Friday, January 22, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.22: "The Cure for Citizens United," NPR Chat, Endorsements, Delegate Math

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with a new op-ed from Clinton about Citizens United.

As published at CNN:
In 2008, Republicans faced a choice.
America had just elected a Democratic president. The Senate was majority-Democratic. The House of Representatives had more Democrats than at any time since 1992.
The Republicans could either change themselves -- by embracing the young, diverse and tolerant America of the 21st century -- or they could try to change whose voices count in our democracy.
We all know the cynical path they chose. Six years ago Thursday, the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United transformed our politics by allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.
The effect was immediate. In the 2010 midterms, outside groups spent nearly 60% more than in 2006. In 2014, the top 100 donors spent nearly as much as all 4.75 million small donors combined. National networks of big-money donors funneled mountains of cash into targeted state races. By 2014, one party controlled both the governor's mansion and the state legislature in 36 states -- the most since the 1950s.

Restricting voting rights

Meanwhile, Republicans launched an aggressive campaign to restrict voting rights across the country. After the 2010 election, lawmakers in 41 states introduced at least 180 measures designed to make it harder for people to vote. This ugly effort got a boost in 2013 when the Supreme Court made another disastrous ruling, striking down hard-won Voting Rights Act protections. Today, 21 states have new laws restricting voting rights.
And some of the greatest damage to voting rights has come in states with single-party control -- like North Carolina, which eliminated same-day voter registration and slashed early voting; Florida, which instituted such heavy restrictions on voter registration drives that the League of Women Voters had to shut down operations; and Alabama, which passed a strict photo ID requirement and then closed dozens of driver's license offices across the state, making it much harder for citizens to get the IDs they now need to vote.
Put it all together -- the flood of corporate money in our elections, the rise of single-party control of state governments, the sharp increase in voting-rights restrictions -- and the result is unmistakable. Our democracy is being hollowed out. And that should offend every American, no matter what party you belong to.

Reclaim our democracy

We can't let this continue. It's time to reclaim our democracy, reform our distorted campaign finance system and restore access to the ballot box in all 50 states.
That starts with reversing Citizens United. And that's where my comprehensive plan to restore common sense to campaign finance begins. As president, I'll appoint Supreme Court justices who recognize that Citizens United is bad for America. And if necessary, I'll fight for a constitutional amendment that overturns it.
Meanwhile, we need more transparency in our politics. In the last three elections, more than $600 million in donations came from unknown, untraceable sources. That's a lot of secret, unaccountable money. As president, I'll require federal contractors to fully disclose their political spending. I'll call on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that publicly traded companies do the same. And I'll fight for legislation requiring the disclosure of all significant political donations, no matter where they come from or who they benefit. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you should have to identify your donors.
We should also make it easier for Americans to run for elected office. You shouldn't have to be rich or well-connected to serve. I'll fight to create a robust small-donor matching system, so people with good ideas and a passion for public service know that they can run without having to court big donors and special interests.

Make it easier to vote

Finally, we have to do a much better job of protecting Americans' voting rights. Nothing is more vital to our democracy. I'll fight to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. And I'll go further, because we should be making it easier to vote, not harder.
All Americans should be automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthdays, unless they opt out. Every state should have at least 20 days of early in-person voting. And no one should ever have to wait more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot.
Citizens United and its aftermath have twisted and perverted our democratic system. Now the deck is stacked even more in favor of those at the top. But as Al Smith, another Democrat from New York, once said, "All the ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy." So that's what we need now: more transparency, more accountability, and above all, more citizens exercising their right to vote.
This November, we can show Republicans that they made the wrong choice eight years ago. Let's restore people's voices and people's votes to their rightful place -- at the center of our democracy.
NPR transcribed a lengthy interview with Clinton.

