Friday, July 31, 2015

Hillary News & Views 7.31: Minimum Wage, Marriage Equality, and a Democratic Senate Majority

The week (and month!) comes to an end with a Hillary News & Views entry that focuses on her implicit endorsement of a $12 minimum wage, a lengthy discussion of how she came to support marriage equality as a national goal, and her firm commitment to reclaiming the Senate in 2016.

H N&V will return Monday, but over the weekend, I will post two more editions of Unfiltered Hillary - complete, unedited transcripts of her public appearances.  One will be from her Town Hall in New Hampshire earlier this week, and the other will be today's speech in Florida, which promises to reveal some new policy initiatives.

Starting off with the minimum wage, the Hill has a rundown of Clinton's extended comments on setting a national minimum that is tied to automatic increases over time:
"Patty Murray is one of the most effective legislators in the Senate bar none, and whatever she advocates I pay a lot of attention to because she knows how to get it through the Congress," Clinton told reporters. "Let’s not just do it for the sake of having a higher number out there, but let’s actually get behind a proposal that has a chance of succeeding. And I have seen Patty over the years be able to do just that."...

"It’s going to be important that we set a national minimum, but then we get out of the way of cities and states that believe that they can and should go higher,"
she said.
"I’ve said before that the cost of living is different in various parts of the country. I supported what New York did, what L.A. did, what other cities are doing. And I think they should be experimenting with what that will do to raise incomes and create more opportunity for people.
"But there should be a higher federal level," she added, "so I’m going to be supporting the effort to do that in Congress."
Speaking of supporting Congress, the Washington Post reports that should Clinton get the nomination, electing a Democratic Senate will be a central priority:
Hillary Rodham Clinton has left no doubt about the type of campaign she expects to run with fellow Democrats in 2016.
“I want to be onstage with you, and I want you onstage with me,” the Democratic presidential front-runner told senators during a recent visit to the Capitol.
The former secretary of state conveyed that she intends to run a highly coordinated campaign with congressional Democrats, particularly in seven states with key Senate races that are also battlegrounds in the presidential campaign...
“She is very bought into getting a Democratic majority in the Senate, because she came out of the Senate — much more even than President Obama,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “I firmly believe in her heart she would like to see that to happen.” ...
This collaboration goes beyond campaigning, and includes shaping of policy and personal outreach as well:
Democrats have come away pleased by Clinton’s early courtship on the political, policy and personal front.
Stabenow, the co-author of the 2014 farm bill, said she has been repeatedly consulted by Clinton campaign officials about agriculture issues to help the candidate craft her farm agenda. “She’s incredibly detailed,” Stabenow said. “She’s a real policy wonk, way down in the weeds.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Clinton appeared familiar with specific policy issues that rank-and-file senators were working on that are not in the spotlight. “As usual, she had done her homework and it was amazing,” Klobuchar said.
In May 2014, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter’s husband of 57 years died. “The first person who called me when my husband died was Hillary,” the New York Democrat said. “That really is remarkable.”
In an interview with Channel 13 News in Iowa, Clinton talks about how she came to support marriage equality:
When asked why she didn’t back same-sex marriage in the 2008 campaign, as she does now during her 2016 campaign, Clinton told Channel 13 News, “I think we were all pretty much in the same position, certainly, then-candidate Obama and others.”...
“I do think it took a while for someone of my age and someone with my experience, despite my great group of friends, to really, as we say, ‘evolve,’ ” Clinton said, “Say… ‘you know what? This is not just a state-by-state decision.'”
Clinton backed state-sanctioned civil unions back then. “I did support what states were doing, ” Clinton said, “Marriage had traditionally been an authority exercised by the states. And so I believed the states were proceeding. We should support that. Iowa being among the very first.”
Iowa legalized same-sex marriage in 2009, following a state supreme court decision.
Clinton continued, “But the more I thought about. And the more I realized that this should be viewed as a right, not to be given or taken away by states, as soon as I was free to do so, leaving the State Department, and getting back into domestic politics–which as Secretary of State, I was not–I said this should be a right, and I was very pleased when the Supreme Court decided it was.”
Finally, Clinton has picked up some important local endorsements in South Carolina. The State reports:
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton picked up the endorsements Wednesday of two top Columbia leaders.
Mayor Steve Benjamin and former Mayor Bob Coble were among nine S.C. mayors backing Clinton in February’s Democratic presidential primary.
“Hillary acts like a good mayor – she innovates, improvises and solves problems,” said Benjamin, president of the African American Mayors Association.
Coble, who made his first public appearance since suffering a heart attack at a Clinton event last week, said Clinton will bring a “laser focus on jobs, small business and economic development.”
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

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