TPM Election Central posted a Hillary mailer attacking Obama on abortion. Apparently, back in his Illinois days he voted “present” for a few abortion bills. This attack is that it’s either disingenuous or incompetent. The Capital Fax Blog says:

Maybe only a few members the Tribune contacted remember this ploy, but I do. It was specifically designed by Planned Parenthood to counter Republican Senate President Pate Philip’s barrage of hot-button abortion bills that he was continually trying to ram through the Senate in 2001 and 2002. The Tribune missed the point – and by not contacting the groups involved, flubbed the story.

Besides passing bills he supported, Pate’s idea was to cause a controversy by splitting “moderate” Democrats away from the abortion rights groups, thereby causing a rift on that side, and, more imporantly, to put some political targets on the hot seat. So, as they also did in the House a few years back, Planned Parenthood was encouraging “Present” votes by some of their more loyal members in order to encourage the moderates to vote that way as well.

Both Clinton and Obama have 100% rating from NARAL, so this isn’t a very good place to try to hit Obama. It sounds like a dirty trick and I hope Obama turns it around on her.

Also of note:’s civil liberties site. They’ve got a bunch of profiles of politicians civil liberties records. I wish I’d found this before the primaries started, but it’s still worth taking a look at.

Clinton’s profile.

Obama’s profile.

Edwards’s profile.

Richardson’s profile.

The editor was unable to find an ACLU lifetime rating of Richardson, and so am I. Of the three, Edwards actually has the lowest lifetime rating from the ACLU. Obama has the highest, though Richardson has the better record.