Friday, October 30, 2015

Six Great New TV Ads From Hillary for America

These are works of art, if you ask me!

Hillary News & Views 10.30: The Superdelegate Surge Continues

Welcome to the not-scary-at-all Halloween edition of Hillary News & Views! Lysis is out shopping for trick-or-treat candy and an awesome costume so I'll be handling the duties today.

Democratic superdelegates continue to flock to the Clinton campaign:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has extended her already sizable superdelegate lead by several dozen since August, and is deploying former President Bill Clinton to bring more of the powerful endorsers on board.

Based on a memo from campaign manager Robby Mook and delegate figures provided by the Democratic National Committee, Bloomberg Politics estimates Hillary Clinton has well over 500 superdelegate commitments, putting her even closer to securing the minimum number needed to win the party's nomination before ordinary voters cast a single ballot in a caucus or primary.

“Today, Hillary has more support from superdelegates than all the pledged delegates awarded in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and a third of delegates awarded on Super Tuesday combined,” Mook said in the memo, which was sent to supporters on Tuesday and obtained by Bloomberg.
A reminder: Superdelegates have been a part of this process for decades and can switch their allegiance to another candidate all the way up to the convention. But this is unlikely, and their support along the way is absolutely crucial to victory.

If you're wondering how many superdelegates Bernie Sanders has, my guess is around 5 or less. I'm not trying to be mean, that's just the situation. Sometimes it pays to be a lifelong Democrat I suppose.

I like this next one a lot: The Clinton Cash nothingburger (AKA Donategate) did nothing to stop the flow of charity funds to the Clinton Foundation. In fact, maybe it helped?
Donors to the Clinton family’s charitable foundation have not been scared off by the intense media scrutiny brought on by Hillary Clinton’s run for president, new disclosures show.

Bruised and muddied by controversies this election season, the Clinton Foundation says it has nonetheless raised more money so far in 2015 than it did during the same period last year.

Not only has more overall money been raised, unwanted media scrutiny of donations from foreign governments and incomplete bookkeeping during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State has had the opposite effect to what many expected. Instead of these controversies driving donors away, more people sent checks to the foundation during the first three quarters of 2015 than they did over the same period last year.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reuters Tracking Poll: Clinton Leads Sanders 72%-23% Among Likely Democratic Voters

In the latest edition of the Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by an impressive 54%-34% among all Democrats and 58%-31% among registered Democratic voters.

But when the likely voter screen is added, her lead skyrockets to a whopping 49 points (72%-23%). That's an amazing jump of 17 points from October 21st (Biden's dropout date and Benghazi hearing eve) to October 27th.

I'd say that counts as a really, really good week.

Marco Math: "5% of a million is a lot more than 5% of a thousand"

Last night, as we all know by now, Sir Jeb valiantly tried to slay the Rubio dragon and reclaim his establishment mojo but ended up falling on his own sword instead. He is not expected to survive, and hopefully this cautionary tale will make future Bushes think twice about running for president.

This alone made it another good night for Marco, and if shockingly idiotic applause lines like "The Democrats have the ultimate Super PAC: it’s called the mainstream media" are your cup of might have even been great. But lurking underneath the pre-planned responses and crowd-pleasing one-liners, Rubio's major flaw again showed through: He can't think well on his feet.

We saw this most starkly with his unbelievably bad non-answer on Iraq earlier this year (get those attack ads ready, Clinton campaign!) and we saw it here when tried to defend his tax plan to John Harwood. Rubio didn't dispute that it would benefit the middle class the least...instead he gave us all a math lesson worthy of Jeb's smarter brother circa 2000.
"The math is: 5% of a million is a lot more than 5% of a thousand."

Of course, Dubya would have followed up that line with a classic "heh heh" and that shiteating grin of his. But otherwise it's the same stupidity.

Rubio's presentation at these events isn't nearly as confident as candidates like Cruz or Christie. It feels as though he's simultaneously very polished but also on the verge of a nervous flop-sweat disaster should anything go wrong. The 2013 State of the Union water bottle fiasco made clear that such a thing is a very real risk, and he knows it.

Another thing: Lying in a Republican debate and fending off a lame candidate like Jeb is one thing, but telling astonishing, easily verifiable lies over and over again about Benghazi to a good journalist the next morning is another.

Can you believe this guy?

Someday he might have to square off against a candidate far tougher than Jeb Bush or anyone else on that stage last night. And if so...there will be sweat.

Hillary News & Views 10.29: "Ten Candidates, Zero New Ideas."

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton's epic trolling of last night's GOP debate.   

The Hill reports:
Call them "Texts from Hillary." Hillary Clinton used the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday night to text her supporters.
"Seems to me: 10 candidates. 0 new ideas," Clinton wrote in one text, before signing it "H."
Time reports:
If her Twitter is any indication, Hillary Clinton was not too concerned about her possible Republican competition after Wednesday’s GOP debate. The frontrunner for the Democratic nominated tweeted a confident GIF from her Benghazi hearings in response to the Republican debate.
Here's that GIF:
ABC News reports:
Throughout the debate, Clinton continued to text her supporters – hitting the Republican candidates on issues such as college affordability and equal pay. She called out Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson specifically on health care.
“For a surgeon, Ben Carson has a pretty poor diagnosis,” she texted. “We need to build on the progress we’ve made on health care.”
In addition to the texts, Clinton’s campaign aired four new television ads in both Iowa and New Hampshire during the GOP debate on similar issues that Clinton brought up tonight, including equal pay and college affordability.
And here's her video of what it would look like if she was on the debate stage:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Republican Debate #3 Watch Party

Oh, this will be fun! Here are a few very nonscientific predictions:

-Obviously, now that Trump is slipping into 2nd place, he's going to go hard at Carson. And the doctor may not be ready to deal with the onslaught.

-Bush is going to nail Rubio over that Florida newspaper that just called on him to resign because he hates his job as a Senator and never shows up. And Bush might not be the only one to attack. There will be sweat.

-Rand Paul will have another rough night, leading to an exit from the race soon. Which would have happened anyway.

-Ditto Chris Christie.

-Jeb will be high-energy (for him), but will also come across as uncontrollably pissy at times. Because he's really not enjoying this whole situation.