Here are her comments on President Obama’s executive actions regarding immigration, and what she will do as President if the Supreme Court overturns those actions:
Well, first, Ari, let me say that I believe the president has acted within his legal authority, and I think that's a very important point to make to your listeners.
We have a long tradition of giving the executive branch the discretion to make decisions about everything from criminal justice, who to prosecute, who not to prosecute, to immigration, detention and extradition and deportation.
So what the president basically has said is rather than having just blanket rules where we're going to be deporting on the same basis a young person brought here as a toddler who is now in high school wanting to go to college, has lived his or her whole life here — one of the DREAMers or those DREAMers' parents [referring to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act] — we're going to focus on the felons, the violent criminals, the people who should be deported.
And I think the president has the authority to do that. I think there is precedent because other presidents have also exercised discretion.
I taught law and I practiced law. I believe that there's even a strong argument this case doesn't have what's called standing under the law. But in any event, we would, of course, look at what the Supreme Court said, and then I would get to work on trying to figure out what it actually meant and how it would be applied in practice. And I would still be committed to doing everything I could to protect those hardworking immigrants who are here making a contribution to our country, making an economic contribution as well.
So I would be very open to seeing what more could be done to make it clear that until we get comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship — which is what I support — we're not going to be breaking up families, raiding people in the middle of the night, and, you know, just taking them away from their children and their communities and sending them back where, in many cases, they never really lived as a conscious person or haven't been there in many years.
On her criteria for Supreme Court justices:
I believe strongly that we need Supreme Court justices who truly understand the impact of their decisions, and I think some of the recent decisions — Citizens United being one, voting rights being others, the extension of more and more rights to corporations vis-a-vis real people — I think has created some unintended consequences. So I would want somebody who understands when you blow open the door and say money is speech and you have a, in my view, somewhat misguided hope that all of the money that would then be pouring into our political system would be disclosed in real time — which, of course, it is not and in some instances never is — that you would have someone who has ... experience as a lawyer, as a judge in the real world who would say, hey wait a minute, that really undermines and corrupts our political system.
So is that "yes" to a Citizens United litmus test ... ?
Absolutely, but it's broader than that. It's not just Citizens United, Ari. Let's take voting rights. I was in the Senate when we voted 98 to nothing to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. President George W. Bush signed it. And we did that because there was substantial evidence that a lot of the discrimination that, unfortunately, was part of our voting system that we addressed with the Voting Rights Act in the '60s was still a problem in some parts of our country.
The folks who didn't agree with that appealed it, took a challenge to it to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court really gutted the Voting Rights Act. And their argument, again, in my view, was fundamentally naive.
And that's the best I can say about it, which was, "You know, we really don't need all of this now. Everybody can kind of stand up for themselves." And look at what has happened. We have had a rash of efforts in states to try to suppress and undermine the vote.
So, I'm looking for people who understand the way the real world works, our political system when it comes to money, like Citizens United; our voting rights system; our economics system where, if you keep enhancing the powers of corporation vis-a-vis unions, vis-a-vis, you know, individuals, you're not going to have the kind of balanced economy that produced the middle class.
On how her foreign policy contrasts with that of Senator Sanders:
Take his comments about Iran. I know something about this; I led the efforts to put together the coalition to impose very tough sanctions on Iran, which enabled us to get to the negotiating table to get the Iran agreement to put a lid on their nuclear weapons program.
So, I'm immersed in what it will take for us, going forward, to manage this challenging relationship.
Sen. Sanders has said he would like to see Iranian troops in Syria. I think that would be a terrible mistake; Syria is on the doorstep of Israel, just among one of the reasons why it would be.
He has said he wants to see Saudi Arabia and Iran work together in a coalition to defeat ISIS. Well, you know, we're having a very big flare-up of tension between two longtime adversaries, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Either he didn't understand that, or thought that he could get away with saying what he said.
And thirdly, let me say this. I think that — when he said in the debate the other night that he wouldn't, uh, would favor normalizing relations with Iran, that, too, was a fundamental misunderstanding of what it takes to do the patient diplomacy that I have experience in to be able to continue to change behavior, or at least to mitigate against behavior by Iran.
President Obama doesn't believe we should be moving to normalize relations with Iran; neither do I.
I'm the only candidate on either side in this race who has put forth a comprehensive plan about what we need to do to deprive them of territory on the ground through air support of fighters — not Americans, but Arab and Kurdish fighters; what we need to do to go after their foreign funding, foreign fighter flow, take them on online. And how we keep America safe — and first and foremost, it's not by demonizing Muslims, and particularly American Muslims.
So I have a very clear set of proposals. I've given major speeches, I've been vetted on them and I think what you were referring to — there is a concern on the part of experts — national security practitioners that we need to make it clear, these are complicated problems. We need a very steady hand, we need to have people who understand the complexity of the problems because we have to make some hard choices going forward.
On Sanders comparing her to Dick Cheney:
[LAUGHTER] Well, since I spent eight years in the Senate fighting against a lot of what he represented and four years as secretary of state cleaning up the mess that he left, I think it's, you know, fairly far out there. But it is fair to say OK, let's compare experience. Let's compare what we know and what our track record is.
And certainly, President Obama, when he was elected, immediately turned to me. He trusted my experience and my judgment, despite a very hard-fought campaign, to be his secretary of state because we inherited so many problems from the kind of attitude and actions that were manifest in the Bush-Cheney administration.
And I really did have to get around the world reassuring people that the United States would conduct ourselves in accordance with our values. Yes, we would pursue our interest, but we wanted to do so in concert with others. That's why when I negotiated the sanctions against Iran, I had to get countries as difficult as Russia and China on board, and then I had to go convince countries that felt like; you know, that's a long way away, we want to keep buying their oil and their gas; why that was not in their interests, in order to advance global security.
