Monday, January 25, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.25: Obama Speaks, Newspapers Endorse, Hillary Stays Focused on Issues


Today's Hillary News & Views begins with highlights from President Obama’s first extensive interview about the race to succeed him.

Politico reports:
[H]e couldn’t hide his obvious affection for Clinton or his implicit feeling that she, not Sanders, best understands the unpalatably pragmatic demands of a presidency he likens to the world’s most challenging walk-and-chew-gum exercise.
“[The] one thing everybody understands is that this job right here, you don’t have the luxury of just focusing on one thing,” a relaxed and reflective Obama told me in his most expansive discussion of the 2016 race to date.
“I think Hillary came in with the both privilege – and burden – of being perceived as the frontrunner… You’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people haven’t seen before – that's a disadvantage to her.”
Even as he spoke wistfully of his 80-plus cold-pizza and crowded-van days in Iowa eight years ago, Obama seemed to embrace Clinton’s 2008 closing Iowa argument as much as his own, adopting her contention that inspiration without experience won’t cut it. He repeatedly praised Clinton without reservation while offering more tempered praise to the surging Sanders, whom he sees as a principled outsider seeking to change “terms of the debate that were set by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago.”
“[S]he’s extraordinarily experienced – and, you know, wicked smart and knows every policy inside and out – [and] sometimes [that] could make her more cautious, and her campaign more prose than poetry,” he told me.
This, from a president who has been governing in prose, especially during his second term. In fact, Obama’s experiences in office have brought him around to Clinton’s hardheaded view of the presidency, first forged during her eight years as first lady. “I think that what Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics, making a real-life difference to people in their day-to-day lives,” he said, echoing the very critique Clinton makes of Sanders.
This is actually really powerful for those of us who supported Clinton in the 2008 primary but went on to support Obama for the seven years that have followed:
When I asked Obama if Clinton is facing “unfair scrutiny” this time around, his answer was a clipped “yes” – and he even admitted a tinge of regret that his own campaign had been so hard on her eight years ago.
But the Obama-Clinton race in Iowa wasn’t simply a matter of hard work and spreading his optimistic vision of the future; it was a bitter political fight. Obama hammered away at the notion that the New York senator was on the wrong side of generational change, and his team successfully convinced reporters that every Clinton campaign swipe was an underhanded personal attack – something he’s less than proud of in retrospect.
“The truth is, in 2007 and 2008, sometimes my supporters and my staff I think got too huffy about what were legitimate questions she was raising,” he admitted. “And there were times where I think the media probably was a little unfair to her and tilted a little my way in calling her out.”
In fact, he said, Clinton “had a tougher job throughout that primary than I did.”
“She had to do everything that I had to do, except, like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels,” he said. “She had to wake up earlier than I did because she had to get her hair done. She had to, you know, handle all the expectations that were placed on her.”
“Had things gone a little bit different in some states or if the sequence of primaries and caucuses been a little different,” Obama added, “she could have easily won.”

A wave of high profile newspaper endorsements were released this weekend, and all of them picked Clinton as the best choice for Democratic primary voters.

The Des Moines Register endorses:
Democrats have one outstanding candidate deserving of their support: Hillary Clinton. No other candidate can match the depth or breadth of her knowledge and experience.
As first lady, she worked tirelessly on health care reform and, with bipartisan support, created the Children’s Health Insurance Program that provides coverage for 8 million children.
As a senator, she reached across party lines and joined forces with conservatives, including Sen. Lindsey Graham and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to fight for job creation and universal health care.
As secretary of state, she helped secure international sanctions against Iran and redefined her job by expanding America’s diplomatic agenda to include poverty, women’s rights, the environment and other issues.
Her changing stance on gay marriage, immigration and other issues has invited accusations that she is guided less by personal conviction than by political calculations. She refutes that, and argues persuasively that a willingness to change one’s thinking on specific issues, while remaining true to what she calls “the same values and principles,” is a virtue, one lacking in most politicians.
Clinton has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, hardworking public servant who has earned the respect of leaders at home and abroad. She stands ready to take on the most demanding job in the world.
The Sioux City Journal endorses:
Without question, the 68-year-old Clinton possesses a breadth of experiences in public life unmatched by her Democratic opponents. In the "arena" at the fulcrum of national and international events since the '90s, Clinton requires no on-the-job training. She understands issues and knows leaders, both domestic and foreign, and appreciates the processes and peculiarities of the federal government from the perspective of both the legislative and executive branches.