-Cruz will have another solid showing and will soon rise to 3rd place in the polls.

-Huckabee, Fiorina and Kasich will also have good nights, but not good enough.

-Hillary's poll numbers will tick up even further after this shit show.

Watch it live at

UPDATE: What was I thinking?! That wasn't fun at all...except for witnessing the final electoral destruction of Jeb and hopefully the entire Bush clan with him. He certainly tried to go after Rubio, who ended up turning the attacks to his advantage. He was ready for this...and Jeb has got to be among the worst attack dogs of all time. And oddly enough, it was Christie who finished Jeb off with a line about fantasy football, of all things. Then there was the uncomfortable "warm kiss" thing. Bye, Jeb. Go off and do lots of "cool things" without us.

Otherwise, I should probably stop trying to predict debates because I got most of these wrong. Perhaps they all sensed that Carson was too well-liked and not great at debates anyway, so why bother going after him? He'll probably hang in there, as will Trump...though the novelty is noticeably wearing off. Paul, Fiorina, Huckabee and Kasich (despite a feisty start) didn't connect like they needed to, and Paul needed this the most. He may be out of there soon. But Christie is good in this format and lives to fight another day.

Other than Rubio, Cruz had the best night and is still poised to do a bit better in the polls in the coming weeks and months. The hardcore conservative base likes him more than Rubio, who is more of the press darling. Plus Cruz has a lot more money. We'll see how this shakes out.

Dark clouds on a good night for Rubio: Defending his tax plan. Also, he looked like a little kid compared to his much taller opponents and wouldn't stop talking about his parents. The SNL skit writes itself.

Hillary Clinton's Campaign Sharing Data/Funds with State Parties

Just got off of Robby Mook's conference call for Hillary Clinton volunteers, and he mentioned in passing that all of the voter data that the campaign is collecting for Clinton is being shared with state parties.

Mook explicitly stated that they are doing this to directly combat midterm voting dropoffs, to avoid a repeat of 2014.

So I did some googling, and found this from Bloomberg.
The Clinton campaign now has deals in place with the Democratic parties in Florida, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas, among other states and Puerto Rico, to create "victory funds." Contributions to those funds will be divided between the respective state parties and Clinton's primary campaign war chest.
Clinton has stressed that she wants her campaign and candidacy to boost other Democrats all the way down the ticket. Helping channel donors' support for her into state parties is one way to leverage her fundraising power on behalf of other candidates—and to link the success of other Democrats to her own.
The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee announced a fundraising agreement in late August, making it possible for donors to give to her campaign and to the party's general election fund with one check. Clinton would only benefit from the money if she becomes the Democratic nominee.
The New York Times reported last month on the agreements reached between the Clinton campaign and state parties in New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Mississippi. The state parties' agreements with Clinton do not preclude them from establishing similar arrangements with other Democratic candidates.
Nobody seems to be talking about this, but it seems like a BFD to me.

Clinton is using her superstar status and fundraising prowess to directly benefit the downticket races that we need to win to rebuild the Democratic party nationwide.

She is the only candidate we have that is in the position to do this, and she's doing it.

Those are some blood red states that she's raising money for.

If this ends up a wave election, Clinton is positioning us to ride that wave, even if she is not the nominee.

That is her commitment to the Democratic Party.

Hillary News & Views 10.28: Too Big to Fail, Brown Endorsement, and an Appeal to Women Voters

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton's appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where she made some policy news.  

CNN reports:
Hillary Clinton told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday that, as president, she would let the big banks fail if they were to get into trouble. That's a departure from what her former boss, President Barack Obama, did in 2009. "If you're president and the banks are failing, do we let them fail?" asked Colbert, host of CBS' "The Late Show."
"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes," Clinton said emphatically.
"First of all, under Dodd-Frank, that is what will happen because we now have stress tests and I'm going to impose a risk fee on the big bank if they engage in risky behavior but they have to know, their shareholders have to know that yes, they will fail and if they're too big to fail. Then under my plan and others that have been proposed, they may have to be broken up."
Bloomberg reports:
“We have to raise the minimum wage,” Clinton continued.
“It’s a poverty wage now. It’s disgraceful that people are working full time and cant get out of poverty. We need to incentivize for profit sharing—we need to continue to rein in the abuses in the financial system and particularly on Wall Street because it did contribute to the problems we had in the economy.”
Colbert retorted, “You put forth a plan for Wall Street and Wall Street embraced it—is that a good sign?
Clinton singled out New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's approval of her plan, before adding, "Look at what happened in '08, we had a big insurance company that had to be bailed out, we had an investment bank, Lehman Brothers, that failed. We have to look at the whole financial system and my plan does that.”
Jezebel reports:
The second half of the interview pivoted to politics: “Why do you want to be President of the United States?” Colbert asked.
“I want to build on the progress we’ve made. We’ve got to defend the progress we’ve made on women’s rights and gay rights,” Clinton answered.
She rehashed her talking points about the economy, her commitment to President Obama’s policies and focus on rebuilding the middle class.
The Huffington Post reports:
Clinton rallied behind the Dodd-Frank Act, which came into law in 2010 as a response to the Great Recession, and pointed toward the collapse of Lehman Brothers and bailouts of insurance and investment firms.
The interview also heavily focused on her desire to build on President Obama's support for the middle class while brushing off the notion that she would not be running any of her predecessor's third term.
"I'm not running for my husband's third term, I'm not running for Obama's third term, I'm running for my first term, but I'm going to do what works," she said.
"We have an understanding of what works. The wealthy need to pay more, I'm sorry to break it to you."
Clinton picked up the endorsement of leading progressive Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio. MSNBC reports:
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a liberal favorite who stayed neutral in the 2008 Democratic primary, has endorsed Hillary Clinton over his colleague Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 race.
“As Ohio’s working families continue to recover from the worst economic recession in our country’s history, we need a president who’s committed to growing our economy by lifting up the middle class,” Brown said in a statement.
“I am proud to endorse her today because I know she will keep Ohio moving forward.​” Brown’s support comes a day after Clinton picked up the endorsement of Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, who had said he would support fellow Delawarean Joe Biden if the vice president entered the race.
“From opposing unfair trade deals to fighting for a fair financial system, Hillary Clinton has shown she puts working families first. She knows as president that her first job will be creating jobs for the middle class,” he said.
Clinton has denounced the police brutality at Spring Valley High School. The Huffington Post reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday condemned the actions of a South Carolina school resource officer who attacked a high school student sitting in her chair and then dragged her across the floor. Video of the incident went viral on Monday, and Clinton tweeted that the actions of the officer, Deputy Ben Fields, were unacceptable.
Clinton will be using commercial airtime during tonight's GOP debate to directly appeal to women voters.  

