Friday, May 29, 2015

Bill & Chelsea (& Charlotte?) to Make Campaign Trail Debut in June

A big speech is on its way...and some important people will be in attendance.
Hillary Clinton's campaign isn't saying much about her planned June 13 kickoff rally- where it will be held or even whether refreshments will be served, for example.
But we do know that the candidate's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will attend. And her message is beginning to take shape, as well: senior Clinton campaign officials said Thursday she will make a detailed pitch for where the country should go and why she is the right person to take it there. She'll discuss, in-depth, the "four big fights" she has already identified as pillars of her campaign - building the economy, strengthening communities and families, fixing the political system by getting "unaccountable" money out of politics, and safeguarding America's national security.
It's unclear whether the newest member of the Clinton clan, eight-month old Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, will be making an appearance as well...but here's hoping she does!

As you might recall, Hillary HQ guessed that Hillary would make her campaign announcement in Little Rock. While that was spectacularly wrong, there's still a chance to be half-right by having her first campaign rally there. So we're sticking with that as our guess/recommendation.

We'll find out where it will be in a matter of days...until then, please feel free to leave your own guesses in the comments.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hillary Leads Everyone in Pennsylvania (Though Some More Than Others)

Generally solid numbers today from PPP out of the not-really-all-that swingy state of Pennsylvania:
Clinton leads all the Republicans in general election match ups in the state, but there's a wide range in the size of her advantages from as little as 1 point all the way up to 11 points. The strongest GOPer for the general election is Marco Rubio, who trails only 46/45. On the complete other side of the spectrum is Jeb Bush, who fares the poorest of the Republicans against Clinton, trailing by 11 at 49/38. In between the Rubio and Bush extremes, Rand Paul comes the closest to Clinton with a 3 point deficit at 46/43. Scott Walker trails by 4 at 45/41. Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee are each down by 5 at 46/41 and 47/42 respectively. Ben Carson lags by 6 at 48/42, Rick Santorum is down 7 points in his home state at 49/42, and Ted Cruz has an 8 point deficit at 49/41.
First of all, it seems hard to believe that Hillary Clinton is only ahead of Ben Carson by six points in Pennsylvania. But whatever.

What's more interesting, and possibly concerning, is that Marco Rubio comes very close to beating her in this poll, with Rand Paul not too far behind. This is close to the result of today's national Quinnipiac poll which had the same two guys only trailing Hillary by 4%. What's going on here?

PPP is kind enough to provide some decent crosstabs which provide a little bit of insight, so let's compare Rubio's numbers with those of the known Pennsylvania Republican commodity who's down by seven points: Rick Santorum.

The "very liberal/very conservative" areas are essentially the same. The difference isn't much greater among moderates, as Clinton dominates both with Rubio doing only slightly better. The main difference, right now, seems to be that a decent chunk of the "somewhat liberals" go from Democratic to "not sure" with Rubio in the mix and some of the "somewhat conservatives" go from Republican to "not sure" when Santorum is their only option.

Of course, "right now" is not Election Day...not even remotely reading too much into this is probably unwise. (Oops, I guess I just did?)

A simpler and more encouraging aspect to focus on is Clinton's across-the-board massive lead among ideological moderates in the state. As a comparison, check out these 2012 exit poll numbers for Pennsylvania, which went for Obama by five points.

Obama won Pennsylvania moderates by less than double digits last time, while Hillary is currently ahead by anywhere from 19% to 35%!

Bottom line: If Hillary solidifies her Democratic support (and she will) while retaining a decent amount of her edge among moderates (highly likely) she will win Pennsylvania by at least as much as Obama did last time. Remember, even John Kerry managed to carry the state by about 2.5% while losing the national vote to Bush by roughly the same amount.

As far as the Democratic primary goes:
Hillary Clinton continues to be dominant at 63% to 14% for Bernie Sanders, 6% for Martin O'Malley, and 3% each for Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb. Clinton is polling over 60% with liberals, moderates, women, African Americans, and young voters and over 50% with men, whites, and seniors.
Republicans are typically all bunched up in the 6% to 12% range...except Scott Walker, who has rocketed into the lead with a staggering 17%!

PPP also matched up Sanders, O'Malley, Webb and Chafee against Scott Walker...and Wisconsin's loathsome governor is beating them all. Just tellin' it like it is, folks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hillary Returns to South Carolina

Hillary spoke at the South Carolina Democratic Women's Council's Day in Blue conference in Columbia today, and though the whole speech was terrific, this was the line that got the biggest laugh:

“I’m aware I may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I have one big advantage: I’ve been coloring my hair for years. So you're not gonna see me turn white in the White House... and you're also not gonna see me shrink from a fight.”

Watch the full speech above.

California Field Poll: Clinton Leads Big... GOP Candidates Flounder

The highly-respected Field Poll has just released some new numbers out of California that should surprise no one.
The former First Lady, who won the California Democrat primary in her last bid for the presidency in 2008, holds a huge preference lead in next year's presidential primary. She is currently the choice of 53% of this state’s likely Democratic primary voters. Her closest potential rival, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, is well back at 13%. Another 6% say they would support Vice President Joe Biden were he to run, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who announced his candidacy earlier this month, is the choice of 5%.
Per usual, no GOP contender gets out of the low double digits...
None of the many announced or potential Republican presidential candidates has yet to emerge as the frontrunner to win this state’s largest-in-the-nation trove of delegates to the GOP nominating convention. Three Republicans – Bush (11%), Rubio (11%), and Walker (10%) – currently receive nominally higher levels of support than the others. However, support for each is not particularly large. Another 37% of likely GOP voters divide their preferences among the many other candidate possibilities, and a large proportion (31%) are undecided.
...and Hillary is crushing them too, by more than 20 points.

Additionally, about 84% of California Democrats are either enthusiastic or satisfied with the idea of Clinton as the nominee, with the liberal wing of the party among her biggest backers.
Women, strong liberals and voters in the San Francisco Bay Area are the Democratic voter constituencies most likely to be enthusiastic about Clinton as their party’s nominee. For example, 52% of Democratic women voters polled said they would be enthusiastic about Clinton as the nominee, compared to 38% among Democratic men.
Overall, Clinton remains rock-steady in the state that will be the deep blue bedrock for the third straight Democratic presidential victory in 2016. Republicans looking for good news should probably look elsewhere.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Clinton News Roundup: The Store is Open!

I mean, where else are you going to get a pantsuit t-shirt?

Or for that matter, a throw pillow like this?

The answer, obviously, is at the new official store at

My personal tastes run more towards bumper stickers and glassware, but there's something for everyone here.


Hillary returns to South Carolina

It may have been a tough loss for her in 2008, but that will only make the victory next year extra sweet. Hillary returns to South Carolina this week.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is coming to Columbia on Wednesday for her first trip back to the Palmetto State since her 2008 presidential campaign.

The former secretary of state will give the keynote address at the third annual 2015 Day in Blue, the event’s co-hosts announced Sunday.

Clinton also will hold a roundtable discussion with minority small business owners and make brief remarks to the S.C. House and Senate Democratic caucuses.

