Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hillary News & Views 9.8: "Labor Built the Table," Iowa Endorsement, and the Caucus Strategy

I might have taken Labor Day off, but Hillary Clinton didn't. Today's Hillary News & Views kicks off with Clinton's new video heralding her career-long support of Labor:

Here's the full quote that kicks off that video:
If anyone asks you if labor will have a seat at the table in my White House, I hope you know the answer: Of course you will.
Labor built the table, and there's gonna be enough chairs around it for everybody to have a place.
Clinton also had praise on Twitter for President Obama's executive action granting overtime pay for federal contractors:
Earlier in the day, she shared her Labor Day wishes:
Clinton spent Labor Day at union-sponsored events throughout the state of Iowa. She picked up yet another major endorsement at one of them, this time from Iowa's only Democratic member of the U.S. House, Rep. Dave Loebsack.

The Quad-City Times reports:
Loebsack’s campaign says the congressman has met with all the party's candidates for president, but in remarks Monday he’ll say that Clinton is the most qualified.
"She has the ideas, the passion, the values that we need in our next president,” Loebsack will say, according to his campaign.
“To put it simply, she knows how to work with others and get things done. That is why I’m proud to stand with her today and announce my support for Hillary Clinton for President.”
Loebsack also will say that Clinton understands “what makes this country so great: a strong and growing middle class.”
“I have spent my time in Congress fighting to expand the middle class … and to grow an economy that works for all Iowans,” Loebsack will say.
“And I know that is what Hillary Clinton has spent her life fighting for."
Before the 2008 caucuses, Loebsack, then in his first term in Congress, endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama for the presidency.
Business Insider has a good look at Clinton's caucus strategy, and the great lengths she's taking to earn every possible vote:
Held over cookies and iced tea in backyard of suburban homes, the parties are a far cry from the silver-service dinners and ballroom soirées of her life spent amid Washington's political elite.
But for US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, it is in small house gatherings in Midwestern Iowa that her bid to gain the Democrat nomination for the White House may yet be determined.
The guests may be teachers and factory workers rather than billionaire campaign donors, but when it comes to spreading word among her support base, they can be just as influential and need just as much of a personal touch.
“She showed up early, and stayed until every person was out of my backyard,” said Sean Baginiewski, 31, who hosted a recent gathering for Mrs Clinton in Beaverdale, a leafy neighborhood of the Iowan capital, Des Moines. “
She shook every hand, met every person. People were crying from the emotion of having her there.”
They also report on one of those crucial votes that she's already locked down:
The key is to success is to win the backing of community leaders and ‘super volunteers’ like Cindy Pollard.
A retired nurse, Mrs Pollard is known for having turned out more votes in the last election than any other single person else in the state, and possibly the country.
She lives and breathes the electoral race.
In her spare time she sits in cafés where she can talk to customers and sway them for her candidate. Her phone is bursting with the numbers of every potential volunteer in the district, and she has made it her business to know the voting habits of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in the state.
This time, she is all in for Hillary.
“I like to go out and change the world,” she told the Telegraph, explaining why she works full time on campaigns for free. “
I want keep it from crazy people who want to build walls,” she added, in a reference to Donald Trump’s promise to close America’s borders to migrants.
During this Iowa swing, Clinton has been focusing on immigration reform, as the Des Moines Register reports:
Sensible immigration reform could help legal workers by making sure they don’t have to compete against people who can be taken advantage of because they lack proper documents, Hillary Clinton said here Sunday.
“If you’re an undocumented worker, you can be paid less, you can be exploited, and jobs can be taken away from others,” the Democratic presidential candidate said as she started a two-day Labor Day weekend swing through the eastern half of the state.
They also report that she went after Trump on the stump, and praised the economic records of both President Clinton and President Obama:
Trump has claimed he would somehow rid the country of 11 million immigrants who are here illegally. Clinton urged people to demand to know how he would do that.
“I’m going to be pressing for specifics, because there aren’t specifics,” she said. “This is just the kind of political rhetoric that doesn’t belong in our election.”
In a wide-ranging, informal presentation, Clinton pressed the idea that it’s important for Democrats to nominate someone who can win the general election. She said she's prepared to fend off GOP attacks.
"Whatever they throw at me, I can throw right back," she said.
If Republicans retake the White House, she said, they would reinstate failed policies, such as trickle-down economics. Clinton said the record clearly shows the economy does better under Democratic presidents, including her husband, Bill Clinton. His policies, including attacking the federal debt, sparked a strong recovery, she said.
“Everybody’s income, not just those at the top, but in the middle and lower income. People saw more in their paychecks, and they saw more in their future,” Clinton said.
Earlier in the weekend, Clinton launched Women for Hillary at a New Hampshire rally where she also accepted the endorsement of Senator Jeanne Shaheen. The New Hampshire Public Radio reports on the real significance of that endorsement:
But there was a reason Shaheen and Clinton stood on a stage Saturday, Shaheen pronouncing “I am a woman for Hillary,” and Clinton responding she’s “lucky to have a friend like Jeanne Shaheen.”
As Clinton supporter Ned Helms put it, “This is not just a nice, stand up, wave your hand and now you have an endorsement.”
Helms has worked in New Hampshire politics for decades, co-chairing President Obama’s state campaign in 2008 and 2012. He says when Shaheen makes an endorsement, she puts her back into it.
“She’s built presidential campaigns from the ground up. She knows the inside workings; she knows who to call. She’ll give invaluable advice in terms of how to position things, what the important strategic and operational aspects of the campaign are.”
