Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hillary News & Views 7.29: Keystone, Campaign Finance Reform, Student Debt, and More

Today's edition of Hillary News & Views includes Clinton's latest statements on a wide variety of issues, most of which comes from her town hall events earlier this week.  I'm working on a transcript of her New Hampshire town hall, which should go live later this week.

Clinton's Keystone Pipeline answer has been all over the news, and was diaried very well by Scan.
The Boston Globe reports:
Clinton sidestepped the question, saying: “This is President Obama’s decision. If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”
She kept to that stance after the event while speaking with the media, saying it “would not be appropriate or fair” for her to publicly comment on something that her former boss and predecessor has yet to decide on.
“I’m in a different position than any other candidate,” Clinton said. “I was there. I know what the president’s standard is to make sure it does not increase greenhouse gas admission. [But] there has been additional research and investigation done since I’ve left that I’m not privy too. And that’s where I’m leaving it.”
More from CNN:
"I've been very clear: I will not express an opinion until they (President Barack Obama and John Kerry) have made a decision, and then I will do so," she said. "If this is the number one issue on people's minds, then they're going to have to wait to see what Secretary Kerry and President Obama decide to do about it."
And even more from the New York Times:
“This is President Obama’s decision and I’m not going to second-guess him,” she said...
“I will not do it,” she said when a CNN reporter pressed her on the pipeline. “I am sorry if people want me to.”... 
“I think to signal that there is only one overriding threat really doesn’t take into account the seriousness of a whole range of issues?” Mrs. Clinton said. She noted China, for instance, and its coal-fired plants, suggesting people not forget about those...
“We’ve had dozens of pipelines already crossing our border from Canada, so we have to look at all of this,” Mrs. Clinton said. “That’s why I’m coming out with a comprehensive clean energy plan.”
She went on to draw a connection between TPP and Keystone XL:
“I’m in a different position than any other presidential candidate — I served in this administration for four years,” Mrs. Clinton said, adding that the negotiations over the trade deal and the Canadian pipeline were continuing, and that she had been involved in those discussions as secretary of state.
“If you look at both the trade deal and the Keystone decision,” Mrs. Clinton said, “I will certainly express my opinion when there is something to express an opinion on.”
In the meantime, she repeated, “I do not think it’s appropriate for me to comment on something I had official responsibilities for until it is completed and that I might have official responsibilities for again.”
Wouldn't it be great if we could get one news outlet to report an entire quote?

Anyway...more News & Views after the jump!

As usual, the media is having a field day and suddenly cares about Keystone XL.  Politico tracked down environmentalist Tom Steyer for his reaction, and their disappointment in his answer radiates through the entire piece:
Steyer told POLITICO that he won’t demand that Clinton stake out a position on the proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline, which greens have seized on as a litmus test for politicians’ willingness to take on climate change. That suggests he’s satisfied for now with her silence.
“She isn’t for Keystone,” Steyer said. “She has no position.”
He explained: “We haven’t insisted that people make a decision on that because it hasn’t been necessary. Maybe we’ll change our minds. We drew a line in the sand on supporting it, but we haven’t drawn a line in the sand and said that absolutely everybody has to take a position on this.”
Steyer goes on to praise Clinton's campaign and their thoroughness on environmental issues:
“If there’s one thing you can say about Hillary Clinton and her campaign, it’s that they’re super thorough,” he said. “I think they’re trying to set a framework that is going to be meaningful on this. I think it is going to be a centerpiece of what they do. I think they’re going to want to be aggressive about it.”...
Steyer said Clinton’s plan appears to be in line with the standard he recently called on all presidential candidates to embrace: generating 50 percent of the nation’s power from carbon-free sources by 2030 with an eye toward “a completely clean energy economy” by 2050.
In further environmental news, the Clinton campaign announced yesterday that it will be carbon neutral.  CNN reports:
"This campaign will be carbon neutral," the aide said Tuesday morning. "We'll be offsetting the carbon footprint of the campaign and that includes travel."
The aide would not specify how the campaign would achieve carbon neutrality, but said the campaign would roll out specifics as they unveil the rest of their climate change plan in the coming weeks.
The journalists at WMUR actually covered some of the other topics that Clinton spoke about on Tuesday.  Here are her comments on...