Hosted by the S.C. Democratic Women’s Council and the S.C. House Democratic Women’s Caucus, the Day in Blue brings together S.C. Democratic women to the State House for a conference.

Clinton will give her keynote address at 1:45 p.m. at the Columbia Marriott.
Hillary HQ will have more on this campaign swing and post the speech as soon as it's available.

Another Benghazi Bust

The email "zombie scandal" be extremely disappointing for Hillary's foes.
If Republicans were looking for a silver bullet to use against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the State Department’s Friday document dump about Benghazi wasn’t it.

There’s no illicit weapons Libyan program to be found in the emails, as some have speculated. No “stand-down” order. Just a hectic flow of information to and from Hillary Clinton—about danger, about death, and ultimately, about condolences.
How can you tell there was nothing damaging to Clinton in these emails? Because four days later, Fox and friends have already moved on to worrying about Hillary getting positive coverage in women's magazines. Oh no!

The Clintons march for the troops in Chappaqua

It's a wonderful tradition for the town as well as the Clintons. But even there, they couldn't escape gotcha questions from the media.

So if they march in this Memorial Day parade (as they traditionally do whether there's an election or not) they get questioned about whether they are taking the spotlight away from the troops. However, what kind of coverage would they have gotten if they had decided to sit this one out?

Use your imagination.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton Never Supported the Bush/Cheney Invasion of Iraq

"She voted for the war!"
"She's an unapologetic hawk!"
"She's just another Dick Cheney when it comes to foreign policy!"

These are the charges I've heard over and over again for years...and as a longtime Hillary Clinton supporter who was against the Iraq War from the beginning, it never ceases to bug the hell out of me. My normal reply, which often starts with an audible sigh followed by "Well, actually..." usually does nothing to change these opinions.

But as tiring as it may be, I will keep defending her on this issue because the record and her statements over the past 14 years clearly undermine the misconception that Hillary was "for the war". So brace yourselves, because here is again...the actual truth of the matter:

Hillary Clinton never voted to go to war in Iraq, nor did she support the Bush/Cheney decision to kick out the UN weapons inspectors and invade.

Since some may find that statement to be controversial, let's be crystal clear: Clinton could not have voted to go to war because the United States Congress hasn't officially declared war on any country since 1942. Her vote was on the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002", which many other "war as last resort" Democrats like John Kerry, Harry Reid and Tom Harkin also voted for.

Clinton herself has explained the reasoning several times, including during the very speech she gave when casting that vote. Here are a few excerpts from her October 2002 speech in Congress:
If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us.
...this course is fraught with danger.
...a unilateral attack...on the present facts is not a good option.
Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation.
My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of preemption, or for unilateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world.
So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort.
Does this sound like someone who was standing behind the Oval Office desk with pom-poms cheering on President Bush (or let's be honest, President Cheney) as the decision was being made to kick out the UN weapons inspectors and invade Iraq? No, of course not.

Since that vote, she has further clarified the reasoning behind her decision. On Meet the Press in September 2007, she said:
"I cast a sincere vote based on my assessment at the time, and I take responsibility for that vote. I also said on the floor that day that this was not a vote for pre-emptive war. ... Now, obviously, if I had known then what I know now about what the president would do with the authority that was given him, I would not have voted the way that I did."
As you can see, not only did she ace the answer which tripped up Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in their recent campaigns, but she did it nine years ago.

On a follow-up appearance on that show in January 2008, she went further by saying that the Bush White House actually lied to her:
Moderator Tim Russert pointed out that the title of the resolution was the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002."
Clinton responded saying, "We can have this Jesuitical argument about what exactly was meant. But when Chuck Hagel, who helped to draft the resolution said, 'It was not a vote for war,' What I was told directly by the White House in response to my question, 'If you are given this authority, will you put the inspectors in and permit them to finish their job?' I was told that's exactly what we intended to do."
So if Hillary didn't want to go to war, why did she vote for a resolution with that title? The answer, despite being possibly counter-intuitive at first blush, is that she didn't want to go to war. That same month, during a debate with Barack Obama in California, Clinton explained:
I did an enormous amount of investigation and due diligence to try to determine what if any threat could flow from the history of Saddam Hussein being both an owner of and a seeker of weapons of mass destruction.
The idea of putting inspectors back in -- that was a credible idea. I believe in coercive diplomacy. I think that you try to figure out how to move bad actors in a direction that you prefer in order to avoid more dire consequences.
And if you took it on the face of it and if you took it on the basis of what we hoped would happen with the inspectors going in, that in and of itself was a policy that we've used before. We have used the threat of force to try to make somebody change their behavior.
I think what no one could have fully appreciated is how obsessed this president was with this particular mission. And unfortunately, I and others who warned at the time, who said, let the inspectors finish their work, you know, do not wage a preemptive war, use diplomacy, were just talking to a brick wall.
But you know, it's clear that if I had been president, we would have never diverted our attention from Afghanistan.

As recently as July 2014 during a CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria, Hillary again made the reasoning for her Iraq vote very clear:
ZAKARIA: You've said that you felt that your vote on Iraq was a mistake. What did you learn from that mistake? You know, when you look back at that whole episode.
ZAKARIA: What do you look at and say, gosh, you know, this -- going into the future, here's what I want to have learned.
CLINTON: Well, I've learned to be far more skeptical of what I'm told by presidents, no matter who the presidents are, and also to be much more cautious always in any action or vote that could lead to the use of American military power and most particularly what we call boots on the ground. With respect to that vote, I've thought a lot about it obviously over the years. I had worked closely with President Bush after the attack on 9/11. I supported his efforts to go after bin Laden and al Qaeda and, by extension, the Taliban, which were sheltering them in Afghanistan. And I, frankly, gave him too much of the benefit of the doubt. My view at the time -- and this is still true today -- is that the threat of force can often create conditions to resolve matters, and sometimes what we call coercive diplomacy is necessary. And I thought that that's what the president would do. It turned out not to be the case. And then following the invasion, the decisions that were made, everything from disbanding the military and disbanding, you know, the political structure turned out to be very ill-advised and we ended up with a dangerous situation."
Indeed, "coercive diplomacy" is not at odds with the idea of "smart power" and can be very effective in reaching peaceful solutions with some potentially dangerous countries. However, it only works if you use the threat of military action to get what you want without actually resorting to force. This is precisely what Hillary wanted and thought she was getting in 2003 when it came to dealing with the Saddam Hussein regime.

Unfortunately...very that time we had an absolutely disastrous administration that went back on their word to a United States Senator and kicked out the UN weapons inspectors before starting a preemptive war of choice. It remains an unforgivable decision that we are still paying for to this day, and it's clear that they would have done it whether Hillary voted for that resolution or not.