So I think that I've been in a lot of situation room conversations, been on the line about making recommendations as to what we do, whether or not to go after Osama bin Laden or how to negotiate a cease-fire with Hamas through the Muslim Brotherhood president in Cairo, President Morsi, on behalf of Israel.
And so I have a — a very clear idea of what we need to do and I know it goes beyond sloganeering and political one-liners.
On working with House Speaker Paul Ryan as President:
Well, I can't claim to know him well, but of course I know him because we have had occasion to be at some of the same events. And I have watched him with some interest. I've said the other day, I think he would be certainly a worthy opponent because of the views that he represents in the Republican Party.
I think in the campaign, you know, in the campaign, he would be someone who is going to prosecute the Republican case. That's what happens in a campaign. And then once it's over, you have to get to work. And I think he would be an honest broker in working with me.
I saw that when he was the head of the Budget Committee and, you know, the Congress, instigated by Ted Cruz, shut our government down in the fall of 2013, which was a terrible, irresponsible thing to do. And it was Paul Ryan for the Republicans in the House, and my good friend Sen. Patty Murray, who was the chair at that time of the Budget Committee, who went to bat to try to work out an agreement.
And they didn't get everything each of them wanted. They had to work really hard to come up with a solution that could pass through the Congress. That's good, old-fashioned legislating. That's what you have to do. And you can never give up on it. People come with different experiences, different pressures on them, different ideologies and worldviews.
So what you have to do is get up every day, build those relationships, work to find common ground — something I did as first lady, as senator, as secretary of state. And you know, it's very amusing to me, Ari. When I'm not actually running for something, when I'm in a position and I'm working on behalf of these concerns that I think are important to be addressed, the Republicans say the nicest things about me.
So, I'm going to just make it clear, I will work every day to find common ground.
On ideology leading to gridlock:
Well, it was great that at the end of last year when the Congress had to come together around a budget going forward, a so-called omnibus, you had old-fashioned legislating. And you had Republicans joining with Democrats to say, "Look, we need to keep supporting renewable energy." So, some tax benefits called the production tax credit and the investment tax credit were continued.
You also had a compromise to continue to support the earned income tax credit. Now, the Republicans also got some things. You know, they wanted to lift the ban on exporting oil. That's not my preference. I would prefer that we have a different approach to energy. But in a Congress, in a legislative environment, everybody has to give a little.
And I worry about people who run for office, whether it be in the Congress or for the White House, who are so sure of their ideological positions that they're going to throw us into more gridlock. I'm interested in us solving problems together. I'm interested in finding good ideas whether they're from Republicans or Democrats, getting people around the table, and trying to make progress on behalf of our country.
On Iowa 2016 vs. Iowa 2008:
I feel very positive about the organization we've built, the enthusiasm and energy of the people who are literally showing up in below-freezing temperatures to canvass for me — my precinct captains, my precinct teams are really all so focused on doing well in the caucus.
We're going to have to work hard, though. I always thought that would be the case. And that's part of the job; you've got to work hard as president — nobody is giving the job away. You've got to get out there and earn it, and that's what I try to do every single day.
I have to say, Ari, I think perhaps I've changed more. Having served for four years as secretary of state has given me the kind of perspective that really fuels my understanding, my proposals about how we keep us safe at home, and how we work with our friends and allies to try to keep the world more peaceful, secure, and hopefully prosperous.
So, I bring a different perspective to the campaign this time. And I also have a long experience — going back to my first job with the Children's Defense Fund — about what we have to do to make things happen. And when I make a proposal about building on the Affordable Care Act, I'm doing it because we are now slightly over 90 percent who have health care.
That is a huge accomplishment for our country. I don't want to rip that up and start over again. So, I am trying to level with the voters, I'm trying to tell people, here's what I will do. You can look at my record of fighting for results, whether it's the Children's Health Insurance program, or getting a nuclear weapons reduction with Russia through the Senate with two-thirds majority.
You can look at what I've accomplished, and you can know that when I say, "I will fight for you," that's exactly what I mean. And that's my — you know, that's what motivates me every day.
On anger leading to action in Flint:
Most recently what happened in Flint, Mich., makes me really angry. The idea that you would have a community in the United States of America of nearly 100,000 people who were drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water infuriates me. And that is a fundamental failure of government to protect the very people we represent.
So, I understand why people get angry. They're angry about the Great Recession, which so knocked everybody flat. They're angry about the failures of, you know, our government and the powerful interest — it's not only Wall Street, it's the gun lobby, the prescription drug lobby, the insurance lobby and so many others.
Let's talk about Big Oil. I understand that, but I also know that, once you've vented your anger, once you have gotten out there and roused all of those really strong passions, you've got to do something.
You know, I didn't want to go off half-cocked. I wanted to know what was happening and what the facts were. And so, I sent two of my trusted aides to go, meet with the mayor, meet with others to begin talking with the senators, the congressman who represents the area.
Let's get the facts first. You know, I am not someone who goes off half-cocked. I'd like to actually know what the facts are. I know that puts me at odds with some people these days in our political environment, including …
Are you referring to Sen. Sanders?
Well, I'm referring mostly to the Republicans, who seem to be very fact-adverse. So what I did was to gather the information, then I immediately called for action.
And I thought the action would be forthcoming, because, clearly, if I had been in a position of responsibility, it would have been. But then, it was clear, unless the governor asked the president to make the order, it couldn't happen.
So I then, as you know, went on Rachel Maddow and said, "the governor needs to ask for the help that is required to help the people he represents." Within two hours, he did. I think that's a pretty good track record.
I lived a lot of years in Arkansas, and one of my favorite sayings I learned is, "if you find a turtle on a fence post, it didn't get there by accident."
I think it was quite telling that the governor made his decision two hours after I really challenged him to do so, and I'm thrilled that the mayor of Flint has endorsed me, because I'm the only person who has been reaching out and trying to learn what is going on, and then making proposals that will actually help to deal with what the terrible potential problems are, especially with children's learning and brain development.
Clinton continues her straight talk about the realities of the presidency.