The Guardian reports:
The four ads, each of which centers around a female protagonist, address middle class priorities such as instituting equal pay, expanding college affordability and raising incomes. Clinton provides a voiceover but does not appear directly in the ads, which will air on broadcast and cable in the key early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, according to a Clinton aide.
“On average, women need to work an extra two hours each day to earn the same paycheck as their male co-workers,” Clinton says in one ad.
“The top 25 hedge fund managers make more than all of the kindergarten teachers in America combined,” she notes in another.
Clinton’s ads are nonetheless marked by an air of simplicity, in that each spot introduces an issue and closes with Clinton’s voice asking voters to “join the fight”.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

STUNNER: Clinton Leads Sanders by 41 Points in Iowa Post-Benghazi Poll (Updated w/ 2nd Crazy Poll)

Holy moly!

Folks, if the first post-Benghazi committee hearing result is any indication, this race is very close to being over. According to a new Monmouth University poll, Hillary Clinton has opened up a 41-point lead over Bernie Sanders in Iowa!
In the first Monmouth University Poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers in the 2016 cycle, Hillary Clinton holds a commanding 41 point lead over Bernie Sanders. This is the first poll conducted after Clinton’s appearance before the Benghazi Committee and Joe Biden’s announcement that he would not mount a presidential campaign.
Clinton currently garners the support of 65% of likely Democratic caucusgoers to 24% for Bernie Sanders. Martin O’Malley clocks in at 5% and Larry Lessig has 1% of the vote.
You read that right: 65%-24%!

And stuff like this is just insane:
Clinton enjoys a large lead over Sanders among both male (55% to 33%) and female (73% to 16%) voters. 
Obviously, we should wait for some more polls in the coming days before we get too excited...but for now?


UPDATE: Well that didn't take long.

The Monmouth poll might not be much of an outlier at all. Another brand new Iowa poll from Loras College has Hillary up by 38 points, 62% to 24%! And this one was in the field from Oct 19-22, after the debate but mostly before the Benghazi hearing. Wow.

Hillary News & Views 10.27: On the Ground in Iowa, de Blasio will Endorse, and Misogynist Language

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with a look at the race in Iowa.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
With Vice President Joe Biden announcing last week he would stay out of the race, many Iowa Democratic leaders and rank-and-file voters said Sunday Mrs. Clinton had reclaimed a commanding position in the state and was recovering some ground she lost after a rocky campaign rollout.
“She’s looking a lot stronger now than she was before,” said John Colombo, chairman of the Democratic Party in Franklin County, Iowa. “With the Benghazi hearing you had people waiting to see how it would play out and she handled it extremely well.”
Jerry Osburn, 63 years old, came to a Clinton rally Saturday before the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraising dinner. He said he is still considering backing Mr. Sanders, but came away impressed by Mrs. Clinton’s performance at the Benghazi hearing.
“It’s all positive for her right now,” he said. “She handled herself very diplomatically; calm. I’m going to call it presidential.”
The Washington Post reports:
Clinton has been building the Iowa organization from Day One, opening nine field offices within two months of her April launch. This spring, her staff had more than 6,000 one-on-one coffee meetings with key activists. By the first week of June, the campaign had signed up at least one supporter in each of the state’s 1,680 precincts — a difficult feat considering some rural precincts have only a few registered Democrats.
The Clinton campaign is busy this fall training precinct captains — people known in their neighborhoods who understand the caucus rules and can not only get people to show up at the appointed time, but also give remarks at the caucus that persuade people to Clinton’s side.
“That conversation outweighs almost any kind of media anyone could put out there,” said Halle, a field staffer on Obama’s 2008 Iowa campaign.
The Des Moines Register reports:
Remember all those stories over the summer about the enthusiasm gap that was plaguing Democrats? Iowa Democrats buried that narrative Saturday night at the Jefferson Jackson dinner. Clinton, who pointed out that Republicans have been attacking each other in their debates, also threw an elbow or two.
“I’m running as a proud Democrat,” she said.
That’s a contrast from Sanders, who serves in the Senate as an independent and calls himself a democratic socialist. However, she saved most of her barbs for Republicans.
“For people who claim they hate big government, Republicans sure love using government to step in and make decisions for women,” Clinton said, to one of her biggest ovations.
The Sanders cheering section began to empty out as Clinton was speaking.
Bloomberg reports:
This weekend in Iowa, Democrats flocked to the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to celebrate their favorite candidates. And with the field narrowing down to two clear front-runners, Bloomberg Politics asked attendees to describe their pick in three words.
“Good, strong, and determined,” Bill Clinton said of his wife, Hillary Clinton.
Others described her as “experienced,” “vibrant,” “dynamic,” “electable,” “resilient,” and “beautiful.”
Bill de Blasio is preparing to endorse Hillary Clinton. The Wall Street Journal reports:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to endorse Hillary Clinton for president before his planned candidates’ forum in Iowa in December, marking the end of a process that exposed Mr. de Blasio to criticism as other top Democrats lined up behind Mrs. Clinton. The endorsement could happen long before the forum, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Discussions are still under way with the Clinton camp, however, and aides for Mr. de Blasio are trying to decide how to roll out the backing. Mr. de Blasio’s support would be what many political observers and people close to the mayor saw as an inevitability, even as he had declined for months to back Mrs. Clinton’s pursuit of the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Also last month, Mr. de Blasio met privately at a Brooklyn restaurant with Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mrs. Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic presidential nod.
Clinton has picked up an endorsement from Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports:
Comptroller Peter Franchot announced his backing of Clinton Monday morning in an email to supporters. Franchot praised her experience, as well as her campaign promises to lower the cost of college and invest in biotechnology.
In endorsing Clinton, Franchot becomes the latest Maryland politician to support the establishment favorite over O'Malley's long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination.
Long before Clinton officially launched her campaign, she secured support from Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin in Dec. 2014. She won endorsements from most of the state's Democratic congressional delegation, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
Clinton's resurgence is helping fill her campaign coffers. Politico reports:
"I think there is a real sense that dawn has arrived and it looks to be a sunny day, which is lifting all spirits exactly at a time when real voters in the early states — not just the chattering class — are focusing in," said Chris Lehane, a California Democratic strategist who has been closely involved with the campaign's fundraising.
“She’s beginning to do well fundraising-wise because people are now beginning to focus on her policies. She gets that the economy is a major part of succeeding in the world, and if she does as good a job as President Bill Clinton did, America will be in good shape,” said Imaad Zuberi, one of the campaign’s top fundraisers.
“If you look at the Benghazi hearing going really well and the vice president dropping out, anyone who was sitting on the sidelines is all in, on the bandwagon now."
Finally, as the primary race gets more intense, two think pieces worth sharing. First, Peter Daou and Tom Watson at #HillaryMen:
It's not that Bernie shouldn't draw contrasts with Hillary (or she with him), that's what a healthy campaign is about. It's that he is suddenly coming dangerously close to the Rovian menu of rightwing anti-Hillary messaging that we've written extensively about, an array of character hits tested and perfected by conservative oppo shops and disseminated by the media and commentariat.
If Bernie wants to draw sharp contrasts with Hillary over policy differences, we welcome it. It's his right as a candidate in a tough contest. She can do the same, as she has on the gun issue. But to start questioning Hillary's honesty, judgment and integrity will cost Bernie far more than it will hurt Hillary.
In a hundred stump speeches at a hundred rallies, Bernie has said that his campaign would be fought on the issues and the issues alone. Let's hope it stays that way.
Melissa McEwan of Shakesville on the "shouting" exchange between Clinton and Sanders:
On Saturday, Clinton pushed back on Sanders' categorization of her "shouting," saying: "I've been told to stop shouting about gun violence. Well, I'm not shouting. It's just when women talk, some people think we're shouting."
One might expect that Sanders would have learned something, anything, from the general criticism of his failure to be sensitive to marginalized populations' individual and intersectional concerns since the beginning of his campaign, or from the specific criticism of his "shouting" comment during the debate, but one would be wrong!
Sanders on Sunday laughed at her suggestion that his remarks were about gender. "All that I can say is I am very proud of my record on women's issues. I certainly do not have a problem with women speaking out—and I think what the secretary is doing there is taking words and misapplying them," Sanders told [CNN State of the Union host Jake Tapper].
Wow. So, treating as laughable the suggestion that the language he used has a misogynist connotation, even if it wasn't intended that way, citing his record on women's issues (I bet some of his best friends are women!), and accusing Hillary Clinton of misunderstanding and looking for things to get mad about. ONE MORE SQUARE AND I'LL HAVE BINGO.
Please read the whole thing, but review Shakesville's Comment Policy before sharing your thoughts over there.

