Today's Hillary News & Views focuses on Clinton's latest policy proposals for campaign finance reform and guns, along with a look at how she helped to shift the Obama administration's approach to Iran.
Also in this post: praise from Bill De Blasio, and Clinton's dismissal of criticism from Dick Cheney.
Starting off with campaign finance reform:
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign unveiled its campaign finance reform plan Tuesday, pledging to push for more significant disclosure of political donations and to establish a small-donor matching system for campaigns.
The proposal, which was outlined by Clinton aides, takes on an issue that invigorates liberal Democrats who see money in politics as a corrupting force.
"We have to end the flood of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political system, and drowning out the voices of too many everyday Americans," Clinton said.
"Our democracy should be about expanding the franchise, not charging an entrance fee."
"They took aim at me but the ended up damaging our entire democracy. We can't let that happen again," she says.
Another key to Clinton's campaign finance reform plan will be her small-donor matching system, which -- according to a fact sheet provided by the campaign -- will "increase the role and influence of everyday Americans who cannot write large checks, the program will provide multiple matching funds for small donations."
Clinton's plan was heralded by some campaign finance groups. "With the release of this strong, bold plan, Hillary Clinton recognizes that in order to create government of, by, and for the people — not just the wealthy campaign funders — it's crucial to amplify the voices of regular voters," David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice, a campaign finance reform advocacy group, said Tuesday.
As Clinton prepares for a big speech today on Iran, the Wall Street Journal reports on how she initiated the new approach that led to the current deal while Secretary of State:
Hillary Clinton, in her last months as secretary of state, helped open the door to a dramatic shift in U.S. policy toward Iran: an acceptance that Tehran would maintain at least some capacity to produce nuclear fuel, according to current and former U.S. officials.
Mrs. Clinton left the State Department in early 2013. Later that year, in the midst of international talks, the Obama administration agreed publicly that Iran could continue to enrich uranium, completing the shift in policy that had been set in motion before Mrs. Clinton left her post.
Mrs. Clinton’s role in this critical early debate hasn’t been previously reported and shows that the Democratic presidential front-runner and her top aide, Mr. Sullivan, were key players in the Iran deal.
Given united Republican opposition to the deal, the issue is likely to be central in the 2016 election.They also report how Clinton has been lobbying on behalf of the deal:
Mrs. Clinton and her campaign team—including Mr. Sullivan and campaign chairman John Podesta—have regularly reached out to opponents of the Iran deal in recent weeks, including American Jewish leaders.
Mrs. Clinton has said she would stress the need to challenge Iran, in part by strengthening military support for Israel and the U.S.’s Persian Gulf allies. She is also focused on keeping financial pressure on Tehran. In conversations with Jewish allies who oppose the deal, the campaign’s high command has emphasized these concerns and how she would address them as president.
“She is absolutely insistent that all of us, starting with her, understand and acknowledge the concerns, recognize them as legitimate, underscore that we get it,” the senior aide said.Dick Cheney has been speaking out against the Iran deal and blaming the Obama administration for allowing Iran to develop nuclear capabilities. Clinton's response, as reported by Bloomberg Politics:
“Iran was on a pretty fast track toward a nuclear weapon when Barack Obama became president,” Clinton said at a backyard house party in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Clinton who served as Obama's first secretary of state, said Iran's major progress toward becoming a nuclear power actually happened when Cheney was serving in President George W. Bush's administration.
“Iranians mastered the nuclear fuel cycle before he became president, they built covert facilities and stocked them with centrifuges before he became president,” she said.
"And we—I was in the Senate—we had done everything we could by passing sanctions through our Congress. But it took the world to actually get their attention. We had to get everybody on board.”New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has famously withheld his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but it sounds like he's getting closer to giving it. Politico New York reports:
"I think Secretary Clinton is offering a more and more powerful vision for addressing the issues that I’m particularly focused on, and I give her a lot of credit for that," he said on Wednesday during an unrelated press conference.
"I still think there’s some issues that we have to hear a little more on, but I think with each passing day she’s put forward a stronger and clearer vision."Finally, ABC News interviewed Clinton last night:
I'm always amused when people get into politics and they think that all you have to do is give speeches, and the more colorful you are, the more dramatic, vehement you are, that's leadership.On whether she ever asks herself, "Why are you doing this again?":
Yes, of course, because it really is hard, and it's something that just demands everything. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. It is just 24/7. I love and cherish this country. It gave me opportunities far beyond anything my mother or my father could've had.On the memory of her mother:
As you probably know, my mother had a terrible childhood. She was abandoned by her parents, she was rejected by her grandparents. She was literally working as a house maid at the age of fourteen. And she told me every day, "You've got to get up and fight for what you believe in, no matter how hard it is." And I think about her a lot. I miss her a lot. I wish she were here with me. And I remember that. And I don't want to just fight for me. I mean, I could have a perfectly fine life not being president. I want to fight for all the people like my mother, who need somebody in their corner, and they need a leader who cares about them.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