Politico reports:
"I'll tell you, I'm not interested in ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world. I care about making a real difference in your life,” Clinton said during an organizing event in Indianola, Iowa. “And that gets us to the choice that you have to make in this caucus. Now, Senator Sanders and I share many of the same goals, but we have different records and different ideas about how to drive progress."
“I know Sen. Sanders cares about covering more people as I do but rather than build on the progress we’ve made he wants to start over from scratch,” Clinton said. “In theory there's a lot to like about some of his (Sanders’) ideas. But 'in theory' isn't enough. A president has to deliver in reality."
“Sen. Sanders has been in Congress for 25 years, he’s introduced his health-care plan nine times but he’s never got a single vote or co-sponsor," Clinton said.
"Senator Sanders doesn’t talk much about foreign policy but when he does, it raises concerns,” she said, slamming Sanders' assertion during Sunday's debate that he would favor a normalization of relations with Iran akin to what the U.S. pursued with Cuba.
Clinton excoriated Sanders' plans on putting Iranian troops in Syria to fight the Islamic State.
“That is like asking the arsonist to be the firefighter. As bad as things are in Syria, and they are, more Iranian troops are only going to make it worse,” she said.
A powerful endorsement from Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner:
18 months ago, my son Eric Garner died at the hands of men who were supposed to protect him. Eric was unarmed when a police officer choked him to death.