Sorry, Bernie: DOMA Really Was a Defensive Action Against a Possible Constitutional Amendment

Last Friday in an interview with Rachel Maddow, Hillary Clinton was asked about the Defense of Marriage Act which was signed by her husband in 1996. Her answer may have come as a surprise to some:
CLINTON: On Defense of Marriage, I think what my husband believed – and there was certainly evidence to support it – is that there was enough political momentum to amend the Constitution of the United States of America, and that there had to be some way to stop that.

And there wasn’t any rational argument – because I was in on some of those discussions, on both “don’t ask, don’t tell” and on – on DOMA, where both the president, his advisers and occasionally I would – you know, chime in and talk about, “you can’t be serious. You can’t be serious.”

But they were. And so, in a lot of ways, DOMA was a line that was drawn that was to prevent going further.

MADDOW: It was a defensive action?

CLINTON: It was a defensive action.
And it didn't take very long for another candidate to smell blood in the water.

At his Iowa JJ dinner speech the next day, Bernie Sanders pointedly proclaimed that "some are trying to rewrite history" on this issue, and on Monday went even further during his own interview on Maddow's show by directly accusing Hillary of saying something that "wasn't true".

Going deeper into negative territory, Sanders also made a point to read this tweet from a longtime Clinton supporter word for word:
That's fine of course, but if Bernie gets to quote a tweet by 1990s RIAA lobbyist Hilary Rosen then so can I:
Anyway, could it really be that Hillary Clinton is suddenly rewriting the history of DOMA to make herself and her husband look better for this campaign?

The answer is no...and there's proof.

Bill Clinton agonized about his decision for years, and in a March 2013 Washington Post op-ed entitled "It's Time to Overturn DOMA" he wrote:
In 1996, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Although that was only 17 years ago, it was a very different time. In no state in the union was same-sex marriage recognized, much less available as a legal right, but some were moving in that direction. Washington, as a result, was swirling with all manner of possible responses, some quite draconian. As a bipartisan group of former senators stated in their March 1 amicus brief to the Supreme Court, many supporters of the bill known as DOMA believed that its passage “would defuse a movement to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which would have ended the debate for a generation or more.” It was under these circumstances that DOMA came to my desk, opposed by only 81 of the 535 members of Congress.
Sure enough, there is indeed a March 1st 2013 Supreme Court amicus brief from former Democratic Senators Bill Bradley, Tom Daschle and Chris Dodd, as well as former Republican Senator Alan Simpson. There's some good overall background on DOMA from their perspective as 1996 lawmakers if you feel like reading the whole thing, but here is the relevant section:
The statute enjoyed broad bipartisan support, but the reasons for that support varied widely. Some supported DOMA even while staunchly opposing discrimination against gays in employment, adoption, military service, and other spheres. Some believed that DOMA was necessary to allay fears that a single state’s recognition of same-sex marriage could automatically extend to all other states through the Full Faith and Credit Clause. And they believed that enacting DOMA would eliminate the possibility of a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage—an outcome that would have terminated any further debate about same-sex marriage, potentially for generations. At the same time, even for many who generally opposed sexual orientation discrimination, the traditional conception of marriage was so engrained that it was difficult to see the true nature of the discrimination DOMA wrought. 
The way I see it, there are only a couple of possibilities here.

