Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hillary News & Views 9.27.16: Post-Debate Roundup - "It wasn't even close."

Today’s Hillary News & Views covers last night’s debate, which was by all accounts a decisive victory for Secretary Clinton.

The Nation reports:
So it happened: Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton onstage in the first presidential debate, and the earth didn’t swallow us up and end civilization as we knew it. The earth did not stand still. What had seemed like a bad dream wasn’t a dream: Trump is the GOP nominee for president of the United States, and only Clinton stands between him and the nuclear codes. There must be a German word for the feeling you get when something so terrible happens, you think you’re imagining it, but I haven’t found it yet. There they were, together, in the flesh, on the debate stage, with polls showing the race tightening.
This match meant something serious.
Clinton faced asymmetric warfare at Hofstra: She is knowledgeable, wonky, experienced, conscientious; Trump is the opposite of all of that. His folks had been telling the media she had more to lose, as the great debater; he just had to fail to swear, spew misogyny, and tell obvious lies in order to exceed expectations. The Democrat went in as “the AP high-school history teacher,” conservative Hugh Hewitt observed on MSNBC Sunday, avoiding overt sexism but tooting a misogynist dog whistle, while “Trump is the football coach.”
Well, the football coach flopped, badly. Trump came in unprepared and winging it, and he never got more serious or grounded in policy or detail as the night went on. Clinton found a way to sound competent without being overbearing or scolding. From early on Trump hectored her, interrupting and talking over her, and she handled it with aplomb.
She regularly advised the audience to check her Web site, HillaryClinton.com, for real-time fact-checking. “Donald, I know you live in your own reality,” she said calmly. And it gradually became clear she was right.
Mic reports:
That sound you hear is the entire Democratic Party exhaling.
Hillary Clinton cleaned Donald Trump's clock here at Hofstra University in the first presidential debate, delivering a strong performance that put anxious Democrats' nerves at ease.
"I think it may be the most lopsided debate ever," a relieved Clinton campaign official said halfway through the debate.
Clinton won by letting Trump shoot himself in the foot over and over again, keeping her cool as the Republican nominee repeatedly interrupted her and continued to lie about his past positions. She was prepared, poised and patient as Trump repeatedly took her bait, overreacting to Clinton's attacks and walking into the traps Clinton laid for Trump over his business record and political history. She was funny without being inauthentic, and the contrast with Trump's unhinged performance was striking.
Throughout the night, she managed to criticize and correct Trump without coming across as arrogant. Her reactions to Trump's were not unlike how many viewers must have reacted at home: "Can you believe this guy?" Toward the end, he said Rosie O'Donnell deserved the sexist insults he'd lobbed at her appearance. 
That happened. In a presidential debate.
If expectations were any lower for Trump coming into the first presidential debate, they would have been underground. But somehow, Trump managed to dig a tunnel underneath them. Clinton won the first debate in a landslide.


See you at the the next debate, Don.

Unless you chicken out.

Monday, September 26, 2016

IT'S HERE: The First Clinton vs Trump Debate!

I don't have to tell you the importance of this evening for our nation and our world. Surely you already know, and you'll be watching. The debate will appear on all major broadcast and cable news networks at 9pm ET/8pm CT. There are also several online options including...Hillary HQ!


During and immediately after the debate, keep an eye on our Twitter feed for live reactions. Afterward, check out this homepage and our Facebook page for more reaction and analysis.

I know some people are nervous, but me personally? I'm planning for a great and very fun night.

Because Hillary was born for this moment and there's simply no way she will let us down.

DON'T MISS: The NYT's Terrific Endorsement of Clinton and Devastating Anti-Endorsement of Trump

There's a good chance you've read them both, but they're great pre-debate reading if you haven't.

This weekend, the New York Times gave Hillary Clinton one of the best endorsements she's gotten all year:
In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway....

But this endorsement would also be an empty exercise if it merely affirmed the choice of Clinton supporters. We’re aiming instead to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton, or for a candidate who might appear, on the surface, not to offer change from an establishment that seems indifferent and a political system that seems broken.

Running down the other guy won’t suffice to make that argument. The best case for Hillary Clinton cannot be, and is not, that she isn’t Donald Trump.

The best case is, instead, about the challenges this country faces, and Mrs. Clinton’s capacity to rise to them.