From children to families to health care to human rights, including women's rights, to marriage equality, Clinton champions issues and positions true to traditional Democratic principles. She bolsters her domestic credentials with foreign policy experience as America's chief diplomat.
The Storm Lake Times endorses:
Clinton was a tremendous attorney in Arkansas, an advocate for the Children’s Defense Fund, First Lady of the United States, US Senator from New York and Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. She is clearly the most experienced and predictable candidate of all.
If this is an election about security, then Clinton is the answer.
She was in the room with Obama and Biden when Osama bin Laden went down. She was the diplomatic architect of a semblance of government in Afghanistan, which appears to be holding off the Taliban today. She understands China and could stare down Russia’s Putin. The general Republican response to world security problems this campaign has been to bomb the Middle East back into the Stone Age. Clinton has always been the one calling for a united world diplomatic effort at bringing Russia and China into the fold to help forge solutions to security threats from the Middle East to Eastern Europe and North Korea.
She has been vetted. The right-wing machine has been attacking her for 20 years, and she still is among the most popular politicians in America. Nobody can campaign against Republicans better or with more fury.
The Boston Globe endorses:
America looks different in 2016 than it did the last time Hillary Clinton ran for president: The economy has come out of free fall, the military has left the quagmire of the Iraq war, barriers to equality have toppled, and universal access to health care has become a reality. Tumultuous as they’ve been, the Barack Obama years have proved transformative — and the priority for Democratic voters should be to protect, consolidate, and extend those gains.
This is Clinton’s time, and the Globe enthusiastically endorses her in the Feb. 9 Democratic primary in New Hampshire. She is more seasoned, more grounded, and more forward-looking than in 2008, and has added four years as secretary of state to her already formidable resume. Democrats in the Granite State should not hesitate to choose her.
Still, in the same way that Obama caught some lucky breaks in 2008, Clinton has drawn a very good hand this year. Her main Democratic opponent has failed to expand his coalition, and her GOP opponents are undercutting themselves every time they attack her over e-mails, Benghazi, or her husband’s sex life. Even after 25 years in the limelight, her opponents still don’t seem to understand how much stronger those attacks make her.
But the best reason to support Clinton isn’t the weaknesses of her opponents; it’s her demonstrated strengths and experience. Even her most dyed-in-the-wool opponents ought to take a second look at her. While Sanders has made an important contribution to the Democratic primary campaign, it’s Clinton who would make a better president.
The New Hampshire Concord Monitor endorses:
Only one Democratic candidate for president is truly qualified to hold the job: Hillary Clinton.
No contender’s resume can come within miles of matching Clinton’s. She’s ready to take up the nation’s top job on day one and her knowledge of domestic issues and foreign policy is encyclopedic.
Clinton has visited the Monitor many times over the years and we’ve come to know her pretty well. Sure, she’s tough as nails when she needs to be, but we’ve found her to be warm, funny and without the arrogance displayed by so many high-level politicians.
Clinton’s concern for the downtrodden has been unwavering.
In the 1970s, she became the first woman to chair the board of the Legal Services Corporation, which was created to increase access to legal services for the poor. As first lady, and the lead proponent of a failed attempt to provide access to health care for all that’s not unlike the Affordable Care Act, she learned how Washington, and the special interests that fight to get their hands on the levers of government, work. In the process, she played a key role in the creation of what became the Children’s Health Insurance Program operated by the states.
The plans Clinton has put forward – whether on foreign policy, making college more affordable, addressing climate change or increasing access to health care – display her knowledge of the issues. They are not pie-in-the sky, but achievable. Her health plan, for example, builds on the success of Obamacare. By contrast, Sanders’s health plan, such as it is, was described by Vox founder and health care analyst Ezra Klein as offering voters “puppies and rainbows.” Virtually none of what he has pledged to do is achievable.
The Portsmouth Herald endorses:
Of the three remaining Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for president, Hillary Clinton is clearly the most qualified. She has articulated a vision for the country that is both progressive and pragmatic and has demonstrated the ability and tenacity to achieve the ambitious goals she has set for herself and the nation.
The people of New Hampshire know Hillary Clinton well and supported her during her previous run for president in 2008. Granite State Democrats and independent voters, having seen and heard Clinton with their own eyes and ears, have rejected the decades of distortions peddled by her political opponents. We know the real Hillary Clinton and we admire and respect her.
