Monday, August 31, 2015

Hillary News & Views 8.31: Shaheen Endorsement, Delegate Counting, and Comparing GOP to Terrorists

A big thank you to Scan for keeping this series active while I was on vacation! I'm still getting caught up on all of the news I missed, so bear with me as I get back in the swing of things!

Kicking off today's edition of Hillary News & Views with a big endorsement out of New Hampshire. WMUR Manchester reports:
It’s been expected for well more than a year. But Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s official endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president on Saturday will come at an important time...
Shaheen, a former three-term governor who remains popular in the state after winning a second senate term in November 2014, will make her endorsement official at a “Women for Hillary” event at the Portsmouth municipal complex on Parrot Avenue. Doors for the event open at 10 a.m.
“At the event, Clinton will discuss the challenges that women worldwide still face, to mark the 20th anniversary of her speech in Beijing, China, where she declared ‘human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all,’” according to an announcement by the Clinton campaign...
In an email Sunday, Shaheen wrote: “I’ve always put New Hampshire first. You know that -- and a year ago, you helped me prove how much that matters. Now it’s time for us to come together again for a president who will fight for all of us, just like you fought for me. New Hampshire is a special place to Hillary -- always has been, always will be.
“So join me in Portsmouth this weekend to show our support for a president who will stand up to help Granite Staters get ahead and stay ahead,” Shaheen wrote.
Shaheen's endorsement is crucial not only for the primary election in her state, but for the delegate count overall. The National Journal reports on the focus that the Clinton campaign is taking on delegates this time around:
At a meet-and-greet at a nearby office tower, in small group sessions, and in one-on-ones behind closed doors at the meeting hotel, Clinton and her top staff worked the 700 or so "superdelegates" who will help choose the next Democratic nominee for firm commitments. "
They're working really hard to solidify their count going in," said Florida DNC member Alma Gonzalez. "It is a continual and consistent push."
"This is really about how you put the numbers together to secure the nomination," Clinton said at a brief news conference.
She said the effort springs from one of the lessons learned from her failed run in 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama's campaign took advantage of party rules to win more delegates even when failing to win the primary vote in a particular state.
"I got a lot of votes, but I didn't get enough delegates, and so I think it's understandable that my focus is going to be on delegates as well as votes this time," she said. "I'm very encouraged by the kind of response that I'm getting."
Bloomberg Politics reports on their success so far:
At the Democratic National Committee meeting in Minneapolis, where Clinton spoke on Friday, senior Clinton campaign officials are claiming that she has already secured one-fifth of the pledges needed to win the Democratic presidential nomination. They come from current and former elected officials, committee officeholders, and other party dignitaries.
The 300-or-so gap between Clinton's public and private superdelegate commitments derives mostly from state party officials who have yet to reveal their backing of the frontrunner, but have privately pledged to cast their convention votes for the former first lady, according to the person familiar with the campaign's tally.
The attention to delegate counts, Clinton said Friday, was the “result of the lessons that I learned the last time –how important it is to be as well-organized and focused from the very beginning on delegates and those who are superdelegates."
A big news story last week was Clinton comparing GOP policies on women to those of terrorists. Vox reports her full comments:

Marco Rubio brags about wanting to deny victims of rape and incest access to health care, to an abortion.
Jeb Bush says Planned Parenthood shouldn’t get a penny.
Your governor right here in Ohio banned state funding for some rape crisis centers because they sometimes refer women to other health facilities that do provide abortions.
I would like these Republican candidates to look a mom in the eye who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening for cancer or the teenager who didn’t get pregnant because she had access to contraception or anyone who’s ever been protected by an HIV test.
Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world.
But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States, yet they espouse out-of-date and out-of-touch policies.
They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We’re going forward, we’re not going back.
Melissa McEwan at Shakesville supports Clinton's comparison of GOP anti-choice zealots to terrorists:
Naturally, most of the coverage of these comments (example; video autoplays at link) is all about how OUTRAGED Republicans are to be compared to terrorists, and not about how Clinton has a point, considering the Republican support of one of the most flagrant domestic terrorism campaigns in the country.
Hey, "liberal media": Instead of seeking outraged quotes from Republicans, howsabout instead you ask them why, if they don't like the comparison, they are so keen to align themselves with anti-choice terrorists?
Because as much as I'm sure we all enjoy reporting on how Hillary Clinton has hit (yet another) "new low," it might be a nice break in your tiresome disgorgement of trite misogyny to read something that challenges Republicans to engage with the charge she's leveling at them for a damn good reason.
Esquire reports on Clinton's rhetoric on the issue as well, in the remarkably titled piece, "Hillary Clinton Has Run Out of F*cks to Give":
[Clinton] responded by mocking [Trump] in her speech on Friday morning to the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in Minneapolis, which was presided over by the mysteriously still-employed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Joe Schultz of national chairpeople.
She criticized Trump, saying that in addition to saying "hateful things" about immigrants, he "also insults and dismisses women. Just yesterday he attacked me once again and said I didn't have a clue about women's health issues. Really? I mean you can't make this stuff up, folks. Trump actually says he would do a much better job for women than I would. Now that's a general election debate that's going to be a lot of fun."
There are a number of people who have studied her career who believe that, as a candidate, HRC only gets focused when she is perceived to be in trouble, and then she becomes a formidable as she is rumored to be.
If that's the case, then she seems to be getting there at the moment.
Is the national press finally starting to pay attention to Clinton's relentless focus on downballot races wherever she goes to campaign? Politico reports on how her first campaign appearance in Ohio included vocal support of U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland:
Hillary Clinton all but endorsed Ted Strickland, the former Ohio governor running for Senate, opening her first rally in the crucial swing state here Thursday morning by encouraging supporters to “help Ted get elected to the United States Senate.”
“I’m personally delighted to be here with my friend, and your governor, Ted Strickland,” she said.
“Nobody cares more deeply and profoundly about what happens to people. He did a great job as your governor, and he will be an important voice in the Senate.”
Clinton also brought attention to another Ohioan on the stump, Tamir Rice, who died tragically only a few months ago. Clinton connected his death to both Black Lives Matter and gun violence. International Business Times reports:
In her first campaign visit to Ohio, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton took a moment Thursday to renew a call for "common sense reforms" for gun purchases. Speaking softly, she talked about Wednesday's shooting in Virginia, in which two journalists were murdered during a live broadcast, before mentioning the high level of gun violence in Cleveland, the city in which she was speaking.
Wednesday's violence was "horrifically on live television. We saw the terrible consequences of gun violence in America. I don't know how we keep seeing shooting after shooting, read about the people murdered because they went to Bible study or they went to the movies or they were just doing their jobs ... and not say we can do something about this," Clinton said.
"It's not just the deaths that are in the headlines. Most of you in this audience know that we lose people to gun violence every day."
"Here in Cleveland, you know" that gun violence kills, Clinton said. "Tamir Rice isn't here either. He should be. He should be healthy. He should be alive," she said, before launching into a discussion about race that has bubbled in intensity over the last year as stories of unarmed black men -- or children, as in the case of Rice -- getting killed by police across the country have been widely publicized.
"We've got to come to terms with some hard truths about race in America. We do have to stand up and loudly and clearly say black lives matter."
#BLM activists interrupted the event, calling for Clinton to disavow alleged connections to private prison contractors and to support black transgender Americans:
While speaking about race, activists from Black Lives Matter, the movement to which she was referring, interrupted her. They were escorted out of the event, and Clinton continued speaking, unfazed, after saying she'd be happy to meet with the individuals afterward.
The activists were calling on Clinton to divest from private prisons and invest in liberating black transgender women, according to a press release from the group. They accused Clinton of being bankrolled by private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America.
However, a review of contributions to her campaign PAC and the super PAC supporting her campaign did not turn up any contributions from the company or any individuals employed by it.
Finally, Clinton's campaign continues to focus on outreach to minority voters as central to their campaign strategy. The National Journal reports on outreach to Native Americans:
With a small circle of folding chairs in the Walker River Paiute Reservation's Agai-Dicutta ("Trout Eaters" in the Paiute language) Community Center, the room was set up like any other organizing meeting: Handwritten posters hung on the wall, waiting to be filled in, featured prompts like "I support Hillary because…" and "These are the issues that are important to me.…"
But there were two others that don't often appear in campaign organizing materials: "I know for a fact that the Indian vote can sway a statewide election." And: "I caucus/I vote because I know the power of the native vote."
There's little payoff for the Clinton campaign to spend its time in such a far-flung part of the state. From a dollar-per-caucus-goer perspective, the campaign could score a broader audience in Nevada's urban centers.
But meetings like these are part of the hyper-granular organizing strategy helmed by Clinton's national campaign manager, Robby Mook, and a real-life manifestation of the campaign's unrelenting motto of 2016: flood the early states with field organizers in order to leave no stone unturned and no potential Democratic voter untouched.
The visit to Schurz was the campaign's eighth Native American outreach event of the summer in Nevada—which is also the state where Mook got his start, directing Clinton's 2008 operation here. Some of the meetings have been with tribal leaders, like a presentation to the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada or one to the Nevada Tribal Youth in early August.
And when the Nevada team launched its "Every Nevadan" statewide rural tour in July, the itinerary included stops here in Schurz and also one with the Te-Moak Tribe in Elko.
And Clinton has hired a new Asian-American outreach director, too. NBC News reports:
In an effort to target, mobilize, and win the fast-growing Asian American-Pacific Islander (AAPI) electorate, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign will announce today that Lisa Changadveja has been named the AAPI Outreach Director for Hillary for America.
"Lisa knows the Asian American and Pacific Islander community," said Irene Bueno, a member of the Asian American Justice Center's National Advisory Council, in a statement. "From working with Lisa throughout the years, one thing I've learned is that she will continue to be a voice for so many in the community on a number issues like immigration."
Changadveja's appointment comes on the very day that the Asian-American vote is under sharp focus, in light of comments made by GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush about Asian "birth tourism" in the debate over the use of the controversial term "anchor babies."
The Asian-American electorate, one of the fastest-growing and expected to double by 2040, has leaned heavily-Democratic in recent presidential election cycles, though the voting bloc was almost evenly-split between Republican and Democratic candidates during the 2014 midterms.
One recent study found that Asian Americans are the least likely of all groups to be contacted by political parties.
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

August 14, 2015: Iowa Wing Ding Dinner

July 31, 2015: National Urban League

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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