Mrs. Clinton’s service spans both eras, and she has learned hard lessons from the three presidents she has studied up close. She has also made her own share of mistakes. She has evinced a lamentable penchant for secrecy and made a poor decision to rely on a private email server while at the State Department. That decision deserved scrutiny, and it’s had it. Now, considered alongside the real challenges that will occupy the next president, that email server, which has consumed so much of this campaign, looks like a matter for the help desk. And, viewed against those challenges, Mr. Trump shrinks to his true small-screen, reality-show proportions, as we’ll argue in detail on Monday.

Through war and recession, Americans born since 9/11 have had to grow up fast, and they deserve a grown-up president. A lifetime’s commitment to solving problems in the real world qualifies Hillary Clinton for this job, and the country should put her to work.
You gotta love that nice little diss of their paper's political reporting, which broke the email story in the first place.

And right in the first paragraph, there was this amazing sentence in parenthesis:
(We will explain in a subsequent editorial why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.)
They delivered on the promise the next day with "Why Donald Trump Should Not Be President":
When Donald Trump began his improbable run for president 15 months ago, he offered his wealth and television celebrity as credentials, then slyly added a twist of fearmongering about Mexican “rapists” flooding across the Southern border.

From that moment of combustion, it became clear that Mr. Trump’s views were matters of dangerous impulse and cynical pandering rather than thoughtful politics. Yet he has attracted throngs of Americans who ascribe higher purpose to him than he has demonstrated in a freewheeling campaign marked by bursts of false and outrageous allegations, personal insults, xenophobic nationalism, unapologetic sexism and positions that shift according to his audience and his whims.

Now here stands Mr. Trump, feisty from his runaway Republican primary victories and ready for the first presidential debate, scheduled for Monday night, with Hillary Clinton. It is time for others who are still undecided, and perhaps hoping for some dramatic change in our politics and governance, to take a hard look and see Mr. Trump for who he is. They have an obligation to scrutinize his supposed virtues as a refreshing counterpolitician. Otherwise, they could face the consequences of handing the White House to a man far more consumed with himself than with the nation’s well-being.
The reasons why he's unacceptable are laid out from there.

The Dallas Morning News made a similar anti-endorsement of Trump a few weeks ago before (amazingly, for them) endorsing Clinton. Perhaps their twofer influenced the NYT to do the same.

Will endorsements and anti-endorsements make an impact on voters? Hard to say. But I do think they will impact reporting on the race from here on out. For that reason alone, they are essential.

David Plouffe: 100% Chance of Clinton Victory

David Plouffe, the longtime Democratic strategist behind Barack Obama's 2008 landslide and current informal adviser to the Clinton campaign, has a few words for anyone fretting about the day-to-day ups and downs of public polling. And he's clearly in the know.

Here are some highlights from his must-read interview with Greg Sargent of the Washington Post:
DAVID PLOUFFE: Some polls closely capture where the race stands. But they’re very incomplete. The Clinton campaign is doing large samples for modeling surveys of everybody on the voter file. So you have a very good understanding of how you believe 100 percent of the electorate will be allocated on election day.

When you look at how 100 percent of the vote is likely to be allocated in Florida, I get very optimistic….I can get Donald Trump to within two or three in Pennsylvania, but I can’t get him to a win number. The same is true in Virginia and Colorado. I know everybody goes crazy about the latest Cheetos poll, but I feel very confident about both New Hampshire and Florida. So that puts her over 300 [in the electoral college]. Trump has to pull off a miracle in the electoral college.
That's pretty confident-sounding. But there's more:
PLUM LINE: Why do you say you can’t get him there numerically in Pennsylvania?

PLOUFFE: In Pennsylvania, she’s going to come out of the southeastern part of the state — Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs — with a margin of probably 500,000. Could be more. There just aren’t enough votes in the rest of the state to make that up. This simple fact is why most smart Republicans will tell you: they can get Pennsylvania close, but in the electoral college, close doesn’t mean anything.

PLUM LINE: Colorado?

PLOUFFE: It’s a state where the Hispanic vote is of great importance. She’s probably going to win it by more than we did. There are a lot of college educated suburban swing voters who have swung between the parties through the years. The Denver suburbs, I think she’ll win them probably by more than we won them in 2012. The Latino margins she’ll rack up — and her over-performance with swing suburban women and even men — that’s why Colorado and Virginia are so tough for him.

PLUM LINE: Florida?

PLOUFFE: I think she’ll do well in the suburban I-4 corridor. I think she’ll do better with Cuban voters than we did. She’ll do very well with the Puerto Rican and Columbian vote. She might even over-perform us a little bit in the panhandle. My understanding is the campaign feels very confident about their own numbers.
But wait, there's even more!

On today's Morning Joe, Plouffe held firm on a "crazy" prediction:

Watch the full Morning Joe interview here.