Of all the candidates interviewed by our editorial board, both Republican and Democrat, Clinton was by far the most fluent in world affairs. As president there would be no learning curve. She would be in full command of the geopolitical challenges facing our nation from day one. And given the concerns about global instability and terrorism we place a high value on this competence.
Clinton has published plans that are available for scrutiny on just about every challenge facing the nation today.
From national security to defeating ISIS; from reducing the cost of college to criminal justice reform; from climate change and green energy to cyber security and job creation; from gun safety to women’s health; Alzheimer’s and autism; Clinton has thought deeply about all these issues and has put forward pragmatic plans that her years of experience tell her can make it through Congress.
Clinton's vision is bold and comprehensive. Government would create thousands of jobs by leading a transition off of fossil fuels. Everyone, rich or poor, could more easily go to college and get health care. These initiatives will bring a more sustainable future and broad based prosperity. But unlike her opponent, Clinton's plans are not all centrally planned and run by the government. They are collaborations: college students work to help pay for their education; energy companies have incentives to change for the good while a safety net is built for displaced coal-state workers. In the spirit of John F. Kennedy, government leads the nation toward big goals and taps the aspiration and ingenuity of individuals and the private sector. This is how America makes its greatest progress.
Peter D. Rosenstein, writing for The Huffington Post, endorses:
In eight days the people of Iowa will caucus and make their decision on who should be the Democratic nominee for President. Many say they are making a choice between their head and their heart. I would suggest they think of this as a choice between one candidate who understands the reality we face in the world today and has the experience to handle it; and the other whose policies suggest he believes in an alternative reality and a record with a distinct lack of real accomplishments.
Hillary Clinton has the experience and proven ability to get things done. She is also someone who dreams of a better world and acts to move those dreams forward. In 1995 as America's First Lady she courageously went to the United Nations Fourth World Congress on Women in Beijing and spoke out for women's rights. In 2011 as Secretary of State she spoke out in Geneva declaring 'gay rights are human rights'. Those speeches moved those causes forward, saved lives, and made a difference around the world.
Her entire career is about helping people. From the Children's Defense Fund, to becoming Chair of the Legal Services Corporation, to chairing the committee to upgrade education for all children in Arkansas. As First Lady of the United States when she couldn't achieve national healthcare for all she worked with Republicans to gain healthcare for millions of children. She worked across the aisle to get legislation encouraging more adoptions. As Senator from New York she worked hard and got help for first responders to the 9/11 attacks; and worked across the aisle to get health benefits for those in the National Guard. As Secretary of State she put together the coalition to impose sanctions on Iran which led to the agreement that will keep them from getting nuclear weapons for at least fifteen years if not forever. She traveled the world representing the United States and has the world's leaders on speed dial understanding how to work with them. She is able to walk into the White House on day-one and take on the work of President and Commander-in-Chief.
Hillary has been endorsed by most union members; the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the nation; major women's groups like NARAL, Planned Parenthood and Emily's List all of who have worked with her for over forty years. They know and trust she will stay true to their missions. Add to that the endorsement of most members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus which Sanders co-founded but who trust Hillary more to move their agenda forward. Add the mothers of many of the young African American men who have been murdered in the last two years by our police because those mothers understand Hillary will do more to reform the justice system to make real the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Contrary to what Sanders says groups fighting for LGBT rights, worker's rights, women's rights and to see that young African American men get a fair chance to live long and productive lives aren't the establishment. They are supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton because she is willing to fight the establishment in a way that brings results. As Hillary has proven, "She is a progressive that gets things done".
Clinton and her campaign surrogates are keeping it positive and sticking to issue contrasts on the campaign trail, even as her primary opponent’s attacks on her character get increasingly nasty and personal.

Bloomberg Politics reports:
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both returned to Iowa for their penultimate visits before the Feb. 1 caucuses and as has been recently seen, Sanders took the hard interpersonal line, while Clinton tread softly.
“We are drawing contrasts and I think that's appropriate. We need a spirited debate so that all of you can make up your minds,” she said at a town hall in Clinton, in the northeast corner of the state, after limiting her most aggressive rhetoric to discussion of unnamed Republican candidates.
The Washington Post reports:
Before swooping into this Mississippi River town Saturday to start her final campaign push for the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton looked up the origin of its name.