Hillary Clinton certainly made a mistake, but it wasn't voting to go to war. Her mistake was believing that George W. Bush didn't want to go to war.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hillary Easily Leads All Republicans in Washington State in New PPP Poll

Not that Washington State was in danger of going red in 2016, but welcome numbers nonetheless:
Clinton leads the GOP hopefuls by anywhere from 10 to 15 points. Ben Carson and Marco Rubio come the closest, each trailing by 10 at 49/39. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are each down by 11 at 48/37 and 49/38 respectively. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul face 12 point deficits at 50/38. Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry lag by 13 points at 50/37. And Chris Christie does the worst of the Republican field with a 15 point deficit at 49/34.
“It looks like Washington will remain solidly blue at the Presidential level in 2016,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “None of the Republican hopefuls are that competitive with Hillary Clinton.”
As far as Bernie is concerned, there is both good news and bad news. On the upside:
But as we have been seeing with other polls recently, Republicans continue to perform dangerously well against anyone not named Hillary.
We also tested the other Democratic hopefuls against Scott Walker but even in this dark blue state, none of them lead him. Bernie Sanders achieves a tie at 35, and the rest of the Democrats trail him- Jim Webb by 1 point at 33/32, Martin O'Malley by 3 points at 34/31, and Lincoln Chafee by 6 points at 35/29. The weak performances of the alternate Democrats are a byproduct of their being so little known that they get only 54-61% of their own party's vote but nevertheless they show how much more formidable Clinton is than anyone else on her side.
As far as the Republican nomination goes, you know the drill by now: all bunched up with Scott Walker as the very, very nominal favorite this time. 
6 Republican candidates hit double digits when it comes to who voters within their party want to be their nominee. Scott Walker leads with 18% to 15% for Marco Rubio, 13% for Mike Huckabee, 11% for Ted Cruz, and 10% each for Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. Chris Christie (6%), Rand Paul (5%), and Rick Perry (3%) round out the field.

Throwback Thursday: Hillary on the Late Show (2003)

In honor of his departure, here's another appearance by Hillary Clinton on the Late Show with David Letterman... this time promoting her new book Living History.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bernie Sanders: "I Like Hillary Clinton. I Respect Hillary Clinton."

Even if you're 100% for Hillary, it's hard not to also admire her (so far, only) competitor for the nomination, especially when he says stuff like this.
I’ve never run a negative political ad in my life…I believe in serious debates on serious issues. I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. Maybe I shouldn’t say this. I like Hillary Clinton. I respect Hillary Clinton.
Will the media, among others, allow us to have a civil debate on civil issues? Or is the only way you get media attention by ripping apart somebody else?
We can safely say a few, that Bernie will be a valuable addition to the debates; two, that Hillary will win the nomination; and three, he will endorse her before Election Day.

"Sanders 2016" will not be "Nader 2000"...and for that, Democrats should be very grateful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hillary Talks to Small Business Owners and the Press in Iowa

...and guess which group asked the smarter questions.

It wasn't the press but rather an Iowa small business owner who asked Hillary about the TPP, and she gave an unsurprisingly complex answer to a still-unresolved issue.
In the small business roundtable that preceded her ad hoc news conference, she also gave a fuller response on her stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Clinton referred to the trade deal as "a very hot topic right now," and she said, "It hasn't been fully negotiated."
She insisted that the deal would need to be strong on health and environmental rules, and, she said it must address currency manipulation. "I want to judge the final agreement," Clinton said.
She also pointed to a section in her book, "Hard Choices," that criticized an international arbitration procedure that she said "gives corporations more power to overturn health, labor and environmental rules than consumers have."
And she added that the deal "hasn't been fully negotiated yet, so I don't know what the final provisions are yet. But it needs to be very strong on health and environmental rules. It needs to try to address either directly or indirectly the manipulation of currency by countries that would be our trading partners because that's been a big source of us not being as competitive as we want to be."
Watch the full roundtable discussion here.

But the press just couldn't wait until it was over to ask a few questions, so Ed Henry of Fox News (of course) took it upon himself to rudely interrupt the discussion to whine about Hillary not answering their questions for about a which she humorously replied:
"I will put it on my list for due consideration."
You can tell that she relishes any chance to give them a well-deserved hard time.

Then, after finishing the discussion and giving her due consideration as promised, she granted them their wish...and took questions about her income, her emails and her friend Sidney Blumenthal. You know, the stuff that matters to the American people.

And thus, the news media breathed a huge sigh of relief that the next president is finally talking to them again, while also undoubtedly fretting about which bogus "scandal" they should focus on next.

She was also asked the same question about Iraq that's tripped up the Republican competition and dealt with it swiftly and simply: "I made a mistake, plain and simple."

Watch the full Q & A with the media below.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Coming to Jeb's Rescue, Marco Also Totally Blows it on Iraq

This is pretty amazing.

Jeb Bush might have lost the nomination last week with his agonizing slow-motion flip-flop on the Iraq War. The Republican establishment must have been looking around for someone else to take his place as the 'serious' candidate and eyeing Rubio pretty closely.

So imagine Jeb's surprise when Marco went on Chris Wallace's show yesterday and rescued him from the brink by also totally blowing it on the Iraq question.

Just watch it. It's that bad.

If Marco can't hold it together during a Fox News interview on a question he definitely should have seen coming a mile away, we should absolutely welcome the prospect of Clinton/Rubio debates. Hillary would absolutely crush him, especially since he'll be having to defend unpopular policies the whole time.

And that's not even getting into the whole water bottle breakdown State of the Union response. He's simply not as ready for prime time as some people might have thought.

WAPO: Hillary "Running as the most liberal Democratic presidential front-runner in decades"

Guest post by Lysis

From today's Washington Post:
Hillary Rodham Clinton is running as the most liberal Democratic presidential front-runner in decades, with positions on issues from gay marriage to immigration that would, in past elections, have put her at her party’s precarious left edge.
The moves are part of a strategic conclusion by Clinton’s emerging campaign: that it can harness the same kind of young and diverse coalition as Barack Obama did in 2008 and 2012, bolstered by even stronger appeal among women.
Her approach — outlined in interviews with aides and advisers — is a bet that social and demographic shifts mean that no left-leaning position Clinton takes now would be likely to hurt her in making her case to moderate and independent voters in the general election next year.
This is a markedly different approach from her cautious 2008 campaign, and according to her current staff, reflects her belief that the more progressive positions are also the more practical solutions:
The campaign’s overall calculus relies on a mix of polling — including both internal and public surveys — internal focus groups and what advisers described as gut feelings about the national mood. It also reflects what Clinton backers say are her firmly held personal convictions and her pragmatism.
“Her approach to this really is not trying to take a ruler out and measure where she wants to be on some ideological scale,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said. “It’s to dive deeply into the problems facing the American people and American families. She’s a proud wonk, and she looks at policy from that perspective.”
“People often talk about the electorate moving left,” said Clinton senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan. “I think it’s more that the electorate is just getting more practical. For Hillary Clinton, that matches her evidence-based approach. The arguments that persuade her are evidence-based and progressive.”
There are still some unanswered questions, most specifically in the areas of trade and foreign policy, where she will still need to prove her progressive bona fides:
Senior campaign officials acknowledged that trade is a divisive and fraught issue for Democrats and for her. Clinton’s past support for the Pacific free-trade pact makes her current silence awkward at best, but her advisers are gambling that the issue won’t leave an enduring rift within the party...
“If Clinton and other candidates are not seen as standing with Warren on the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] trade deal and a number of other economic issues critical to working families, it could create an even greater sense of urgency” to get Warren into the race, said Gary Ritterstein, an adviser to the support group Ready for Warren.
But when Republicans are reduced to trying to convince the left that our front-runner isn't liberal enough, it's a clear sign that the country's national mood has moved in favor of progressives:
“Clinton’s already moved her position leftward on numerous hot button issues to the base, including immigration, gay marriage, Wall Street and criminal justice reforms,” conservative America Rising PAC director Colin Reed wrote in a position paper Friday.
“Clinton’s moves reinforce all her worst attributes as a candidate and hurt her image among voters of all stripes,” Reed said. “Progressive voters know that she’s not truly one of them,” while swing voters “see a desperate politician staking out far-left positions that are outside of the mainstream of most Americans.”
Clinton is gambling that those far-left positions are really the new center in American politics, and coupled with demographic changes in the electorate, she'll have more than enough voters to push her well past the finish line.