Either the Clintons were able to convince a bipartisan group of former U.S. Senators to lie to the Supreme Court in early 2013 so Hillary could have a better answer two-and-a-half years later about why her husband signed DOMA nearly twenty years earlier...

...or maybe, just maybe...Hillary is telling the truth.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Birthday, Hillary!

And after this very challenging but ultimately awesome month, she deserves a particularly happy birthday party indeed.

In lieu of cake and ice cream, consider making a donation to her campaign so the whole country can eventually receive the greatest gift of them all: President Hillary Rodham Clinton!

Hillary on Maddow: This Election Will be About "Fundamental Rights"

Hillary Clinton appeared on the Rachel Maddow show last night, her first national interview since completing her Benghazi testimony.

The lovely folks at MSNBC have provided a transcript, so this entry was put together fairly quickly.

I've made some small adjustments for clarity and grammar.

Look for another entry this weekend that focuses on her speech at the Women's Democratic Forum yesterday. Here is Hillary on...

The 2016 Election:
My take on this, now, is we’re gonna have an election that is truly going to be, at bottom, about fundamental rights. A woman’s right to choose, defending Planned Parenthood, marriage equality, taking on the continuing discrimination against the LGBT community. You can get married on Saturday, you can get fired on Monday. Voting rights – the most profound citizenship rights that we have being blocked and undermined at every turn.
We are going to have a very vigorous debate in this election, because the Republicans are all on record as trying to reverse and rip away the progress that has occurred. A lot of it, because of decisions that the court has finally made – both for good and for bad.
I mean, the marriage equality decision for good, the terrible gutting of the Voting Rights Act for bad. And the local activity in states against a woman’s right to choose and defunding Planned Parenthood.
How Republicans Defund Government to Discredit Government:
They try to create a downward spiral. Don’t fund it to the extent that it needs to be funded, because we want it to fail so then we can argue for privatization. They still want to privatize Medicare.
They still want to do away with Social Security. And these are fights we’ve been having for 70, 80 years, now. S
o we cannot grow weary in the face of these ideological assaults on basic fundamental services, whether it’s the V.A., Medicare, Social Security.
But we have to be more creative about trying to fix the problems that are the legitimate concern, so that we can try to stymie the Republican assault.

Hillary News & Views 10.26: A Labor Majority and a Proud Democrat in Des Moines

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with the latest on the labor endorsement front.  

CNN reports:
AFSCME, the largest trade union of public employees in the United States, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Friday, according a release from the group provided to CNN.
"The next president will make decisions that could make or break the ability of working people across America to sustain their families. That's why we spent the last six months engaged in the most member-focused, in-depth, and transparent endorsement process AFSCME has ever undertaken," said AFSCME President Lee Saunders.
Polling, according to Saunders, showed that nearly two thirds of AFSCME members would vote for Clinton in the Democratic primary.
The AFSCME endorsement is big for Clinton, who is coming off arguably the best three weeks of her campaign. With the endorsement, the 1.6 million members of the union will provide help on the ground in key states and will be able to back her campaign financially, too.
The national endorsement does not mean that AFSCME state chapters are compelled to endorse Clinton, but the national endorsement is the only backing that comes with organization and money, according to union spokespeople.
The union is a major player in Iowa, too, representing 40,000 public employees.
Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton’s endorsement Friday by the country’s largest public employee union marks a turning point in her nomination battle as she shores up support from a labor movement that flirted in recent months with Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
The endorsement, by the 1.3 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, enables Clinton to claim support from groups representing the majority of the nation’s 14.6 million union members.
Clinton’s endorsements from AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association alone represent nearly 6 million workers. Add in the seven other national unions supporting her and the total rises to about 7.5 million.
Those other unions are: the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America; the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association; the Union of Painters & Allied Trades; the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

100 Days From the Caucuses, Hillary Wins the Day in Iowa

What a month! What a week! What a day!
Hillary Clinton capped off the best two weeks in her campaign so far by throwing herself a giant party. 
When the Democratic presidential candidate landed in Iowa Saturday for the state party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, she was greeted by a blast of red, white and blue confetti; her husband, the popular former president; pop singer Katy Perry and 4,000 adulatory fans.
The celebration came after Clinton shined in two bouts of political hazing. First, she gained the upper hand at the first Democratic debate with her arch-rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, allowing her to answer criticism of her private email server before an audience of millions. Then, Clinton endured a marathon 11-hours of accusatory questions from House Republicans over the attacks on Benghazi, Libya.
In the late afternoon autumn sun in Des Moines on Saturday, Clinton campaigned with a renewed vigor, seeking to demonstrate that she could draw the biggest names and the biggest crowds.
The headlines from the JJ dinner itself have largely been about Bernie attacking Hillary (if not by name) during his speech. While this might seem like a great idea if you think she didn't get blasted enough last week during the 11-hour Benghazi ordeal, I doubt that it will resonate with Iowa Democrats who view both candidates positively. Otherwise it was an okay speech if you don't mind getting yelled at for half an hour.

O'Malley did fine too, but let's not kid ourselves about who the headliner was:
Clinton was on last, and she appeared relaxed and confident. A disciplined and highly energized crowd held glow sticks that lit up half the huge hall an eerie blue for the grand finale. They roared deafeningly when Clinton came on, and a couple enthusiasts banged chairs so vigorously on the ground it looked like they were trying to destroy them. “I’m with her, I’m with her,” they screamed.
Clinton’s speech was a bricolage of canned lines from her past few months on the campaign trail. She identified herself closely with President Obama, saying Democrats need to build on his accomplishments. She said Democrats need to fight for paid family leave and to raise the minimum wage. She argued that the Republicans have stacked the deck for those on top, but promised that “I’m listening to you, I’m fighting for you, and with your support, Iowa, I’m going to deliver.”
“And together, we’re going to build an America where there are no ceilings for anyone, where no one gets left behind or left out, and yes, where a father can tell his daughter, you can be anything you want to be, including President of the United States of America!” Clinton said.
It was a stump speech that many had heard before. But like hearing a favorite pop song at a concert, its familiarity was key to its success. Clinton’s supporters, too, were ready to party.
Here's the full speech, in case you missed it:

And here's what I thought...