It was named after DeWitt Clinton, a governor of New York in the early 1800s. He worked really hard, as she explained at her rally. A smart man. Had big ideas. But he ran into political head winds. New Yorkers voted him out of office. Eventually, he returned to the governor’s office, and thanks to his grit, he completed what then stood as one of the country’s signal infrastructure projects: the Erie Canal.
“He was a leader who set big goals, then he worked,” she said. “He did the politics. He did all that was necessary to clear the way to make that happen.”
As Clinton addressed supporters inside the sunlit cafeteria of an elementary school, she sang the virtues of practicality, experience and incremental results.
She recalled being in the White House Situation Room analyzing intelligence of a terrorist plot pegged to President Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Her crowd fell silent. People leaned forward in their seats to listen. The festivities went on as planned, Clinton recalled. “It came down to experience and judgment,” she said.
Clinton wonked out on policy. She detailed how she would do away with the carried interest tax loophole. She shared local stories, too — about the Iowa toddlers who shot themselves with a loaded gun, about the Mississippi River’s potential to generate hydro-energy, and about an Iowa woman named Ellen Mayberry who wrote her a letter complaining that the pharmacy charged her $14,729.99 last year to refill her prescription.
“I’m going after them,” Clinton vowed. “We are going to stop this. This is predatory pricing. It is unjustified. It is wrong. And we’re going to make sure it is stopped.”
Clinton  talked for 40 minutes before opening the floor to questions. As she called on people, she walked toward them and stood close, holding out her microphone to them. She showed warmth and spontaneity, such as when one woman asked her about her physical fitness, noting that she had seen commentary on Fox News Channel that she was in poor health.
“They say nearly anything about me, I’ve got to tell you,” Clinton said, the crowd chuckling. “I’ll match my endurance against anybody.”
Many of the people who turned out to see Clinton were already planning to caucus for her.
“I was a supporter last time she ran,” said LeAnn DePue, a 47-year-old special education teacher. “I still have the sticker on my refrigerator. But this clinched it. It wasn’t pie in the sky. She could say, ‘This is what I’ve been fighting for all these years and this is what I’ve gotten done.’ It was all very realistic.”
The Des Moines Register reports:
Clinton was joined at the podium in the Garner Elementary School gymnasium by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Planned Parenthood endorsed Clinton earlier this month, marking the organization's first endorsement in a presidential primary.
"We need a fighter in the White House, and this year we have that candidate. Hillary Clinton has been fighting for women and families in the middle class all her life," Richards said to the group. "As a young attorney working for the Children's Defense Fund; as a first lady, fighting for children's health care; and a U.S. senator, she fought for equal pay for women and she entered eight separate bills to expand access to reproductive health care. That's eight more than anyone running for president of the United States."
"This election is one of the most consequential we have had. Why? Because there are two such diametrically opposed visions of our county. You listen to the Republicans, and they want to go right back to failed economic policies," Clinton said. "We've had five presidents in the last 35 years, three Republicans and two Democrats. I know both of the Democrats," Clinton said jokingly, referring to her husband, Bill Clinton, and Obama, with whom Clinton worked as Secretary of State.
"Our economy does better when we have a Democrat in office. More so, our Democratic presidents inherited economic problems from their Republican predecessors," Clinton said.
Clinton touched on several issues on Sunday, advocating for equal wages for women, access to reproductive health care, affordable health care, increased wages and changes to the country's tax code to incentivize investment in U.S.-based business.
On the issue of affordable health care, Clinton said she was one of the first to promote universal health care, and mentioned the health care system overhaul, dubbed "Hillarycare," she introduced in the early 1990s. Clinton mentioned Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' single-payer health care proposal, and said that rather than repeal the Affordable Care Act, she would "build on the progress we've made."
"We now have 90 percent of Americans covered, and we have the chance to get the cost down, which will be my primary focus. I want to get out-of-pocket costs down, and I want to cap prescription drug costs," Clinton said. "I don't want to start over. I don't want to plunge our country into another contentious debate."
The Washington Post reports:
It was time for Iowans to hear from a different politician from New Jersey -- this time, a Democrat, Sen. Cory Booker joked, with a dig at GOP presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The 46-year-old lawmaker -- a rising star in his party, and a possible vice presidential pick for Hillary Clinton -- made his campaign trail debut with the former secretary of state in Iowa on Sunday.
He reminded the crowd of more than 600 that though he was from New Jersey, his roots were here in Iowa.