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Hillary 2016 Platform, Part 2: Immigration Reform

Guest post by Lysis

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a roundtable of young Nevadans discussing immigration as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Nevada May 5, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike BlakeAs Hillary returns to the campaign trail this week, the series documenting her presidential platform continues. 

Part 1 of this series focused on Criminal Justice Reform.

This entry focuses on her policy positions and principles surrounding Immigration Reform.

Here's a quick recap of how these entries are organized:

Policy Proposals: Specific proposals that have been officially advocated by Hillary Rodham Clinton and her 2016 presidential campaign. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Issue Positions: Statements made in support or opposition of existing policies and legislation under consideration by the current administration and Congress. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Guiding Principles: Statements that indicate overarching principles that provide a framework for the candidacy as a whole and the concepts and ideals that will inform the development of specific policy proposals as the campaign unfolds. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Issue: Immigration Reform 

In Nevada on May 5, Clinton led a roundtable discussion with immigration activists, where she outlined her positions on many issues related to immigration.

She expanded on themes she had been touching upon through earlier public speaking engagements and through Twitter.

Her remarks were previously covered here.

Watch the Roundtable here.

Policy Proposals:

Full path to Citizenship for all Immigrants:
That’s why we can't wait any longer, we can’t wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. So I will fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for you and for families across our country.
Preserve and expand on President Obama's executive actions to include parents of DREAMERS and others:
I want to reiterate my strong support for the president's executive action because he had to act in the face of inaction that was not on the merits, but politically motivated for partisan reasons, which i think is not the way we should be solving our problems in our country...
I will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put DREAMers—including many with us today—at risk of deportation.
And, if Congress refuses to act, as President I will do everything possible under the law to go even further. There are more people—like many parents of DREAMers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities—who deserve a chance to stay. I’ll fight for them too.
The law currently allows for sympathetic cases to be reviewed, but right now most of these cases have no way to get a real hearing. Therefore we should put in place a simple, straightforward, and accessible way for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children.

Issue Positions:

Opposes "cruel deportation" practices and supports reunification of families impacted by deportation:
I will try to do everything I can to avoid family breakup, avoid the kind of terrible experience many families have gone through, because they were split up. Half of their family, or the breadwinner, is picked up and gone one day. It is not smart and it is not right. And still, [I will] try to go further like the unification of families that have been split up.
Opposes Republican attempts to create a legal status below citizenship:
Now, this is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistake: Today not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one. When they talk about “legal status,” that’s code for “second-class status.”
Supports legal representation for undocumented immigrants, with the first priority being children and vulnerable communities:
I think people in the immigration system should be represented. We have made some progress on that, but not enough. I am in favor, particularly for young people, to have representation. I would like everyone to have it. If we can prioritize, I would like young people, people from vulnerable populations who would not have the support they need.
Opposes detention facilities being used for anyone other than violent offenders:
I'm very worried about detention facilities for people who are vulnerable, and for children. I think we could do a better job if we paid attention to people who have a record of violent behavior and that we have a different approach towards people who are not in that category. I do not think we should put children and vulnerable people into the facility because they are at risk. Their physical and mental health are at risk...
I think we have to do more to provide a safe environment for vulnerable populations. That certainly includes the LGBT community, children, and unaccompanied children. There are groups of people who deserve a higher level of care because of the situations they are finding themselves in.
Willing to use executive action to gain legal representation and change detention policy:
These are issues we should go as far as we can to get the resources to provide support and representation and change some of our detention processes within the kind of discretion the president has exercised with his executive orders.

Guiding Principles: 

Immigration Reform will be a top priority for her administration:
I pledge to you I will do everything I possibly can to make this an issue in the campaign but more importantly, when I am President, to put it on the top of my priority list.
Reform Detention Practices, Including Greater Protection for the most vulnerable:
I think we have to do more to provide safe environments for vulnerable populations, that certain includes the LGBT community, children . . . There are groups of people who deserve a higher level of care, because of the situations they find themselves in. I also think we have to reform our detention system. I’m not sure a lot of Americans know a lot of the detention facilities are run by private companies. They have a built-in incentive to fill them up. There is a actually a legal requirement that so many beds be filled. So people go out and round up people in order to get paid on a per day basis. That makes no sense to me. That is not the way we should be running any detention facility.
A full path to citizenship is required for an America that is united and secure:
Among the priorities I would be advocating for in the beginning would be comprehensive immigration reform. One of the reasons for that is, as Secretary of State, I saw what happened to countries that established a second-class status for people.
They do not feel they belong, or they have any allegiance to the country in which they live and work. They are never fully accepted. That is a recipe for divisiveness and disintegration.
My view is that we are a nation of immigrants. We have assimilated tens and tens of millions of people over the course of our history. We have eleven, twelve million people who are undocumented, the vast majority of whom have proven they want to be a citizen of this country, and we should put them on that path.
Those who say we can do reform, but not a path to citizenship, would be undermining what has made America unique. The way we have assimilated people. The way people feel loyal. The contributions they make.
This is not just the right thing to do for America. If you compare us to other countries that did not take that step, you can see what it has done to them. I don't want to go there.
Prioritize legalization for foreign students:
It is very shortsighted of us not to legalize students who graduate from college and can use their skills to make a good life for themselves, but also to give back.
We have thousands of foreign students come to our country every year. They get a great education in our colleges and universities and a lot of them stay.
I think this is the particular fix, in addition to the other fixes we have been talking about.
I read an article recently about a group of young, undocumented men who were really interested in technology and the entered a contest against kids from the best schools and companies and they won. So you have four kids who beat the best of the best and they could not do anything because they were undocumented.
I'm sitting there thinking, "What is wrong with this picture?"
We are in a global competition and I intend for us to win it. I'm not about to let anyone who can make a contribution to our economy and society get thrown away.
From my perspective we need to fix that, we need to remove the fear, and we need to make sure that we give every child a chance to do the best that he or she can.

The Hillary 2016 Platform 

Part 2: Immigration Reform Up Next: 

Part 3: Women's Rights

Hillary Shocker: She is the Progressive de Blasio is Looking For!

