Monday, December 21, 2015

Hillary News & Views 12.21: Debate Highlights and Analysis, and Prioritizing Millienial Women


Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with some coverage of Saturday night’s Democratic debate.

Wall Street Journal reports:
In the third Democratic debate Saturday, Mrs. Clinton largely looked past her two primary foes and injected Mr. Trump into the conversation, denouncing his ideas as wrongheaded and potentially dangerous.
“I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, is sending a message to Muslims here in the United States and literally around the world that there is a ‘clash of civilizations,’ that there is some kind of Western plot or even ‘war against Islam,’ which then I believe fans the flames of radicalization, ” Mrs. Clinton said.
CNN reports:
"We also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears," Clinton said.
"He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists," she continued.
Clinton appears to be well positioned to ease through the Democratic primary and take the fight to her preferred targets in the Republican Party.
"You know, everybody says every election's important, and there's truth to that. This is a watershed election. I know how important it is that we have a Democrat succeed President Obama in the White House," Clinton said in her closing statement, before making a quip which suggested that the restoration of tried-and-tested franchises from another era -- be it in movies like Star Wars or in politics -- could work.
"Thank you, good night and may the force be with you."
Time reports:
Hillary Clinton’s rivals questioned her commitment to tighter rules on guns, her hawkish foreign policy tendencies and even her age. None of that mattered.
The former Secretary of State batted away questions about her character and her policies during Saturday night’s debate near Manchester, N.H. In turn, she reminded Democrats why she has enjoyed months at the top of the polls: she’s a tough competitor, policy wonk and compelling messenger. Even when facing with stinging criticism, she kept her cool and returned as good as she got on the campus of Saint Anselm College.
Clinton initiated none of the squabbles with fellow Democrats, but that didn’t mean she let her rivals go unanswered. Several times, she laughed at them before calmly explaining why they were, in her view, off-base.
Vox reports on that decidedly un-feminist final debate question:
The Democratic debate on ABC was a substantive exchange of ideas about serious policy issues among the three major Democratic candidates. Until moderator Martha Raddatz decided there had been enough of that for one evening, and asked what might just be the most baffling and trivial question of any of the presidential debates so far.
“Secretary Clinton, first ladies, as you well know, have used their position to work on important causes like literacy and drug abuse. But they also supervise the menus, the flowers, the holiday ornaments, and White House decor. I know you think you know where I'm going here. You have said that Bill Clinton is a great host and loves giving tours, but may opt out of picking flower arrangements if you're elected. Bill Clinton aside, is it time to change the role of a president's spouse?”
The Clinton campaign responded with a tweet clipping video from the 1990s, when Clinton made a speech talking about human rights in China.

For some reason, many news outlets insist on naming winners and losers in each debate.

The Washington Post reports:
Winners: Hillary Clinton
The former secretary of state was the only one on stage Saturday night who looked like she could step into the presidency tomorrow. Her knowledge on foreign policy -- from ISIS to Syria and beyond -- was significantly greater than her rivals, and it showed. (ABC moderator Martha Raddatz was the only one on stage confident enough in her own knowledge of foreign policy to go after Clinton.)
Clinton also demonstrated her ability to play to local interests -- she touted Market Basket, which is based in Tewksbury, Mass., for example. She repeatedly turned the focus away from the differences among the candidates on stage and instead pointed out the differences she and the other Democratic candidates have with controversial Republican front-runner Donald Trump. She showed a sense of humor; asked by ABC moderator David Muir whether "corporate America should love Hillary Clinton. "Everyone should," she responded to raucous applause in the room.
And, she demonstrated a willingness to whack away at O'Malley (on his acceptance of corporate dollars as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association) and Sanders (on the cost of his proposals) -- showing that she was not content to sit back and play defense.
Clinton's performance proved, yet again, how gifted she is as a debater. And, it made me wonder, yet again, why her campaign seems to want to limit debates in this primary. She shines in them -- and did so again tonight. Her closing statement -- invoking the new "Star Wars" movie -- was the cherry on top of a tour de force performance.
Vox reports:

Winner: Hillary Clinton

Here is a pro-tip for neophytes in the audience — Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee. If a few major labor unions had joined the Communications Workers in risking the Wrath of Clinton by endorsing Sanders, I think he would qualify as a long-shot but as things stand he is a no-shot. That means Clinton's goals in these debates are pretty simple: she needs to avoid gaffes, and she wants to evade without committing herself to anything that will be too problematic in a general election.
She pulled it off. When baited by David Muir and Bernie Sanders about whether corporate America "loves" her, Clinton stood up for her progressive record while also standing up for the notion that progressive economic policy would be win-win, including for business. It was a passable primary campaign answer, but most of all she delivered an answer that set her up for a general election rather than getting sucked into a leftier-than-thou bidding war with Sanders.
More than that, she once again reminded the world that debating is a format in which she excels. Clinton is not the greatest orator in contemporary politics, but she is among the wonkiest of major politicians — certainly the wonkiest one on the stage — and she's an extremely effective public speaker for a wonk. Back and forth exchanges over things like the difference between debt-free college and tuition-free college highlighted her virtues as a politician far better than any setpiece speech or 30-second ad would.
Politicus USA reports:
Winners:
1). Hillary Clinton – Clinton benefitted from another debate that featured a great deal of time devoted to terrorism and ISIS. Clinton also did well on the issue of guns. She is the frontrunner. Clinton has a big lead nationally with Democrats, and she leads in three of the four early primary states. The bar for Clinton is set at looking presidential and not making a mistake that opens the door for Bernie Sanders.
Clinton had another strong performance and did nothing that should change her status as the Democratic frontrunner.
Sunshine State News reports:
Winners
Hillary Clinton. A good night for the favorite for the Democratic nomination. Sanders started the debate with an apology, which she accepted. Besides a jab at Sanders over his position on gun control and insisting O’Malley misrepresented her take on that and on her ties to Wall Street, Clinton generally ignored her primary rivals. Instead, she kept her fire focused on the Republicans. She looked and acted like the favorite on Saturday night and didn’t get into a fight with Sanders, which would only hurt her in the months to come because she’ll want to reach out to his supporters down the road. Clinton also benefited from O’Malley’s aggressive performance, though he is not enough of a factor, as of now, to divide anti-Clinton Democrats.
There were some missteps to be sure -- namely, her optimistic take on America's battle against ISIS -- but a generally calm debate was to her benefit. If the biggest story out of the debate was her getting on stage to start the second half a few seconds late, Clinton dodged a bullet. Best of all for Clinton there were no questions about her ethics and using a private server for her email when she was at the State Department. Even when the focus turned to Libya, there was no mention of Benghazi outside of O’Malley’s quick mention of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Bottom line: Nothing changed on Saturday night and that benefits the frontrunner.
There will be two Clintons on the campaign trail come January.

ABC News reports:
Clinton stood side by side with her husband, saying the former president will be out on the campaign trail in January.
“I think this is fair to say that starting in January, I will have my not so secret weapon," she said. "We’re going to cover as much ground as we possibly can.”
It was the first time the former president made a public appearance immediately following one of the debates.
President Clinton also took to the mic to address the crowd at the local tavern.
“I’ve noticed that most successful presidents are those that get elected in a time where they are suited to govern and she’s the best qualified person for the time at the moment that I’ve ever seen,” he said.
The Guardian reports on Clinton’s efforts to target millenial women:
The Hillary for America team realizes that if you want to bring young women into the fold, you not only have to meet them where they are, but you have to talk like them – and if you want to attract young feminist-minded activists, talking like a girl is less about “upspeak” and more about using words like “intersectionality” (a term Hillary for America’s Timmaraju drops three times in our conversation).
Young women, Timmaraju says, want to talk about college affordability, campus sexual assault, and reproductive rights. “But a lot of our younger women supporters really care just as much about immigration reform, criminal justice issues, climate change, and they have a feminist lens on a lot of those issues as well,” she says.
“When we’re talking about violence against women, they also want to talk about violence against transgender women, about how it disproportionately affects women of color. Same with the pay equity issue. They are very intersectional in their approach to these issues, and we are learning from them that we should not be talking about these issues in silos.”
For many young women, that resonates – especially when Clinton emphasizes the fact that her own experiences as a woman make her uniquely situated to tackle the problems Americans face.
“Hillary has stood by women since I can remember,” Swaleh says. “That’s why I’ve been backing her. I’ve always been in the Hillary camp, because I owe it to her, almost. I think she was a feminist before it was cool.”

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