Friday, October 23, 2015

"We're Better Than That!"

As the end of Trey Gowdy's ridiculous 11-hour Benghazi hearing finally approached, it was clear that Hillary was doing exceptionally well beyond expectation and the Republicans were getting more desperate and absurd as each painful minute rolled by. It could have ended there and easily been counted as a win for Clinton.

But it didn't end there. It kept going until the clouds rolled away, the sun shined down, and Gowdy's sham committee melted into nothingness before our very eyes.

Watch this twelve minute clip of Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings and Hillary Clinton.

After a particularly noxious round of questioning, Schiff calmly and effectively dismantles the proceedings once again...but that's only the precursor to what Cummings has in store. "We're better than that!" is this generation's "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" but his entire rant was the cathartic emotional apex of the day. And Hillary's beautiful response could not have been any more perfect.

If there's a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye as you watch it, I'll tell you from my own experience that you're not alone.

After Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November 2016, I believe that we might just look back at these twelve minutes from a year earlier as a key pivot point that helped make it possible.

I could certainly go on about this historic moment...but this post-hearing photo of Elijah and Hillary is worth several thousand more words.

Hillary News & Views 10.23: Clinton Destroys Gowdy's Committee


I actually subjected myself to almost all of the 11-hour hearing and in the aftermath I'm still trying to absorb and ponder its implications. At various times it was fascinating, ridiculous, infuriating, boring, annoying, exciting, nauseating, pathetic, and even occasionally funny. But in the end, it was only one thing: Triumphant...for Hillary.

There will be more on this soon, but for now it's time for a victory lap as we celebrate Gowdy's sham reduced to shambles in a special edition of Hillary News & Views.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Benghazi Hearing is a Total Disaster For Republicans...But it's Not Over Yet

Her face in this shot speaks for us all.
So far, this hearing has been an embarrassing disaster for Republicans that is only making the prospect of another President Clinton all the more likely.

Hillary HQ is following the hearing closely and providing constant updates on you can see on the right side of the page. Follow along with us and we'll have much more on this at the conclusion.

Hillary News and Views 10.22: Limiting Mergers, Celebrating State Record, and the Post-Biden "Bounce"

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton's opposition to a proposed health care merger.  

USA Today reports:
Hillary Clinton is taking aim at the proposed merger of health insurance giants Aetna and Humana as she ratchets up her scrutiny of U.S. corporate consolidation and its effect on consumers.
In her first remarks about the deal, she expressed "serious concern" about the proposed union, as well as one between Cigna and Anthem. Clinton is urging regulators to closely scrutinize the mergers.
"I’m worried that the balance of power is moving too far away from consumers,’’ Clinton said in a statement provided by a campaign official.
"Companies proposing to merge bear the heavy burden of demonstrating that consumers will benefit,’’ said Clinton, noting that "too often the companies end up pocketing profits rather than passing savings to consumers.’’
In her statement, Clinton said the companies should "commit to passing on savings and efficiencies to consumers as lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs.’
Her comments are part of a broader health care agenda focused on the need to lower prescription drug and other out-of-pocket health care costs.
As she attempts to strengthen her position in the Democratic presidential field, Clinton is appealing to her party’s progressive base that has made reining in corporate excess, particularly on Wall Street, a top priority.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Joe Biden Passes on Presidential Run

As repeatedly predicted by Hillary HQ, Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will not seek the presidency in 2016.
Vice President Joe Biden will not run for president in 2016, he said Wednesday, ending a months-long flirtation with a third White House campaign and setting him on a glide path toward the end of his decades-long political career. ...
“Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time,” Biden said, flanked by President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden.
Encouraged by Democrats seeking an alternative to Clinton, Biden had spent the past several months deeply engaged in discussions with his family and political advisers about entering the primary.
Yet as the deliberations dragged on, Democrats began publicly questioning whether it was too late for him to run, a notion that hardened after Clinton’s strong performance in last week’s Democratic debate.
In the end, Biden decided the timing was too late. He also was still grieving over the death of his son, former Delaware Attorney Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in May.
I believe that he made the right decision for himself, his family, his party and his country, and it will only strengthen his legacy as a lifelong public servant as well as one of the best vice presidents in our nation's history.

Of course, as numerous recent polls have indicated, this decision will also help to unify the party behind Hillary Clinton and make her road to the nomination that much easier.

Thank you, Joe. You'll always be a BFD in my book!

Hillary News & Views 10.21: Limiting Corporate Power, Localizing the Election, and a Little Feminist

Today's edition of Hillary News & Views kicks off with a new piece Clinton has written on limiting corporate power.

From an editorial published by Quartz:
First, I will take steps to stop corporate concentration in any industry where it’s unfairly limiting competition. For example, right now, it’s perfectly legal for a pharmaceutical company to pay a competitor to keep a generic drug off the market. These so-called “pay for delay” agreements keep prescription drug costs artificially high and diminish patient choice. I will empower the Department of Justice to vigorously investigate proposed health insurance mergers and take action to rein in prescription drug and out-of-pocket costs. Closing these loopholes and protecting other standards of free and fair competition—like enforcing strong net neutrality rules and preempting state laws that unfairly protect incumbent businesses—will keep more money in consumers’ wallets, enable startups to challenge the status quo, and allow small businesses to thrive.
Second, I will prevent concentration in the first place by beefing up the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. I will direct more resources to hire aggressive regulators who will conduct in-depth industry research to better understand the link between market consolidation and stagnating incomes. Ultimately, this will foster a change in corporate culture that restores competition to the marketplace.
Third, I will close the loopholes and end the tax breaks that allow a few big corporations to profit just by stashing their money in offshore tax havens with the help of their lawyers and accountants. I’ll encourage companies to share corporate earnings with their workers, not just their executives, by creating a new tax credit to encourage profit-sharing programs. And I’ll invest in creating good-paying jobs in the industries of the future. We’ll build a 21st century infrastructure by developing and deploying more clean energy, and fuel innovation by investing in basic research.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Numerous Post-Debate Polls Show Huge Momentum for Hillary Clinton

A week since the first debate, it's becoming clearer every day that my initial assessment was correct: Hillary won and it wasn't even close.