Guest post by Lysis

Actually, not really a shocker for anyone who (a) has followed Hillary closely and (b) has a good eye for elaborate political theater.

Via digby:
Most people probably remember that New York mayor Bill de Blasio recently drew up a progressive manifesto called a Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality based upon the concept Newt Gingrich pioneered with his Contract for America back in 1994. Huffington Post's Sam Stein and Angela Terkel looked into how closely Hillary Clinton's policy views and record hews to their agenda.
Spoiler Alert: She agrees with all thirteen principles of the agenda, as supported by her Senate record and both presidential campaigns. Bill de Blasio, who made big political theater out of withholding an endorsement for Clinton, despite being her campaign manager in 2000 and a longtime ally, is now effusively praising her campaign so far:
On Tuesday, however, de Blasio had only kind words for Clinton, saying he was "optimistic" so far about her direction on issues like immigration, mass incarceration and income inequality.
"We're obviously only weeks into her campaign, but I think she's said some very positive things directly on income inequality -- in Iowa, certainly," de Blasio said. "I think we see a strong beginning from her as she fleshes out her vision."
Indeed, a closer look at de Blasio's progressive agenda further complicates the narrative that Clinton is out of step. HuffPost examined Clinton's position on each of the elements de Blasio's agenda, and found that she is philosophically supportive of all 13 of the principles. Where we couldn't find an answer, we noted it. When she comes up short, it's largely a matter of degree or because she hasn't made her current stance fully known (whether intentionally or not). There are places here where she may be vulnerable to attacks from her primary opponents, who have records with fewer blanks to fill in. But Clinton has her defenders when it comes to her progressivism, including at least one person who has signed onto de Blasio's platform.
"I wouldn't be in this process if I thought it was an attempt to move Hillary Clinton to the left," said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), a former presidential candidate who supports Clinton and has signed on to de Blasio's statement of principles. "I view this as a way of setting a marker for Democrats so they don't stray as the way they did in the year before I ran."
de Blasio has wisely withheld his endorsement as a way to get a seat at the table while national policy is being set. What's becoming clear about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency is that it will not be totally driven from the White House; Congressional and local leaders will have a prominent role in shaping the discussion.

One would expect that on a matter of executive authority, she'd be enthusiastically supporting the current president, if for no other reason than wanting to have the same executive authority if she becomes president herself.

But Clinton's refusal to support Obama's trade policy push, despite rapturously embracing the rest of his domestic policies, suggests she's more in line with de Blasio than Obama on trade, and at minimum, is respectful of the role that Congress needs to play in shaping national policy:
Clinton’s silence on trade, coming at the worst possible time for Obama, dovetails with her transformation into a presidential candidate eager to align herself more squarely with the liberal wing of her party. In other areas in which Clinton has moved to the left — such as immigration reform and gay marriage — White House aides have been delighted that she has forcefully embraced the president’s governing record.
But on trade, Clinton’s hedge has left Obama without political cover in his increasingly bitter feud with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other progressives, who have fiercely opposed the pact as a boondoggle for big business.
To quote digby again, this level of policy discussion indicates that the policy conversations we are having speak to the strength of our party at this moment in history:
And I point out that so far the Democratic race is unfolding as a rather stately campaign of ideas while the Republicans are staging a chaotic three ring circus. Believe me, if there was serious disarray in the Democratic party they'd be giving the GOP a run for its money --- they have plenty of practice. As it happens the Democrats are more progressive, more populist and more cohesive than they've been in many years. That doesn't mean everyone's singing kumbaaya. It means that everyone sees a role in the Party and are taking those roles seriously trying to effect positive change. It's not that they're satisfied by any means. It's just that they're organized. That's the opposite of "disarray."
If trends continue, it looks like progressives like Warren and de Blasio won't be banished to the back of the bus. They're going to get some turns at the wheel.

Crossposted at DailyKos

Friday, May 15, 2015

Clinton Returns to the Campaign Trail Next Week

After a week of relative quiet, Hillary returns to Iowa next week!
A month after the debut Iowa visit of her 2016 presidential campaign, Democrat Hillary Clinton will return to the first-in-the-nation voting state next week.
Clinton will be in the state on Monday and Tuesday, spokeswoman Lily Adams told Iowa reporters Wednesday night. Details of the trip were released Friday morning.
Clinton will attend a meeting with organizers at a private home in Mason City Monday, and will have a small business discussion with invited guests at Bike Tech in Cedar Falls on Tuesday.
After that, it's right back to New Hampshire!
A Clinton campaign official told the Democratic presidential frontrunner will be in the state on May 22, with details of the visit yet to be disclosed. She will be in New Hampshire on the same day that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wraps up a two-day visit.
The Clinton campaign official said the events will be small-scale, similar to those she has done on previous trips to New Hampshire and other states, as part of the “ramp up” phase of the campaign.
According to the campaign, the events will be designed to give Granite Staters the opportunity to ask her questions and share ideas.
And the week after next? South Carolina!

Stay tuned to Hillary HQ as the journey to the White House continues...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bill Clinton Makes Final Appearance on Letterman's Late Show

Bill was as sweet and charming as always during his final appearance on David Letterman's Late Show.
While chatting with David Letterman on The Late Show Tuesday, the former president dished that he would be willing to move back into the White House, but there are three conditions that have to be met, all involving wife HillaryClinton.
"First of all, Hillary has to win the nomination," he explained. "If she wins the nomination, then she has to win the election. If she wins the election the chances are 100 percent I'll move back—if I'm asked."
So there's a chance Bill won't be returning even if his wife does win the presidency LOL! But, he explained, if someone invites you to the White House you can't say no.
"My experience is since I left the White House when a president of either party asks you say yes, so I hope I'll be invited," Hillary's husband joked. 
Seeing this interview, and the kind of reception he received, reminds you what an incredible assett he will be to this campaign once he hits the campaign trail.

Also, we'll miss you Dave!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hillary Will Talk to the Openly-Hostile Press on Her Schedule

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post
Hmm, let's see...

The email thing? That fizzled when it turned out that Hillary did nothing wrong and no one cared about it anyway.

The Clinton Foundation thing? That also collapsed when the book was debunked and no one cared about it either.

Any recent Chipotle runs? No?

Perhaps it's time for some detailed reporting and analysis of her new policy ideas? Hah! As if!

Okay, looks like the press is down to "Why won't she talk to us?!"

And of course, Chris Cillizza is on it.
The Clinton campaign's response to all of this? Blah. Reporters whining – like they always do. And, as every Clinton staffer is quick to note, she has answered questions from lots of regular people during her first month as a candidate – holding roundtables in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. They are also quick to note that she makes opening statements at these roundtables.
She's taking questions from voters! She's talking about policy! You guys just don't like it because she's not falling all over herself to jump through your hoops!
So, for roughly the billionth time, let me make two points in response to that way of thinking.
1. Making policy statements/opening statements does not remove the need to answer actual questions from reporters.
2. While answering questions from hand-picked audience members is not without value, no one could possibly think it is the equivalent of answering questions from the working press.
Cillizza's paper now even has a handy clock counting the seconds since she last answered a question from a reporter (which, unsurprisingly, was about that stupid Clinton Cash book).

