with most members of the military or their families, since he refuses to honor the flag: his refusal to place his hand over his heart during the Star Spangled Banner is failing to salute the symbol of our country.
    2. He cannot win over McCane on foreign policy during this dark, ethnic, hate-filled period by back away from his open-armed (Chamberlain-like) approach to our adversaries
    3. He cannot win over McCane by spewing platitudes, since the news media will get the predictable right-wing think tank feeds on his weaknesses and mistakes, which he is not able to handle: he has a “glass jaw” (conservative commentators)
    4. His issues priorities are not well aligned with the general public. His website devoted 26% of the references to issues to “ex-offenders,” but not one word about unemployed.
    The news media have done us a grave disservice by wearing kid-gloves when dealing with O’Bama. I appreciate the integrity of those like General Eaton who are in a potition to understand the potential damage of O’Bama representing the Democratic Party (much less being President) who stick by Senator Clinton. Thank you General!

  11. Susan Augustine

    Here you go, with another “mom”ment. If this sample of responses is accurate Clinton will take Montana. Your article generated some interesting response, Kaylee. We saw both Bill and Barrack in Laramie and definitely found Bill to be the more substantial of the two. But then he has already had his shot as president, no?

  12. Neil Farbstein

    Newsday has touted itself as pultizer prize winning quality newspaper. Rcently it has dgenrated into a piece of garbage that makes the New York Post look good.

  13. The day has long since passed (if indeed it ever was true) when the public can depend on unbiased, fair, accurate reporting by the media. The current state of affairs is that most media content is generated by individuals who seem to be either lazy, not making the effort to look into the facts of an issue before rushing in to be first with the worst; gullible, using what they are fed by think tanks or politicians substituting equivocal presentation of the feed for journalistic integrity; self-serving, loving being able to express their opinions more than research and detachment; dishonest, serving some private agenda rather than the pursuit of knowledge and understanding by their audience; or some combination of these. It seems the sooner they can label some topic as a “he-said-she-said,” or otherwise transfer from the domain of reality and facts to the playground of opinions, and the sooner they feel free to express theirs, the happier they are.
    Harsh? Not so. But, if you feel it is you have only to demonstrate otherwise with serious research, rather than lemming-like behavior. I’d love nothing more than to be surprised by serious, (not necessarily) original, factual reporting instead of what is commonly done. This article is little different from a tape recording, but at least it is not laden with gratuitous editorializing. However, the attempt at “fair and balanced” flops: the vague “Other people who attended” followed by one person’s opinion does not constitute a poll. What is your point? Reporting does not always have to contain full and balanced point and counter-point. If there was one person out of 10 (how many?) do you really feel it is necessary to look for the lone dissenter? All possible dissenters? You left an impression not supported by evidence. This is deceptive. Think about it.

  14. What have I deceived people about? When there is no way to vote,people vote with their wallets or their feet i.e. they move to better places. People that thought they were getting quality paper are going to switch to the new york times or other better newspapers. The republicans talk like they have a big mandate for their programs but in fact the electorate was split right down the middle in the past two electrons and in fact the number of Democrats and Republican has been almost equal at 40 million each
    and the remainder with Independent parties, the green party etc.

  15. Susan Augustine

    Mr. Chardon.
    How would a reporter convey the content of a meeting where people are voicing opinions in any other way than to relate the opinions spoken? No one is without bias including you, sir, hence your negativity. Are you aware of the origins of your bias? I know mine!