His last words were, “I can’t breathe.”

We repeated those words when we marched for justice for my son—justice we’re still waiting on. Along with too many others, Eric’s death has forced our country to confront the effects of police brutality. We’ve got to do something about the violence in our communities—especially gun violence—and the racial and economic injustice that’s connected to it. 
Hillary seems to be the only candidate right now who’s talking about how we can be strategic in trying to solve this problem. That’s why I’m endorsing her for president.
Most people remember my son’s death, but I remember his life. I like to look back on Eric as a child at Christmastime—he was a lover of the Christmas season. One year, he and his brother wanted Big Wheels (you remember those cars? they were the thing), and when they saw them Christmas morning, their eyes lit up: “Oh baby! Oh wow!” Eric turned to his brother and said, “Now I know we are rich.”
We weren’t rich. We lived in public housing. But that day, it felt like we were. Eric was a joy to me, to his wife, and to his own children. It hurt so much to lose him.
I think all of us need to make the time to be involved in this election. With all the violence and injustice that’s upon us today, we need a candidate who can move us forward—that’s Hillary. We need to elect her, not just for us, but for our children, our grandchildren, and their children. We have to bring forth a legacy that will outlive us.
Stand up today and be a part of that.
More pushback on Sanders and his “establishment” nonsense, which he has finally begun walking back.