A couple of brand-new polls out today show huge momentum for Clinton. The first is from New Hampshire, where PPP finds a pretty astonishing turnaround in this crucial early state:
PPP's new New Hampshire Democratic poll finds that Hillary Clinton's moved back into the lead in the state. She gets 41% to 33% for Bernie Sanders with Joe Biden at only 11%, Martin O'Malley at 4%, and Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb each at 2%. Since PPP last polled New Hampshire in August Clinton's gone up 6 points from her then 35% standing, while Sanders has dropped 9 points from his then 42% standing.
Clinton's rise comes as her image with Democratic voters in the state has improved by a good amount. Her favorability (+56 at 73/17) has improved a net 18 points from August when she was at +38 (63/25) with primary voters. The key for her is that she has narrowed things up among Sanders' core groups of supporters. With 'very liberal' voters Sanders leads her only 43/42, with men Sanders leads her only 35/34, and with younger voters Sanders is ahead 42/34. Meanwhile Clinton remains dominant with the groups most friendly to her- she's up 50/24 with seniors, 47/31 with women, and leads by at least 8 points with every ideological group besides 'very liberal' voters.
Independents are a big part of the puzzle even keeping New Hampshire competitive at all. They account for about a third of the Democratic primary electorate, and Sanders has a 40/32 advantage over Clinton with them. Among actual Democrats Clinton leads Sanders by 18 points at 47/29, pretty similar to the national picture- it's really the unusual representation of non-Democrats in the Democratic primary in the state that has the race there looking competitive. ... 
If Biden doesn't end up running for the nomination Clinton will benefit, since 40% of Biden voters say she would be their second choice to only 15% for Sanders. Reallocate Biden backers to their next pick, and Clinton's lead over Sanders goes up to 45/35.
It will be interesting to see what the Iowa numbers look like, but it seems likely that a similar shift has occurred there...especially with the kind of numbers we are seeing nationally in today's ABC/Washington Post poll. The headline, Clinton Rebounds in Democratic Race, Gaining Against Sanders and Biden Alike, says it all:
Hillary Clinton has followed a successful debate performance by rebounding in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, regaining ground against Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden alike.
With anticipation surrounding Biden at a peak, Clinton has 54 percent support in interviews Thursday through Sunday, compared with Sanders’ 23 percent and Biden’s 16 percent. That’s 12 percentage points better for Clinton than her position a month ago, bringing her halfway back to her level of support in the spring and summer, before her September stumble.
Clinton’s debate performance may be a factor in her improvement among Democrats and Democratic leaners; a plurality, 45 percent, think she won last week’s debate, more than twice as many as pick Sanders, 19 percent. The rest have no opinion or see no winner. ... 
Is there any room for Biden in this picture? Hard to see it...and if he does decide to sit it out, Hillary's lead grows to an astonishing 39 points! Also, the electability advantage is just staggering:
Clinton’s support for the nomination is more than double Sanders’ and triple the unannounced Biden’s. Leaving Biden out of the equation, she has even more support, 64 percent, compared with 25 percent for Sanders, with others in the low single digits. That’s improved slightly for Clinton from a 56-28 percent race vs. Sanders in September. 
Measured just against Sanders, Clinton prevails on empathy, her positions on the issues and, especially, electability, leading him on these by 51-37 percent, 53-36 percent and 73-21 percent, respectively.
But if that's not enough and you're hungry for even more post-debate national polls basically saying the same thing, check out Monmonth (Clinton +27), Reuters/Ipsos (Clinton +24), NBC/WSJ (Clinton +20) and CNN/ORC (Clinton +16).

Onward to victory!


Hillary News & Views 10.20: The Big Dog Is Ready to Bark!

Hey this is Scan covering for Lysis again for this edition of Hillary News & Views! Don't worry, he'll be back shortly...and though I'm certainly not Lysis, I will do my best off-kilter impression. (By the way, if you happen to be interested in helping us out with these...send me a message!)

I'm particularly excited about this first bit of news: The Big Dog is ready to bark in Iowa...alongside Katy Perry who is ready to roar!
Bill Clinton will join Hillary Clinton in Iowa on Saturday ahead of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, one of the major campaign events of the Iowa caucuses season.
The former president will attend a Clinton campaign rally in downtown Des Moines before the dinner, appearing with pop star Katy Perry. Hillary Clinton will attend the dinner, but has not yet set her schedule for earlier in the day.
This sounds like a major party and I seriously can't wait to see Bill out there in full force on the stump again!

There's another must-see event the night before:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Larry David as Bernie Sanders is the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

In case you missed it, or want to watch it again, here is what the internet went totally gaga about last weekend...and rightly so.

This was clearly the role that Larry David was born to play, though Alec Baldwin as Jim Webb and Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton are hilarious as well.

Not all Sanders fans were totally delighted by this, however, especially the part about their candidate being Hillary's running mate. I have to agree...Bernie will be much more effective in the Senate helping President Clinton give hard-working Americans a long overdue raise!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hillary Fights Back in Alabama: "This is a blast from the Jim Crow Past"

Hillary Clinton is on fire in Alabama, calling out its GOP leadership's attacks on voting rights, while also raising money for the Alabama Democratic Conference, which focuses on increasing Democratic turnout among minorities in the traditionally red state.  