Campaign finance reform:
“We have got to fix how we fund our political campaigns,” which, she said, “is undermining our political system.” The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case “resulted in billionaires and corporations being able to buy elections.”
She said she would appoint Supreme Court justices who are committed to overturning that decision. She also said she would support a constitutional amendment to address the issue, if necessary.
Student loan debt:
During the town hall meeting, Clinton promised to have “constant focus” on early childhood development and reiterated her pledge to implement a program to allow the refinancing of college debt.
“We also have to make college affordable,” she said. “We have $1.2 billion in outstanding (college) debt held by 40 million Americans.”
Elementary education:
On elementary education, Clinton said there is “too much bureaucracy, too much second-guessing and too much testing.” But she also said she supports continuing arts, physical education and technical education programs in schools.
“ISIS is a very aggressive, very effective terror group” and “poses a very serious threat to the region and the United States.”
She said the United States should organize a regional effort to combat the group.
“We can provide air power," she said. "We can provide surveillance, and we are trying to retrain the Iraqi army, which when we left, was well-trained, which the prior government of Iraq totally destroyed.”
“We’ve got to get the United States working with others to put together a coalition to begin to push ISIS out of Iraq and then go after them in Syria,” Clinton said, noting that the problem is “so complicated.”
“I think we need an intense effort to get the team on the field,” she said. “And just as importantly, we’ve got to shut down their internet presence.”
And while it didn't get much coverage, Clinton turned her Twitter account over to a mom with a disabled child on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities act.  The Gazette reports:
Sara Todd is a nurse from Cedar Rapids, and the American with Disabilities Act is very close to her heart because of her son Adam, who has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a form of epilepsy.
“It’s just a great platform to get our story out there, and not only raise awareness and raise awareness for our son but really everyone with disabilities,” Todd said.
Todd tweeted that the “ADA helps [Adam] to live life to the fullest, each & every day.”
And to close on another positive note, the Washington Post reported some great feedback from undecided voters who attended a Clinton event in Iowa. Here are some highlights:
Pfaff, who runs a nonprofit organization for children of incarcerated parents, said that she realizes how hard Clinton has worked on behalf of women and children. “She can stand up to anybody, and she doesn’t hang her head to anyone; if she believes in something, she’ll fight for it, and I think that’s what we need,” Pfaff said...
Lisa Kramer, an environmental scientist, confessed that for years she has thought about Clinton in a generic, “ ‘You go, girl!’ sense.” After listening to her talk about the issues Saturday, Kramer said, she has more appreciation for Clinton’s “broad base of knowledge and experience.”...
“One point that she made was that she’s fought all the battles before as a senator, secretary of state and wife of a president,” Conrad Kramer said. Among the candidates running so far, he said, he hasn’t seen “anybody else on the Democratic side who has shown that kind of mettle.”...
“I was a big [Barack] Obama supporter. I always liked Hillary, but I didn’t trust her,” Cynthia McGowan said. But on Sunday, she liked what she heard. “I think she’s sincere,” she said. Asked what had changed, she said, “Well, Obama’s gone, and I think she’s the best candidate.”
Tim McGowan said he was impressed. “I always thought that Hillary had a sense of falseness about her, but I think she seemed real sincere today.”
For more on Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency, check out…

The Hillary 2016 Platform Series
Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform

Part 2: Immigration Reform

Part 3: Voting Rights

Unfiltered Hillary: The Transcripts

July 20, 2015: Facebook Q&A

July 17, 2015: Iowa State Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner

April 23, 2015: Women in the World Summit


  1. Great, thanks for your work! I think her position on the TPP and Keystone issues is completely reasonable. She can't be expected to analyze complex issues without having all the info, and it's not her place to sabotage her former boss by making vague criticisms. I'm looking forward to the stump speech transcripts; they're helpful to people who don't have time to listen to a half hour speech.

  2. Daily Kos has another hit piece by kerry. Just tired of it.

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