I hate to break it to all of you and ruin the latest anti-Clinton narrative, but she will talk to you again. Really! And probably pretty soon. For Pete's sake, you're acting like a dog who isn't sure if her owner will ever return from the grocery store. Plus, don't you remember the big crazy party you had with her at the UN just a couple of months ago?

Good times.
Despite the press being "primed to take down Hillary", her campaign has been running circles around them since before it even started, with none of their phony scandals taking hold. And if this truly becomes the big Hillary story for the next couple of weeks, it will only do one thing: build up a ton of anticipation for her eventual interviews, which she will be quite prepared for and most likely totally nail. So please proceed!

Thinking long-term, imagine an undecided voter seventeen months from now weighing his options: "Hillary is such a well-qualified candidate and I agree with her on most issues...but then again, remember those few weeks after her campaign started when she was busy talking to voters in early states while forming her platform and didn't talk to the press very much? Hmm."


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Two Days Later, Hillary Leads Again in New Hampshire

Wow, what a quick turnaround after that ugly poll from two days ago!

Chart via
So either the voters of New Hampshire are insanely indecisive, with preferences changing daily... or all these polls aren't totally reliable. Since the people of that fine state are a smart bunch, I'm going with the latter.

Also, as usual, Clinton is dominating the Democratic field with 62% of the vote while the Republicans are all bunched up with no one getting out of the low double digits. There's no reason to think that this pattern will change anytime soon.

Friday, May 8, 2015

What's Up With These Wacky New Hampshire Polls?

Because of the state's recent habit of voting for female candidates (including Hillary in 2008, quite memorably) and voting Democratic in every presidential contest since 1992 (except in 2000, quite unfortunately), it might be tempting to assume that New Hampshire will once again be solid blue in 2016. However, a couple of new polls have thrown some cold water on that idea:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is losing ground against her Republican opponents in New Hampshire, a key swing state, according to a new poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. If the 2016 election were held today, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul would all defeat Clinton in the Granite State.
You're probably used to seeing happier charts from me, but here's what the most recent Clinton vs Bush trend looks like in New Hampshire.

Charts via
No doubt about it...this is a pretty ugly trend since PPP's result from just a couple of weeks ago. For instance, in the previous Granite State poll, Hillary was beating Jeb 51-29%. The current result of Jeb leading by 6% means that there's been a whopping 18-point swing in his favor in the space of three months! That's almost as crazy as the 20-point swing for Rand Paul in Quinnipiac's most recent Pennsylvania poll.

It's possible that New Hampshire is over Hillary and quickly falling in love with Jeb and the rest of his Republican gang, but that idea does fly in the face of some logic. Recent nationwide polls have found that Hillary has gained popularity in recent weeks and is holding steady in matchups with Republicans. On the state level, recent polls have found her ahead in Iowa and North Carolina as well as roughly tied (!) in Arizona.

So we're left with a couple of options: either New Hampshire is radically bucking the national trend...or these polls aren't capturing the real mood of the state's electorate.

I'm not going to embarrass myself by "unskewing" the three most recent polls (because for all I know they really are accurate) but let's look at them one by one.

Gravis Marketing? They doggedly (and sometimes amusingly) showed better-than-average results for Romney throughout the 2012 election and were in the lower rung in terms of accuracy that year. So even when they show me favorable result, I still just shrug and say "'s Gravis. Nevermind." It's important to be consistent.

The Dartmouth poll is notable for both its small sample size and huge amount of undecideds. Almost a third of respondents don't know who they'll support in a Clinton vs Bush matchup? You have to admit that it's odd.

Which brings us to the UNH poll, which is the same outfit that showed Hillary crushing Jeb three months ago. In the previous poll, the party ID looked like this:

But in the newest poll, the same data looks like this:

That's an 8-point swing in party ID (+5D to +3R) from one poll to the next. That would seem to account for much, but not all, of the GOP surge in the new poll.

The next question becomes...which of these looks most like the voting electorate in recent presidential elections? The answer, according to 2012 exit polls, is the former:

That's +3D with the independents giving a solid edge to the Obama. This is much closer to the party ID breakdown of their previous poll showing a big Hillary lead.

Take these fluctuating polls and this type of analysis for what they're worth, but the bottom line remains unchanged: New Hampshire is still a swing state and Hillary will have to fight for it no matter what. It's all about turning out the Democratic base while retaining a slight edge with the independents.

If history, fundamentals and her stellar campaign are any indication, she will do just that.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Iowa Democrats Love Hillary

...and no other candidate comes remotely close to catching her at this point... manufactured "scandals" be damned!

Check out the terrific numbers in Quinnipiac's new Iowa poll:
With 60 percent of the vote among Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has an early lock on the first-in-the-nation presidential test, apparently undamaged by a nationwide flood of negative publicity, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 
This compares to a 61 percent Clinton showing in Iowa in a February 26 survey.
These are the result you'd expect to see for a popular incumbent president. Absolutely rock-solid.
“One thing is obvious about Iowa Democratic Caucus participants: They are loyal as the day is long, at least when it comes to Hillary Clinton,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “The former secretary of state has taken a major pounding in the news media and from her political opponents over her e-mail and family foundation. So far these criticisms have had absolutely no effect on her standing among Iowa Democrats.
“One other thing is slightly less obvious but interesting: By more than four-to-one,76 – 17 percent, Iowa caucus-goers say Clinton is honest and trustworthy.”
If the past couple of months of scrutiny haven't dinged Hillary one bit, what will? She's going to win the Iowa Caucus on her second try...and win big.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Arizona is Looking Like a 2016 Swing State

Bill Clinton won Arizona in 1996 and it just might happen again with Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to a new PPP poll:
Clinton is within 3 points in match ups with 7 out of 9 of the Republicans we tested. She actually leads Rick Perry 44/41 and she is tied with Jeb Bush (at 41%), and Ben Carson(at 42%). She is down by 1 point each to Ted Cruz and Scott Walker (44/43), by 2 points to Marco Rubio (43/41), and by 3 points to Mike Huckabee (44/41). The only Republicans with more robust leads are Rand Paul who's ahead by 5 points at 45/40 and Chris Christie who's up by 7 points at 46/39. Clinton's deficit in every match up is smaller than the amount Barack Obama lost the state by in 2008 and 2012.
"Depending on who the Republicans end up nominating Arizona has the potential to be a competitive state in the 2016 election,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy  Polling. “The GOP is certainly favored there but it at least starts out pretty close.” 
While the Republican field looks like a "jumbled mess", Clinton's numbers remain incredibly strong among Democrats.
Hillary Clinton is dominating the Democratic field in Arizona with 58% to 16% for Bernie Sanders, 5% each for Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb, and 4% for Martin O'Malley... 
Clinton has more than 50% support from liberals, men, women, whites, Latinos, African Americans, and voters in every age group. The only meaningful group of voters we track that she's under 50% with is moderates- and with them she gets 49%. She continues to be the dominant favorite of Democratic voters.
Also consider that this poll was taken before Hillary's statement on immigration yesterday, which will surely have some impact on future poll results in this state.