Here’s NARAL writing for Medium:
The meaning of the word “establishment” has taken on new life in the last 36 hours, ever since Senator Bernie Sanders suggested that my organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and my allies at Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign, are exactly that. In determining meaning, context matters. I was among many who were unpleasantly surprised that Senator Sanders lumped our organizations (including the nation’s largest health care provider for women) in with other “special interests” he is running against. This was probably news to the millions of moms, dads, daughters and sons who collectively make up the organizations Senator Sanders named.
Senator Sanders, who wants to be President Sanders, should be helping to lead the revolution in defense of these rights. This is a time to recognize the precarious position of the activists. Instead, too often, Senator Sanders is silent on the issue, while implying this week that the very organizations working hardest to defend our cherished liberties are part of the problem. If this was a gaffe, why not clarify instead of double-down when asked about his remarks? Words matter.
And so does the absence of them.
Senator Sanders delivers remarks multiple times a day, every day, but he has yet to make the crisis facing America’s women and families with regard to abortion access a meaningful part of his campaign. He has yet to match Hillary Clinton’s courageous, public call for repealing the discrimination against low-income women enshrined in the Hyde Amendment, despite the fact that forcing women to carry pregnancies against their will is a key determinant in their economic future or lack thereof.
These omissions matter. Senator Sanders’ health care plan does not mention women or reproductive health. We can assume women’s health services are intended to be covered, based on his past record. But in a political landscape this hostile to reproductive rights, words matter — as do their absence. If he won’t say the words now, how can we trust that he will hold the line when anti-choice members of Congress try to extend the Hyde amendment to all women — as we well know they will try to do?
When the excitement of the election dies down and the drudgery of daily work begins to execute the slow and laborious process of drafting, defending, and advocating for legislation that advances all of our collective destinies through door-knocking, rallies and even subcommittee hearings or arcane Congressional procedure, our members in all 50 states have proven they will be there. They’ll be making the calls. They’ll be on social media. They’ll be walking the halls of Congress. They’ll be holding the feet of our opponents to the fire, day in and day out, as they have for decades. It takes months, or even years, to see the kind of progress this country needs, and it’s our members who have devoted their lives to fighting for a true revolution for women and families. There is no magic wand that the president is handed on their first day in office. There will still be a Congress, quite possibly an opposition one. We matter.
And a scathing take from The People’s View:
Bernie Sanders who's held political office since 1972 (that's right, nineteen seventy freaking two) berated two of the country's most effective and most respected rights organizations as "the establishment" that he's "taking on" simply because they have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
Leave aside for a minute the insult to people who have been fighting for the rights of women and providing family planning and health care services to women and families despite withering Republican attacks for decades being dismissed and discounted as "the establishment." Forget for a second the callous dismissal of the painstaking work by men and women who, under great personal risk, laid every brick of the principle that in America, who you love should not limit how far you can go simply because these men and women have been doing that work for so long.
Ignore, even, for the moment, the reprehensible belittling of activists whose line forms from police brutality to being beaten within an inch of their lives (and sometimes to their lives) because of their sexual orientation or even the women's advocates who have withstood everything from rabid right wing protests to domestic terrorist bombings and shootings.
And let alone for a second that "taking on" Planned Parenthood doesn't usually go well for politicians.
What does it say about a candidate - not just his campaign, but the candidate himself - who gets so rattled by a couple of high profile endorsements for his opponent that he starts badmouthing the country's most respected gay rights and women's rights and health groups? What does it say about a candidate who is supposedly the front runner in one of the early contest states and in a dead heat in the other? What does it say that he, the candidate, is taking it upon himself to beat up on civil rights groups?
What's next, Bernie Sanders cracking his verbal whip on the mothers of black teens whose lives were taken too early, because those mothers too have endorsed Hillary Clinton?
What Sanders did speaks far more to the state of his campaign and the character of their candidate than it does about rights organizations that have made more progress for women and LGBT people than Bernie has ever thought important. It speaks to two shortfalls for the candidate - shortfalls that, in my opinion, disqualify him from the presidency.
John Podesta responded to the ludicrous claim from the Sanders camp that Clinton doesn’t have a climate change plan. He googled it for them:
Today, the Sanders campaign asked where our climate plan was. I guess they didn’t look too hard.
Here are some links that might be helpful.
Hillary Clinton pledged in her launch speech to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.
Hillary also released two bold goals to make America a clean energy superpower, as part of a comprehensive energy and climate agenda:
First, to have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of her first term.
And second, to generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of taking office.
She promised to build on the progress made by President Obama by defending and fully implementing the Clean Power Plan.
And she announced plans for a Clean Energy Challenge to help cities, states, and rural communities go even further.
And released a comprehensive plan to modernize our entire energy infrastructure by making existing energy infrastructure safer and cleaner and unlocking new investment resources.
Hillary spoke out against coal companies who tried to shirk health and pension obligations:
And released a $30 billion plan to ensure that coal miners and their families get the benefits they’ve earned and respect they deserve, to invest in economic diversification and job creation, and to make coal communities an engine of U.S. economic growth in the 21st century as they have been for generations.
Hillary explained why the Paris COP 21 climate agreement is critical:
And applauded President Obama for getting it done:
And she’s nowhere near done yet.
While the Sanders campaign pores over those, I suggest that they explain how they plan to back out of the international climate deal that President Obama reached with the rest of the world in Paris. After all, Senator Sanders did come out against it.
Slate notes that the media hype of Sanders being a challenge to Clinton is out of sync with reality:
But the rapid rise of Sanders—and the pointed attacks from Clinton—obscure the extent to which the overall state of the race hasn’t changed. Clinton is still the favorite for the nomination, even as her path gets a little rockier and a little more difficult. And the reason isn’t hard to understand.
Take the recent Monmouth University poll of the Democratic race. Between December and January, Clinton lost her lead with white Democrats. Indeed, it vanished, dropping 23 points. Now, she’s tied with Sanders, 43 percent to 43 percent. But she’s grown her lead with black and Latino Democrats, winning 71 percent to 21 percent for the Vermont senator, up from 61 percent in January.
This lead with black and Latino Democrats isn’t just responsible for Clinton’s margin in national polling—where she outpaces Sanders by an average of 13 points—it’s responsible for her massive lead in the South Carolina primary, where black voters predominate and where Clinton crushes Sanders with an average margin of 40 points (although there’s been little polling in the state since the new year).
Which gets to a broader, more important point. Minority voters—and black Americans in particular—are the firewall for Clinton’s candidacy and the Democratic establishment writ large. As long as Clinton holds her lead with black Democrats, she’s tough (if not impossible) to beat in delegate-rich states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. Even with momentum from wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s hard to see how Sanders overcomes Clinton’s massive advantage with this part of the party’s electorate . That’s not to say he won’t excel as an insurgent candidate, but that—barring a seismic shift among black Democrats, as well as Latinos—his coalition won’t overcome her coalition.
In a similar vein, Cook Political Report looks at the delegate math:
In poll after poll, Sanders's best group within the Democratic Party is liberal whites. Unfortunately for Sanders, Iowa and New Hampshire couldn't be much further on the extreme end of the party's demographic or ideological spectrum. According to our estimates, based on past exit polls and Census data, there is only one state where whites who self-identify as liberals make up a higher share of the Democratic primary electorate than Iowa and New Hampshire.
You guessed it: Vermont.

In fact, 98 percent  of pledged Democratic delegates will come from states with lower shares of liberal whites than Iowa and New Hampshire. Just 447 of 4,051 pledged Democratic delegates - 11 percent - are tied to results in states or districts with higher shares of college-educated whites than New Hampshire. Moreover, just 13 percent of pledged Democratic delegates will be awarded in caucus states like Iowa, which as 2008 proved, tend to bring out more liberal participants than primaries.