Shaheen worked on Gary Hart’s 1984 campaign for President, in which Hart won the New Hampshire primary in an upset victory. She was also John Kerry’s national chairperson, and has been credited with reviving his 2004 campaign early in the primaries.
In a speech, Shaheen made it clear she has an idea who Clinton needs to reach.
“She will proudly stand with women,” Shaheen said, “she will proudly stand with Latino Americans. She will proudly stand with the LGBT community. She will proudly stand with teachers. And she will proudly stand with the hard working men and women of labor.”
Politico reports on how that rally centralized the historic nature of Clinton's campaign more than anything else so far:
In a state with a history of electing women to its highest offices, and on the 20th anniversary of her famous speech in Beijing, where as first lady she declared “women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights,” Hillary Clinton on Saturday defined the entire economic agenda of her 2016 campaign as a women's issue.
“I’m a proud lifelong fighter for women’s issues,” Clinton told a crowd of about 1,000 supporters that gathered outside Portsmouth Junior High School for the Labor Day weekend kickoff of “Women for Hillary.”
“I firmly believe what’s good for women is good for America,” Clinton said.
Clinton has been embracing her gender since her kickoff rally on Roosevelt Island last June, but the Women for Hillary rally marked the first time she placed her entire domestic and economic agenda in terms of how it affects women’s lives.
“Child care is a women’s issue, but it’s also an economic issue,” she said. “Paid family leave is a women’s issue, but it’s also an economic issue. You should not have to lose your paycheck or your job when you have a baby or someone in your family gets sick.”
Clinton kept up the refrain: “Of course, equal pay is a women’s issue, but it’s also an economic issue. We have to just get over this. Women should be paid the same as men, and when they’re not, their whole families get short-changed.”
“Raising the minimum wage is a women’s issue,” she said. “Holding corporations accountable when they gouge us on drug prices, pollute our environment or exploit workers are women’s issues.”
Corporations profit-sharing with their employees, college affordability and creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, she added, are all women’s issues, too.
They further report how she contrasted her own commitment to women's issues with the Republican agenda, starting with the front-runner:
Clinton singled out several Republican presidential candidates by name Saturday. GOP front-runner Donald Trump “said I don’t have a clue about women’s health issues,” Clinton said at the rally. “He said he would do a much better job for women than I would. That’s a general election debate that’s going to be a lot of fun.”
“He says he loves women; to quote him, he cherishes us,” Clinton added, “Well, if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather you stop cherishing women and start respecting women.”
She even took a swipe at Dr. Ben Carson, who has recently been surging in the polls, for his opposition to abortion rights.
An upside of being a glass-shattering female in politics is that you open the door for others to follow. Writing for the Huffington Post, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recalled how Clinton's speech in Beijing twenty years ago inspired her to "get off the sidelines":
I was working at a law firm in New York City, achieving professional success but feeling that something was missing. What was I contributing? Was I reaching my full potential?
These were the internal questions I struggled to answer when, in 1995, I heard First Lady Hillary Clinton give her iconic speech before the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women.
It was then that she proclaimed: "If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, once and for all."
Hillary was brave to deliver that message from China, a nation where I had studied and knew had culturally devalued women and girls -- but her impact was more far reaching. She was speaking to each of us, to let us know we have a voice and we must raise it.
I decided that if I were truly going to make a difference in my community and on the issues I cared about, then I needed to become engaged in government. I went to political events and raised money for candidates I believed in -- including Hillary when she ran for Senate. I started to think about how I might transition from my own career to public service, and in 2006, I ran for office myself.
This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of Hillary's history-making call to action, and the 20th anniversary of my off the sidelines moment. I will be forever grateful to her for her encouragement, and will continue to work to encourage women to become involved in the issues they care about.
A downside of being a glass-shattering female in politics is that you keep getting headlines like this: "Clinton Won't Apologize For Private Email Use." If all this "sorry" talk seems strange to you, the good folks at #HillaryMen can clear things up for you:
This isn't about the emails anymore. It never was. It's about making a woman bow down before the powers that be, something Hillary has never done.
After all, Donald Trump has spent the summer demeaning women, embracing xenophobia, and smearing a POW, but we don't see the media and elite commentariat clamoring for an apology.
Hillary is one of the most popular women in U.S. political history and the first with a legitimate shot at the White House. She is bold, dignified, and highly intelligent. She is Hillary Clinton in a world where there isn’t supposed to be a Hillary Clinton. Because of that, the institutional purveyors of gender bias want to tear her down.
Words like “contrite,” “apologize,” and “sorry” imply submission. Hillary’s detractors want to see her grovel. They will hammer away at the email faux-scandal until they get what they want. And they will blame her for it if they don't.
How many times will we hear the media and commentariat accuse Hillary of "allowing" the email story to drag on? How often will we hear them criticize her for "not putting it to rest?"
What a farce. Hillary can no more stop these people from obsessing over the emails than she can stop the sun from rising tomorrow.
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
September 4, 2015: MSNBC Interview with Andrea Mitchell
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
23, 2015: Women in the World Summit

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