So who's ready to help turn Arizona blue next year and really humiliate the Republicans?

The Immigrants Champion Emerges

Watch the entire statement and roundtable discussion at C-SPAN.

If Republicans think that scaremongering on immigration will result in victory in 2016... they should DREAM on! Once again, Hillary Clinton is running circles around all of them on a major issue and she's doing it by being a resolutely progressive and 'capital-D' Democratic candidate.
“We can't wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. Now this is where I differ with everybody on the Republican side. Make no mistakes. Today not a single Republican candidate - announced or potential - is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one. When they talk about ‘legal status’ that is code for second-class status.”
It may have been a relatively brief speech yesterday in a Las Vegas school library, but it nevertheless sent a huge shock wave throughout the 2016 campaign. In addition to being the moral position to take if you care about keeping families together, the electoral ramifications could be incredibly dire for the Republicans. Simply put, their base will not allow their nominee to have a position on immigration anywhere near as humane as Clinton's (in fact, it may well be downright draconian), and this will give Hillary a huge majority of the Latino vote and a one-way ticket to the White House.

A statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, sums up the win-win situation:
“Wow. Hillary Clinton just bear-hugged immigrants and the immigration issue in a way that could shake up the entire 2016 race.  She promised to fight for immigration reform with a path to citizenship, to defend and expand on executive actions if Republicans continue to block a permanent legislative solution and to revisit the Obama Administration’s controversial family detention practices.
“She sat down with real people who told real stories and showed the human side of the immigration debate.  Republican candidates never actually take the time to sit down and listen to actual immigrants, much less build a national platform for them to voice their concerns.  The discussion touched numerous issues—from asylum and detention reform to the unlawful presence bars and the need to reunite families separated by deportation.  Clinton did not shy away from the issues, but rather embraced them and the people who face complex, serious problems with our current immigration system and are simply seeking a reasonable solution.
“These are exactly the kind of specific policy positions immigrants and their allies wanted to hear, and is likely to have a powerful effect on the enthusiasm of Latinos, Asian Americans and immigrant voters – the fastest growing groups of voters in this 50-50 political nation.  Meanwhile, Republican candidates debate how quickly they’ll revoke President Obama’s executive actions that will protect some 5 million undocumented immigrants and how to make the U.S.-Mexico border more secure than the Berlin Wall before they solve the immigration challenge.
“Advocates were concerned about Hillary Clinton, and for good reason.  She came of age politically when Rahm Emanuel and others were calling immigration reform the third rail of American politics, she seemed rusty and tone-deaf during her book tour and she has a reputation for being overly cautious on controversial issues.  But tonight she threw down.  She called immigration reform central to her campaign and took a series of positions that will make Republican heads explode and Republican candidates shudder.
“Here’s the most important political math. Latino voters break down, basically as follows: 50% strongly Democratic; 20% strongly Republican; 30 percent swing. In this election, a Republican nominee will need to win 45% of the Latino vote to compete in the five swing states where Latino votes will make the biggest difference – NV, NM, CO, FL, and VA (five states that George W Bush won twice,  and then won twice by Barack Obama).  With Hillary leaning in on immigration and insisting on citizenship, expanded protections for undocumented immigrants and changes to policies that detain families, transgendered immigrants, and others who pose no security risk, and with Republicans sputtering about ‘border security first’ at a time when levels of unauthorized immigration are below net zero, a forty year low, this early move could have a big impact on the general election outcome.
“Our community has long experience with promises made by politicians who then fail to deliver while in office.  But we also have experience holding politicians accountable to their promises and ensuring they enact change.  Secretary Clinton’s trip to Nevada today shows that she’s listening to our community’s concerns, and that’s a huge step forward today.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Is This Any Way To Run a Campaign? It Sure Is!

Has there ever been a response team as effective as what we're seeing so far from the Clinton campaign?
'Clinton Cash' gets released Tuesday, and Hillary Clinton's campaign is going on the offensive to undercut the book and discredit its author before the message ever reaches readers' hands.
With everything from a YouTube video to emails for supporters to 'Medium' posts to a 42-page opposition research report from a Clinton-aligned group, the Democrat's team is throwing everything it has at 'Clinton Cash'.
The book, by conservative author Peter Schweizer, accuses Clinton of dirty dealings during her time as secretary of State, alleging that she traded access and influence for foundation donations—including those from foreign donors. The accusations have been a headache for Clinton since before she announced her campaign, spawning headlines in major newspapers and shifting the national conversation about Clinton far, far away from her campaign message.
Hillary still remains very strong in the polls but they aren't taking anything for granted.

Republicans should be afraid....very afraid.

Nevada Can Bet on Hillary

It's the third state to vote in the primary season next year, so it makes sense that it's also the third state in which she's campaigning. Don't be surprised if she makes some policy news today on a very important issue.
She is the presumed favorite of Latino voters and, today in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton is expected to double down on what is seen as a gateway issue for that voting bloc.
A Clinton official has told ABC News she plans to focus on a path to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
State Department Says No Undue Influence After Foreign Gifts to Clinton Foundation
At a campaign event today, her third since announcing she's running for president, Clinton will make immigration reform a defining issue, according to a source -- and on Cinco de Mayo, no less.
Latino leaders consulting her campaign have told ABC News that Clinton is looking for a way to clearly contrast herself with Republican presidential candidates by embracing the full path to citizenship rather than proposing a second class of Americans who can work in the United States but not enjoy the protection of citizenship.
"She will say that the standard for a true solution is nothing less than a full and equal path to citizenship," the official said. "She will say that we cannot settle for proposals that provide hard-working people with merely a 'second-class' status."
Clinton will be speaking at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, where 70 percent of students are Hispanic. Last November, President Obama chose a Las Vegas high school to lay out his plans for immigration reform.
Nevada also happens to be a state that Obama won fairly comfortably in the last two presidential elections, and Democrats will be counting on it once again in 2016. With Clinton as the nominee, another victory is a pretty safe bet.

We'll have more on Hillary's Nevada trip later today.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Hillary 2016 Platform, Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform

Guest post by Lysis

Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Hillary 2016 Platform series, a regular rundown of the policy proposals, issue positions, and guiding principles of Hillary Rodham Clinton's second candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

How It Works:

This is intended to be a living document, with new topics covered regularly and links to previously published topics provided.

Policy topics will be arranged as they are announced and/or updated, with recent news on the top. Sources will be provided in the links under each quote.

For each area of her ultimate platform, what has been announced so far will be broken down into individual relevant categories.

For brevity's sake, I am limiting the first diary to the contents of her major policy speech on Criminal Justice Reform (4/29/15).

Future diaries will cover Women's Rights, Immigration Reform, Marriage Equality, Student Loan Reform, Income Inequality and Trade Policy.

When appropriate, previous diaries may be revised (and possibly republished) as major policies are announced.