The point of all this isn't "relax, Hillary's got this" but rather "Hillary wins if we volunteer, donate and vote". We need the base fired up and everyone running at full speed all the way through the final election day in order for the dream to become a reality.

In other words, as always, keep calm and Hillary on.

VIDEO: Chelsea Clinton at Michigan State University (9/22/16)

Photo courtesy HFA
Chelsea Clinton on Thursday night spoke at Michigan State University to a room of hundreds about the burden of crippling student debt and the opioid epidemic plaguing the country.

She made her pitch in the university’s Student Union to the younger crowd on behalf of her mother, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, saying she’s the only candidate passionate about doing something for those saddled with debt or addiction.

“I’m really really proud to be her daughter,” she said. “But I’d like to think, even if I weren’t her daughter, I would be just as passionate about her campaign and just as excited to vote for her.”

Chelsea Clinton discussed her mom’s “new college compact” plan to make college more affordable and grant free tuition for students at community college. She also touched on plans meant to stymie opioid addiction consistent with broader political discussions underway in Michigan and elsewhere.

“No one should die of an overdose in the 21st century,” she said.

She said Hillary Clinton supports having income-based student debt repayment options, and said no graduates should have to pay more than 10 percent of their income, an option available for some borrowers. Clinton wants to expand income-based repayment options and cap repayment at 10 percent of borrowers’ income for all student debt holders.

Thursday night’s visit to MSU is part of a two-day campaign trip to Michigan. She spoke at a Grand Rapids art gallery earlier Thursday afternoon and plans to be in Flint on Friday for a briefing on the beleaguered city’s ongoing water crisis, according to the Clinton campaign.

After a few brief remarks about college affordability and addiction, Clinton opened up for a question-and-answer session with people in the crowd.
Sure, Hillary has Tim Kaine, the Obamas, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Bill to back her up on the campaign trail...but we mustn't forget Chelsea! She's one of the best campaigners out there, and she's aiming for millennials!

Watch the full event here:

Hillary News & Views 9.26: Ambassadors, Kaine Woos Millennials, Chelsea, Debate Day, West Wing

Hillary in Orlando on Wednesday with disability advocate Anastasia Somoza

Guest post by swiffy

Today we begin with the updated letter from 149 career ambassadors who have endorsed Hillary Clinton as the next US President. The letter was first released September 21 with 75 names, and the list of signatories has grown since then. Note the list has strong representation from both Democratic and Republican appointees.
By contrast, Hillary Clinton’s handling of foreign affairs has consistently sought to advance fundamental US interests with a deep grounding in the work of the many tens of thousands of career officers on whom our national security depends.  Not every one of us has agreed with every decision she made (and the same would be true of every one of her predecessors), but we have profound respect for her skills, dedication, intelligence, and diplomacy.
In this election there is only one team to represent our nation and lead our career foreign policy and security professionals in a manner befitting our role as the world’s sole superpower.  Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are the candidates we support.
Tim Kaine yesterday spoke at Miami Dade college and made a direct pitch to Millennials in the audience.
His strategy: A 45-second sales pitch to millennials hitting on issues important to them, including immigration reform, climate science, women’s health care, LGBTQ equality, equal pay for women and affordable education.
“Hillary and I are with you,” he said to an eager crowd. “The other guys are against you.”
Chelsea spoke in Johnstown, PA in support of her mother’s candidacy. The Tribune-Democrat reports she highlighted Hillary’s plans to deal with opioid addiction:
She also detailed her mother's ideas for taking on a nationwide opioid addiction crisis. Johnstown has seen several overdoses in recent days – including one involving a city police officer.
"We now lose more people to overdoses than we do to car crashes,” Chelsea said.
She said Hillary Clinton's plan includes allocating $10 billion for improved prevention programs at the high school and college levels, offering treatment options without months of waiting lists, and training for doctors and nurse practitioners to ensure the right pain medications are being prescribed.
"We have to have a comprehensive solution to this crisis, because we're losing ground," Chelsea said. "I know that here in this county, it’s one of the hardest-hit areas across the state and really across the country. We have a lot of work to do and we don’t have time to waste.”
Chelsea said her mother has made a point of campaigning in rural areas just as much as larger cities because the Democratic nominee believes it is important to ensure that "communities are once again being put in the center of the conversation."
“It’s not just about Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, it is about communities – and universities like UPJ," Chelsea said. "If we’re only solving for our cities, we have failed. We have to have a president who’s going to be a president for all Americans — regardless of where you live or work, where you’ve gone to school, what your gender is or your race, your religion.”
Today is of course the first Presidential Candidate Debate, and Time brings us a simple background discussing how the candidates have prepared. Everywhere you look, there is a lot of coverage in anticipation of tonight’s event, and I am giving it light coverage here today.
Clinton still boasts far more paths to the required 270 electoral votes. She enjoys an advantage in on-the-ground organizing in battleground states and a virtual monopoly over the airwaves. But her campaign’s failure to put Trump away has Democrats fretting. Trump is a canny media manipulator, and Monday night on Long Island offers him the best forum this fall to channel his celebrity into political credibility by projecting a presidential bearing, just as early voting gets under way….
The stylistic contrasts extend to their preparation. Clinton has solicited voluminous advice from her sprawling network of advisers and allies. She asks aides to print for her the best answers and insert them into a series of subject-specific binders, which are often spread across the kitchen counter that doubles as her desk these days, or an actual desk that one aide joked grows in size to accommodate the accumulating memos. Trump will entertain suggestions from his insular circle of advisers aboard his personal jet as he soars to campaign rallies. Clinton wants specifics and details; Trump wants one-liners that will be catnip for cable television.
A group of West Wing actors yesterday continued its tour of Ohio in support of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. People reports:
The group is all united behind a passion for ensuring Clinton's spot as the next President. 