"This is the land where my grandmother was born and raised — Des Moines, Iowa," Booker said. "My grandmother from Iowa, she is dancing in heaven at the prospect that the next president of the United States is going to be Hillary Rodham Clinton."
"The most common way people give up their power is not realizing they have it in the first place," he added, quoting author Alice Walker.
And so he urged Iowans to use their power to elect Clinton, who he said would be "the most qualified person since George Washington" to serve as president.
"I’m telling you right now, that when Iowa speaks in a chorus of conviction...we will ensure and put a great American on the trajectory to the White House," Booker said.
After Booker delivered the sermon on behalf of the church's absent pastor, it was Clinton's turn at the microphone and she praised Booker effusively.
"I think you all got more than a little taste about why this young man still, is still so special to so many," Clinton said. "He has given of himself in very personal ways, living with people who felt left out, left behind, working to improve their lives, to create economic and educational opportunity.
"And it gives me such a sense of gratification that he is here, supporting me in this very important election, because there is nobody I'd rather have by my side," she added.
Texas Tribune reports:
It has become a familiar routine for U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio long rumored to be on Hillary Clinton's shortlist for running mate. But it is finding a wider audience as Castro steps up his involvement in the campaign with the first nominating contests set to begin in eight days — and Clinton flooding this state with some of her top surrogates.
“We absolutely can’t afford to hand over the presidency to the Republican Party," Castro said. "Can you imagine what would happen if we have Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and President Trump or President Cruz or any of these folks?”
"Latinos have been the biggest beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act, so the idea that we would open that back up to a Republican Congress and give them the opportunity to eviscerate it does not make me feel comfortable," Castro told reporters. "I would say that Bernie is talking about opening that back up and putting it at the whim of the Republican Congress.
"I believe that's the completely wrong way to go," Castro added. "I believe that we should build on the Affordable Care Act, and the Latino community has benefited so much from that I don't want to risk those gains."
The Washington Post reports on how Sanders has gone increasingly personal with his attacks, with a few digs at Clinton’s supporters as well. We apparently lack excitement and energy:
Sanders has emerged as a more combative — and in some ways, more conventionally political — candidate.
Sanders opens his rallies by ticking through the latest polls — an uncharacteristic touch of bravado intended to convince Democrats that he is not only viable in a general election but a stronger standard-bearer against the Republicans than Clinton.
He also is attacking Clinton more directly, not only on policy differences but also on personal character, demonstrating that he has both the stomach and the punch for a political brawl — even one against the Clintons and their defenders.
The Sanders pivot was evident in an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday as he flew on a chartered jet — itself a change for a candidate who used to fold himself into the middle seats of Southwest Airlines planes — from his home in Burlington, Vt., to Iowa for his final week of campaigning here.
Over the course of The Post interview, Sanders said Clinton was running a “desperate” campaign incapable of generating the kind of excitement his has. He raised questions about her motives and character. He said he expects Clinton and her campaign to “throw the kitchen sink” at him in the coming week in what he described as a craven attempt to avoid an embarrassing loss in Iowa.
Even as he tries to claim the moral high ground, Sanders is stepping up his critique of Clinton considerably. For months, he has drawn sharp contrasts with her over issues, and he vowed never to go after her personally or with attack ads.
But at recent campaign stops, Sanders has decried Clinton’s acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from banking and corporate interests in the run-up to her 2016 campaign. He singles out her payments from the giant investment firm Goldman Sachs.
“What this campaign is about, and I’m seeing it every day, is an excitement and energy that does not exist and will not exist in the Clinton campaign,” Sanders said in The Post interview.
“We have the capability to have a very good voter turnout. When we have a very good voter turnout, we retain the White House, we regain the Senate, we do well in the House, and we win statewide elections.”
The Guardian reports on some of that allegedly non-existent excitement and energy:
“You are my Eleanor Roosevelt” a woman told Hillary Clinton at a town hall in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Friday afternoon, eliciting cheers and applause from the crowd.
She has fans, and not just women who want a woman president, or who generally support women candidates, or voters who see her as the best shot to keep a Democrat in the White House. She has real, honest-to-goodness, dyed-in-the-wool supporters who don’t just want Clinton to win the White House, but fully expect she will. And they adore her.
Dianne Rochford of Newport, New Hampshire, who attended a Clinton speech with pro-choice and pro-Clinton buttons affixed to her sweatshirt, explained her support as one might explain something obvious to a particularly stupid child.
“She is a smart woman,” Rochford said. “She has always been for women and children. She has so much experience – she’s been secretary of State. Can I go on and on and on? Yes.”