Policy Proposals: Specific proposals that have been officially advocated by Hillary Rodham Clinton and her 2016 presidential campaign. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Issue Positions: Statements made in support or opposition of existing polices and legislation under consideration by the current administration and Congress. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Guiding Principles: Statements that indicate overarching principles that provide a framework for the candidacy as a whole and the concepts and ideals that will inform the development of specific policy proposals as the campaign unfolds. All quotes are directly from HRC unless otherwise noted.

Let's get started with a rundown of her landmark speech on Criminal Justice Reform.


Issue: Criminal Justice Reform

Clinton gave a speech at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in New York City. During this speech, she made several specific policy proposals along with supporting current initiatives of the Obama administration. The content of the speech suggests that recent campaign hire Maya Harris, who penned the study, "Women of Color: A Growing Force in the American Electorate", is already having a significant impact on Clinton's policy development.

Read and watch the entire speech: Transcript Video

Policy Proposals:

Expand on President Obama's police body camera initiative by making body cameras mandatory everywhere:
We should make sure every police department in the country has body cameras to record interactions between officers on patrol and suspects...
The President has provided the idea of matching funds to state and local governments investing in body cameras. We should go even further and make this the norm everywhere.
Establish Specialized Drug Courts and Juvenile Programs that Keep Low-Level Offenders out of Prison:
We also need probation and drug diversion programs to deal swiftly with violations, while allowing low-level offenders who stay clean and stay out of trouble to stay out of prison. I've seen the positive effects of specialized drug courts and juvenile programs work to the betterment of individuals and communities.
Issue Positions:

Opposes militarization of police departments:
We can start by making sure that federal funds for state and local law enforcement are used to bolster best practices, rather than to buy weapons of war that have no place on our streets.
Supports the recommendations of President Obama's Task Force on Policing:
President Obama's task force on policing gives us a good place to start. Its recommendations offer a roadmap for reform, from training to technology, guided by more and better data.
Guiding Principles:

The deaths that have led to protests against police brutality are not isolated incidents. They are part of a systemic racism present in our society and our criminal justice system:
What we've seen in Baltimore should, indeed does, tear at our soul.

And, from Ferguson to Staten Island to Baltimore, the patterns have become unmistakable and undeniable.

Walter Scott shot in the back in Charleston, South Carolina. Unarmed. In debt. And terrified of spending more time in jail for child support payments he couldn't afford.

Tamir Rice shot in a park in Cleveland, Ohio. Unarmed and just 12 years old.

Eric Garner choked to death after being stopped for selling cigarettes on the streets of this city.

And now Freddie Gray. His spine nearly severed while in police custody.
Racial Injustice in the Criminal Justice System is Directly Responsible for Income Inequality in Communities of Color:
We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America.

There is something profoundly wrong when African American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts.

There is something wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes. And an estimated 1.5 million black men are "missing" from their families and communities because of incarceration and premature death.

There is something wrong when more than one out of every three young black men in Baltimore can't find a job.

There is something wrong when trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve breaks down as far as it has in many of our communities.

We have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance. And these recent tragedies should galvanize us to come together as a nation to find our balance again.
Mass Incarceration is Damaging Families, not Reducing Crime:
It's a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world's total prison population. The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows.

Of the more than 2 million Americans incarcerated today, a significant percentage are low-level offenders: people held for violating parole or minor drug crimes, or who are simply awaiting trial in backlogged courts.

Keeping them behind bars does little to reduce crime. But it is does a lot to tear apart families and communities.

One in every 28 children now has a parent in prison. Think about what that means for those children.
Mass Incarceration Disproportionately Impacts African-American Families Emotionally and Economically:
When we talk about one and a half million missing African American men, we're talking about missing husbands, missing fathers, missing brothers.
They're not there to look after their children or bring home a paycheck. And the consequences are profound.
Without the mass incarceration that we currently practice, millions fewer people would be living in poverty.
And it's not just families trying to stay afloat with one parent behind bars. Of the 600,000 prisoners who reenter society each year, roughly 60 percent face long-term unemployment.
Money Better Spent on Public Servants than Imprisonment:
Taxpayers are paying about $80 billion a year to keep so many people in prison.
The price of incarcerating a single inmate is often more than $30,000 per year—and up to $60,000 in some states. That's the salary of a teacher or police officer.
One year in a New Jersey state prison costs $44,000—more than the annual tuition at Princeton.
If the United States brought our correctional expenditures back in line with where they were several decades ago, we'd save an estimated $28 billion a year. And I believe we would not be less safe. You can pay a lot of police officers and nurses and others with $28 billion to help us deal with the pipeline issues.
Mental Illness and Substance Abuse need to be addressed outside of the criminal justice system:
You and I know that the promise of de-institutionalizing those in mental health facilities was supposed to be followed by the creation of community-based treatment centers. Well, we got half of that equation—but not the other half. Our prisons and our jails are now our mental health institutions.
I have to tell you I was somewhat surprised in both Iowa and New Hampshire to be asked so many questions about mental health. "What are we going to do with people who need help for substance abuse or mental illness?" "What are we going to do when the remaining facilities are being shut down for budget reasons?" "What are we going to do when hospitals don't really get reimbursed for providing the kind of emergency care that is needed for mental health patients?"
It's not just a problem in our cities. There's a quiet epidemic of substance abuse sweeping small-town and rural America as well. We have to do more and finally get serious about treatment.
I'll be talking about all of this in the months to come, offering new solutions to protect and strengthen our families and communities.
Racial Equality is Directly Correlated to Economic Equality, and Addressing Both is Critical to Our National Agenda:
But I am convinced, as the congenital optimist I must be to live my life, that we can rise to this challenge. We can heal our wounds. We can restore balance to our justice system and respect in our communities. And we can make sure that we take actions that are going to make a difference in the lives of those who for too long have been marginalized and forgotten.
Let's protect the rights of all our people. Let's take on the broader inequities in our society. You can't separate out the unrest we see in the streets from the cycles of poverty and despair that hollow out those neighborhoods.
Despite all the progress we've made in this country lifting people up—and it has been extraordinary—too many of our fellow citizens are still left out.
Twenty-five years ago, in his inaugural address as Mayor, David Dinkins warned of leaving "too many lost amidst the wealth and grandeur that surrounds us."
Today, his words and the emotion behind them ring truer than ever. You don't have to look too far from this magnificent hall to find children still living in poverty or trapped in failing schools. Families who work hard but can't afford the rising prices in their neighborhood.
Mothers and fathers who fear for their sons' safety when they go off to school—or just to go buy a pack of Skittles.
These challenges are all woven together. And they all must be tackled together.
Our goal must truly be inclusive and lasting prosperity that's measured by how many families get ahead and stay ahead...
How many children climb out of poverty and stay out of prison...
How many young people can go to college without breaking the bank...
How many new immigrants can start small businesses ...
How many parents can get good jobs that allow them to balance the demands of work and family.
That's how we should measure prosperity. With all due respect, that is a far better measurement than the size of the bonuses handed out in downtown office buildings.

Upcoming Issues: Women's Rights, Immigration, Marriage Equality, Student Loan Reform, Income Inequality, Trade Policy