"There's no question, this is absolutely the most qualified human being ever to run for President," says Whitford, who played White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman. "She has been a leader in terms of giving people access to health care. And in her children's health insurance program, equal rights for women, LGBT rights – she has been fighting the good for fight for 45 years."
Adds Schiff, "I do not have faith that Donald Trump has any real interest in leaving the world a better place than how we found it... So there's no debate here, there's no question. I would vote for Donald Duck over Donald Trump." 

All agree that the race to the White House is not ensured for the Former Secretary of State, though. 

"We're having a circus, and there's only one candidate who is trying to talk about content and issues and the other one is trying to turn it into a wrestling match," says Schiff, who starred as Toby Ziegler on the 1999-2006 series.
The campaign posted a list of how Hillary’s policies will impact your life on Saturday.

4. If your family is struggling to find affordable preschool.

Child care is an essential component of a child’s early development—but its costs have increased by almost 25 percent in the past decade, while the wages of working families have stagnated.
As president, Hillary will lower the costs of sending your children to quality preschools. Under her plan, states will get federal funding to expand access to high quality preschool. Hillary will work across the aisle to make sure every 4-year-old in America has access to high quality preschool….
Hillary has 38 detailed proposals on her website to make life a little easier, one policy at a time. These details matter—especially when it’s about you, your kids, your family, and your community. Our country needs someone who listens to the needs of everyday Americans—and responds.
That’s why it’s more important than ever before that you commit to vote right now, because life should be made easier for American families, like yours.
The Military Times published a powerful message by Gold Star parents Jane Whitfield and Salvatore Abbate about why they are backing Hillary for President.
As those who have lost a son to war, we know it is vital to choose a commander in chief who understands service and sacrifice. Who supports our men and women in uniform. There is no one more qualified in that regard than Hillary Rodham Clinton.
For her entire career, she has committed herself to her country and its people. She values respect, diplomacy, and conflict resolution–the very qualities needed to make sure that we have allies we can depend on. That our troops are not alone in the field. That our country has the relationships and alliances needed to prevail over our enemies.
We’ve seen her turn these principles into action throughout her career. Secretary Clinton knows the stakes. She understands that keeping America strong means building strong friendships and alliances with those who share our values. She has fought for service members. She has ensured that they have the tools needed to excel at their jobs while in the military — and that they're equally equipped to succeed as veterans. She has witnessed the worst aspects of war, mourned with the families of fallen service members, and has been with those of us on the home front, giving us the support we need, too, when that job is done.  We believe the answer is clear. One candidate has fought for those who fight for our nation. The other offers only bluster and insults — outbursts that weaken our allies and, ultimately, make the jobs of our men and women in uniform more difficult and dangerous. 
The campaign noted yesterday that of five living US Presidents, none has spoken out in support of Hillary’s opponent. The Democratic ones strongly support Hillary, and the Republican ones are silent and skipped the Republican convention this year.
Later today, Hillary will debate her Republican opponent at Hofstra University. It starts at 9/6 pm Eastern/Pacific.
I saw a joint New College Compact Event in NH with Bernie Sanders has posted for Wednesday.
Bonus Tweets:
Have a terrific day, everyone!


(originally posted at Daily Kos)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bill Clinton to Launch Bus Tour Across North Florida!