But it’s not just Clinton’s resume that’s attractive: it’s clear that some of her supporters see themselves in Clinton, and their own dreams embodied in her candidacy.
Deb Andersen, like a lot of people at Clinton’s New Hampshire events, drove up from neighboring Massachusetts to catch her speech. The 64-year-old army veteran of Desert Storm and political junkie (she tries to see all the candidates and ask questions) spent much of the rally whistling loudly with two fingers while other clapped, and tried to ask Clinton a question by shouting “President Clinton!” during the question time. Afterwards, she declared herself a fan.
“Hillary’s not just going to be a woman in the White House, she’s going to be a woman with balls in the White House,” Andersen told the Guardian.
At a Naral event in Concord, Lynne Snierson, from Salem, New Hampshire, said: “I realize that younger women don’t necessarily connect with this, but for those of us who fought in the vanguard of the feminist movement in the 60s, the thought of a woman president resonates really deeply.”
“I’m 63,” she explained, “I was obviously born in 1952 and I understand that when I was a young woman, the thought of a woman being president was pie in the sky.”
Shakesville calls out the blatant gaslighting of Sanders’ alleged “walkback” of his attack on Planned Parenthood:
Sanders says, "That's not what I meant," as if his critics had misunderstood him, and then grouses, "The Clinton people will try to spin these things."
That's some gaslighting bullshit, right there. You didn't hear what you think you heard—and, even if you did, you're just looking for things to get mad about.
It's also a neat way of discrediting any critics by accusing us of operating in bad faith. We're all, to a person, just a bunch of political operatives with an agenda...
I have increasingly been hearing from people, especially women, that they don't feel like they can express support for Hillary Clinton without getting shit for it from Sanders supporters.
That is so upsetting to me. And if the fact that so many women I know are, quite understandably, intimidated to publicly support Clinton doesn't speak to the misogyny on which Sanders is trading, I don't know what would.
And instead of refusing to trade on it, instead of challenging it at every opportunity, Sanders doubled down by implying that his critics are bad faith actors and they're all in the bag for Clinton. Which puts a target on the back of any woman, in particular, who says she supports Hillary Clinton.
Because "the Clinton people" attack Bernie, you know.
We see you.
Emily’s List writes for Medium about what support for women’s rights really looks like:
This means that right now, more than ever, we need a president we can trust to take on the tough fights.
Bernie Sanders does not have what it takes. What he does have is a record of supporting pro-choice legislation in the Senate.
But if we’re going to save Roe v. Wade and keep this country moving forward, we need more than just a reliable vote. In the White House, we need a leader who understands how critical this issue is, who will not only work to defend our rights — but expand them too.
At this moment in our history, holding the line for our rights just doesn’t go far enough.
We can’t afford a Democratic nominee for president who treats abortion rights like an afterthought, much less one who attacks Planned Parenthood while it’s already under siege from Republicans. I was as shocked as many of my progressive friends were when Bernie Sanders dismissed Planned Parenthood as part of the establishment he’s fighting against — just because they endorsed Hillary. It was petty, it was counter-productive, and it was wrong.
Bernie Sanders just doesn’t get it.
In July, he said to Rolling Stone that “once you get off the social issues — abortion, gay rights, guns — and into the economic issues…there is a lot more agreement than the pundits understand.”
What progressives already know is that the right to have an abortion isn’t a “social issue” to be relegated to some sidebar conversation when we should really be talking about economic justice. Protecting the right to have an abortion is one of the most important economic justice issues over half of the American population could face.
In the last few days alone Bernie Sanders put out a health care plan that doesn’t once mention the word women and called Planned Parenthood part of the establishment he’s running against.
Even worse, he consistently treats reproductive rights like they’re something to talk about for extra credit, and not essential to building an economy that works for all of us and moves this country forward.
By way of contrast, Hillary Clinton — from her work with the Children’s Defense Fund, to her time in Arkansas to her years as our Secretary of State — hasn’t just supported economic justice for all — she’s made it her life’s work. And she’s done it with the understanding that issues of economic fairness and reproductive rights intersect in people’s lives in sometimes-complicated ways. Hillary Clinton is running to repeal the Hyde amendment and fight for the millions of women and men who depend on Planned Parenthood for care. That’s why, when she’s elected president, she won’t just hold the line on our right to choose.