In other words, if Sanders prevails narrowly in Iowa or New Hampshire, his support among liberal whites and in college towns - essentially Portlandia - would be entirely consistent with a scenario in which he also gets clobbered by Clinton nationally.
A preview of the campaign’s groundwork in March primary states:

Working in every Super Tuesday state (and beyond)

We’re a campaign, and we’re here to win, so we obviously don’t want to telegraph our game plan. Across the country, we’ve got more than 100,000 volunteers who have made more than 8 million voter contact attempts nationwide.
What we’re building nationwide isn’t about structure or process—it’s about the people on the ground and the great work they do every day to elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president. People like …
Andrea Nemecek and Alfred Eze, who led numerous phone banks in Minneapolis–Saint Paul and Rochester, Minnesota, this past weekend. They got 100 volunteers who together made 8,000 calls and door knocks.
Kathleen Coffeen, an organizer in Tennessee who held three organizing meetings in the past two weeks with more than 50 people at each. Our Tennessee team has made thousands of calls on behalf of the campaign, and they’ve held eight surrogate events (and a couple with the boss herself!).
Our Oklahoma team, who have recurring phone banks running in Oklahoma City, hosted a huge debate watch party and a Tulsa organizing meeting tonight that has our largest RSVP list yet of any event in Oklahoma. In Tulsa!
I could keep going with a list of great stories from the field (it's practically endless), but suffice it to say: It’s a shame to see some folks overlook the work we’re putting in.
But that’s OK. Like I said: This race isn’t about us; it’s about you. So we’ll keep pounding the pavement, talking to you and your families about what keeps you up at night and how Hillary’s fighting for you. Once the focus starts to shift from Iowa and Nevada and from our friends in the early states to the 11 states that will vote or caucus on March 1, we’ll still be here. And hey—if you’re in Colorado (or want to swing through): We’re always looking for help.
An older piece from Gloria Steinem that is worth revisiting.

The Guardian reports:
I know Hillary Clinton mostly in the way we all do, as a public figure in good times and bad, one who became part of our lives and even our dreams. I once introduced her to a thousand women in a hotel ballroom. Standing behind her as she spoke, I could see the binder on the lectern with her speech carefully laid out – and also that she wasn’t reading from it. Instead, she was responding to people who had spoken before her, addressing activists and leaders she saw in the audience, and putting their work in a national and global context – all in such clear and graceful sentences that no one would have guessed she hadn’t written them in advance. It was an on-the-spot tour de force, perhaps the best I’ve ever heard.
But what clinched it for me was listening to her speak after a performance of Eve Ensler’s play Necessary Targets, based on interviews with women in one of the camps set up to treat women who had endured unspeakable suffering, humiliation, and torture in the ethnic wars within the former Yugoslavia. To speak to an audience that had just heard these heartbreaking horrors seemed impossible for anyone, and Hillary had the added burden of representing the Clinton administration, which had been criticised for slowness in stopping this genocide. Nonetheless, she rose in the silence, with no possibility of preparing, and began to speak quietly – about suffering, about the importance of serving as witnesses to suffering. Most crucial of all, she admitted this country’s slowness in intervening. By the time she sat down, she had brought the audience together and given us all a shared meeting place: the simple truth.
And finally, a nice moment with the first President Clinton on the campaign trail for the next one:


  1. Thank you so much for the work that you do to arm us with compelling information about Hillary. I barely made it through the 2008 primary intact and have been on an emotional rollercoaster with this one. I just know in my heart of hears HRC is what the country needs. It's time for women to take our places in leadership and I can't imagine another woman as qualified as HRC. If she does not win, my heart will be broken. I think she is spectacular and it makes me so disheartened that many people just don't get it. But then I see people like you and men like my husband who do get it and I'm reminded that it's inevitable that progress will happen. HRC does represent real progress. WAke up people!!

    1. I believe that she will win!

    2. Agree with you totally, Stacey. Hillary is tremendous, imo. She is held to a higher standard than the rest and is judged more harshly. The msm is also being dismissive of her candidacy but we know better. If a 74 year old white guy can be seen as inspirational, how about the first female president! She would govern differently than most.... and I dare say better.