This is exactly what Bill Clinton should be doing in the run-up to the final election day...and exactly where he should be going!
In another signal that North Florida matters to the Hillary Clinton campaign, former President Bill Clinton begins a bus tour through the region Friday.

The Clinton campaign released a brief message announcing the trip Sunday morning.

“On Friday, September 30, former President Bill Clinton will launch a “Stronger Together” bus tour across North Florida. The tour will continue on Saturday, October 1.

“At public events in Panama City, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville, with additional stops along the way, President Clinton will talk to Floridians about Hillary Clinton’s plans to build an economy that works for all, not just those at the top,” the campaign stated.
Here's the tentative route:
Like I keep saying, this campaign knows what it's doing.

One of the ways that Hillary will win Florida and other swing states is by sending Bill to redder and more rural areas. She probably won't win a lot of these counties, but keeping the margins close there will make her big wins in urban areas all the more decisive as a whole. These generally aren't big rallies (some might even be done from the back of a pickup truck) but when a popular former president shows up in your town, it's always a big deal. And as we saw at the convention, he's still got that old persuasive magic.

Bill isn't new to this strategy, and I believe that it's helped Hillary more than many people realize. I wrote about one of Bill's many 2008 Texas rallies in a post called "Release the Clinton!", and I'm fairly sure his relentless crisscrossing of the state made the difference in that primary win against Barack Obama.

Who knows...it might just make the difference in a close state or two this year as well.

So if you live in a medium-sized swing state town, keep an eye out for the STRONGER TOGETHER bus in the next few weeks. The first President Clinton might just be stopping by for a little visit.

This Chart Shows Just How Stable the Clinton vs Trump Race Really Is

Polls driving you crazy? I hear ya. Every day's a new rollercoaster and we still have six more weeks of this! My underlying advice, as always, is to keep calm and Hillary on.

What's that...you want more? Okay! Check out this Clinton vs Trump head-to-head chart from YouGov's Will Jordan that was posted along with this tweet:
Click on the image above to enlarge to full size.

As you can see, the closest it got was in July, particularly in the wake of the Republican convention. Then there was a nice surge for Clinton immediately after her convention that eventually drifted down a bit over the course of August. However, things have been pretty darn stable since the beginning of September. That is, a Hillary lead of around three or four points.

What makes this chart particularly helpful is that it shows when the polls were in the field rather than when they were released. Assuming it's updated in the coming weeks, I'll be featuring it in future installments of Hillary HQ's "State of the Race" series.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

This Photo of Hillary May Surprise You...But It Really Shouldn't

Note: Originally published on October 18th 2015, this post (which also appeared on Daily Kos) has already been shared over 40,000 times! With so much troubling news and awful Trump antics filling the airwaves, I thought it was worth sharing again in the run-up to the first debate. -Scott

This photo, taken last month in the backyard of an Iowa State Senator, was posted to the official Hillary for Iowa Facebook page on Saturday.

A voter describes the scene:
"It was Hillary’s interaction with my kids. We were in Liz Mathis' backyard, and we went up to greet her. I couldn’t believe how my seven-year-old was acting with her—swinging her arm, hanging on her. He doesn’t do that with strangers. I was thinking, 'What are you thinking?! It’s Hillary Clinton!' 
So as we’re standing there taking our picture with her, I said: 'We believe in you, and we’re here with you a hundred percent. What you’ve done for healthcare, women’s issues, children’s issues’—and she turned to me, and she put her hands on my kids, Sydnei and Fayde, and she said ‘I’m doing it for them.' And I started crying.

As we're walking away, I turn around—and there’s Hillary and Fayde, laughing. She said 'are you ticklish?’ and he said 'only in my armpits.' Then they were tickling. And he goes, with his tongue out: 
I couldn’t believe it."
–Linda, Marion
This photo and story may surprise you, but it really shouldn't.

When looking at the entirety of Hillary Clinton's life and accomplishments, the most obvious common thread is her passionate advocacy for children and families.

From volunteering to babysit for immigrant families as part of her church youth group, to her first job out of law school working for the Children's Defense Fund, to fighting for and achieving higher educational standards as First Lady of Arkansas, to being a driving force in the creation of the Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997 (which now covers over eight million kids), to her numerous initiatives as Secretary of State to improve girls education worldwide...the record on this could not be more clear or inspiring.

So when Hillary says that she's in this race for the children, you better believe that it's not just a political soundbite. They have been the obvious focus of her life's work for many decades and she's not stopping anytime soon.

The gleeful childlike laugh in this photo also makes something else clear: She loves them.

And it looks like the feeling is mutual.