The Hill reports:
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Saturday accused Alabama lawmakers of advancing “discriminatory” laws to roll back voting rights, as she looks to shore up support with black voters.
In her first visit to Alabama as a presidential candidate, Clinton elevated her call for voting rights as she condemned the state’s decision last week to close 31 driver’s license offices. Nearly all of the offices were in predominantly black neighborhoods. She urged Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and his Republican-controlled legislature to keep the offices open, and “not just for one day a month."
“Here in Alabama, without the right kind of ID, it’s nearly impossible to vote,” she said as the packed room boomed with applause.
“It’s hard to believe we are back having this same debate about whether every American gets a chance to vote,” she declared, raising her voice as the cheers grew louder.
“This is a blast from the Jim Crow past.”
Alabama’s decision to shutter driver’s license offices – which the governor said is a result of budget cuts – has drawn attention nationwide because of the state’s strict voter ID law passed last year.
Democrats have claimed the decision is politically driven because each of the closures takes place in neighborhoods with populations that are at least 75 percent black.
Clinton described the law as "discriminatory and demeaning” – and one which should be repealed.
In Alabama and across the country, Clinton said states should do more to make it easier to vote. She pointed to efforts by states like Oregon, which recently made voter registration automatic for anyone who receives a driver’s license.
She also called for early voting days, weekend and evening voting, and restoring the voting rights of former convicts who have “done their time.”

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hillary Retakes the Lead in New Hampshire in Post-Debate Poll

After trailing in New Hampshire since the mid-summer, Hillary Clinton now edges Bernie Sanders there 37%-35% according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe post-debate poll of likely primary voters.

Yep, she definitely won the debate:
A majority of likely voters who watched the first televised Democratic debate Tuesday night said that former Secretary of State Clinton won (54 percent), while 24 percent said Sen. Sanders of Vermont prevailed.
“Clinton’s willingness to engage Sanders on gun control established her progressive credentials,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “And her debate performance solidified her standing with New Hampshire Democratic voters, who have her leading her closest rival for the first time since July.”
Also, this is big:
When likely voters were asked which Democrat has the best chance of defeating the eventual Republican nominee, 52 percent said Clinton, 16 percent chose Sanders, and 14 percent selected Biden. However, 60 percent of those who watched the debate said that Clinton has the best chance in the general election, compared to Sanders and Biden (13 percent each).
Biden received a relatively low 11% support in this survey, suggesting that much of Clinton's boost came from his supporters. Should he opt out of running, Hillary's numbers will likely go even higher.

With an NBC online poll also showing a clear debate victory for her and Iowa Democrats seeming to agree, last Tuesday night is looking more and more like a dramatic game changer in favor of Hillary Clinton.


Hillary N&V 10.16: Castro & Latinos for Hillary, Competing in Alabama, and No Silence on Guns

Today's Hillary News & Views kicks off with Clinton's latest endorsement, and it's a big one: HUD Secretary and potential VP pick Julian Castro.

The New York Times reports:
Julián Castro, the former mayor of this South Texas city and currently the secretary of housing and urban development, endorsed Mrs. Clinton at a Latinos for Hillary organizing event here on Thursday, the first of a series of such events designed to drum up enthusiasm among Latinos beyond the early four voting states.
“She has always, always, been there for us,” Mr. Castro told the crowd as people waved Hillary signs that read “Estoy Contigo!” (“I’m with you!”)
“I love being La Hillary,” she said, referring to what signs scattered around the event called her. “But I am not just La Hillary, I am Tu Hillary,” using the Spanish word for “your.”
She reiterated her position to go beyond President Obama’s efforts to overhaul the immigration system, saying such changes would “boost wages, create jobs and save the taxpayers money.”
But Mrs. Clinton also addressed issues like her plans for small businesses, equal pay for women, student debt and affordable child care.
The setting served as a nostalgic backdrop for Mrs. Clinton, who spent time in South Texas when she was a young organizer working to register mostly Latino voters on behalf of George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign.
“I was a blond girl from Chicago. I hardly knew a word of Spanish but I drove around South Texas and the Valley,” she said. “I made friends of a lifetime, so for me this is personal.”
ABC News reports:
During a Q&A in San Antonio, Texas, with the president of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Javier Palomarez, Clinton was asked her thoughts on the young, Hispanic U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary as her possible running mate.
"I think really highly of him, and I am thrilled to have his endorsement today. Both he and his twin brother are just among the best young leaders in America, regardless of category or the fact that they come from San Antonio,” Clinton said, referring to Castro, 41, and his brother, Rep. Joaquín Castro.
"I am going to really look hard at him for anything because that’s how good he is, and he deserves the accolades he’s receiving.”

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Julian Castro Endorsed Hillary Clinton in San Antonio...and I Was There

But did I take this photo? I wish.
Hillary/Julian 2016!
Hillary Clinton picked up a major endorsement Thursday, one so critical to her campaign that she held a campaign rally to highlight it.
Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, is the second person in President Barack Obama's cabinet and first major Latino to endorse Clinton.
"Having watched and respected for years now Secretary Clinton, I know that she appeals to Americans of all backgrounds and colors, different perspectives and walks of life," Castro said with Clinton standing next to him at an event in San Antonio, Texas.
Clinton, who is riding a wave of momentum after a well-regarded debate performance in Las Vegas Tuesday night, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd where she called Castro, who is the popular former mayor of San Antonio, a great leader who "gives a really good speech."
Right before the rally, Clinton was asked about Castro as a running mate should she win the nomination. And it seems like the thought probably crossed her mind...

This endorsement is special for several reasons. One, the 2012 Democratic Convention keynoter was a terrific mayor for the seventh largest city in the country and remains very popular in his current job in Obama's cabinet. Two, he just might be the next Vice President (and I'm totally on board with that idea). And three...I was there to see it in person.

I live in Austin and didn't initially plan on travelling the 90 or so miles to San Antonio just for a campaign rally, figuring that Hillary would probably have an event in my hometown at some point soon. But then I heard that Julian would be there endorsing. And then it also dawned on me that this was actually Hillary's first Texas rally since March 2008.

So yeah, I had to go...and it was great!

The venue was packed with happy and enthusiastic supporters, and in her fiery speech Hillary talked about her longtime connection with the Latino community, GOP attacks on voting rights in Texas and elsewhere, and this:

All in all, a terrific time was had...and I'm already stoked for the next one!

And now I shall end rather undramatically with a few of my own mediocre-to-decent photos from the event (click on them for much bigger versions):

The long, long line to get in.
Awesome banners!
Packed. I was in the very back in what seemed to be an overflow area.
The best photo I was able to get of Hillary and Julian. But that's ok! Just happy to be there.