BuzzFeed News notes that it isn’t only Sanders supporters hoping for a revolution:
Clinton and Sanders agree on abortion policy, and they’ve long drawn praise from abortion rights activists. But the leadership at the biggest names in the abortion rights movement have backed Clinton, and many are campaigning for her in Iowa and even firing off some of the toughest shots at Sanders before Iowa caucus day.
The difference between the two: In Clinton, the advocates see a candidate who promises a revolution in abortion politics in America.
Clinton, they say, is more aggressive in her calls to expand abortion access, and that means a future in which Democrats no longer tip-toe around the issue. Abortion rights activists are aiming for a future in which they can de-stigmatize abortion and make expanded, inexpensive access to it a core tenet of American progressive politics.
Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America — which backed President Obama in 2008 and is backing Clinton in 2016 — said Clinton has been more forceful about her desire to get rid of Hyde this cycle, a shift in rhetoric that is necessary to move Democrats into a place where they can get it done.
“We’re getting killed all over this country. And we’ve gotten killed with lots and lots of solid voting records in Congress,” Hogue said. “And we’re not doing our jobs if we’re not recognizing that reality and demanding more. And only one candidate made that call for more and it was Hillary.”
“I actually reject the notion that pointing out where a candidate can do better or fails to match where a candidate has done better is going negative. That’s exactly what advocates do to make sure that our issues are central and that there is a mandate on them when people get elected,” Hogue said. “You’re not going to see one ad on the air from us, one mailing in the mailbox, that has anything but positive things about Hillary Clinton. There’s no negative campaigning against Bernie. Because we don’t think we have to. We save the negative stuff for the guys who are actually our opponents.”
Blue Nation Review reminds that the endless, fruitless scrutiny of Clinton proves she’s one of the most ethical leaders we’ve ever had:
Hillary’s detractors on the right, left and center reel off a laundry list of unsupported accusations with an air of absolute authority, as though it is simply a given that she is a terrible, horrible, no-good human being.
And that is precisely the intention: Taint her through innuendo and guilt-by-association, throw enough dirt at her that voters develop an instant negative association with her name. Accuse, accuse, accuse until the accusation becomes the reality, and may the truth be damned.
Sadly, many on the left imbibe and regurgitate these fabricated narratives, spewing falsehoods and filth at Hillary with gleeful abandon. They are joined by mainstream media operatives with personal vendettas like Maureen Dowd and the Morning Joe crew, whose venomous words reveal more about their own failings than about Hillary.
But the fact is this: no one has ever produced an iota of evidence that Hillary has behaved improperly because of a campaign contribution. No one has produced a scintilla of proof that there is a quid pro quo when it comes to her speaking fees. From Whitewater to Benghazi to her emails, nobody can point to a single instance of corruption or purposeful wrongdoing on Hillary Clinton’s part.
None. Zero. Ever.
No matter how shocking this may sound to Hillary’s professional critics – those who spend their time condescendingly mocking anyone who says a good word about her – Hillary is an upstanding, principled leader who has survived the most intrusive, invasive, aggressive and unending vetting process in political history. Time and again, she has emerged with her integrity intact.
From Medium, some thoughts from those who have worked with Clinton on climate change:
As two former Environmental Protection Agency administrators, we believe that climate change is one of the defining challenges we face as a country.
Fortunately, we don’t need to wait for Congress to act — because a president can make a huge impact using the laws we already have.
We learned that lesson in our work at the EPA and the White House throughout two administrations. Whether it was tightening ozone standards back in the 1990s to improve the air our kids breathe, supporting clean energy investments in the Recovery Act, or instituting historic fuel efficiency standards that will nearly double how far our cars can go on a gallon of gas, we’ve proven that changes large and small can add up to a major difference.
Through it all, Hillary Clinton was right there with us.
Over the years, the two of us have seen first-hand that Hillary has more than a plan to fight climate change. She has a vision that would make America the global leader in tackling this crisis, as well as the world’s 21st-century clean energy superpower.
We saw a First Lady who drew attention to the link between air pollution and children’s asthma.
We saw a senator who worked to extend tax credits for clean energy, got the Pentagon to address climate risks in their strategic planning, and protected the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling in a bipartisan coalition.
We saw a secretary of state who launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and who appointed the first Special Envoy for Climate Change to make the issue a top priority in U.S. diplomacy. Hillary also helped lay the groundwork for the Paris deal way back in Copenhagen in 2009 — even crashing a secret meeting of leaders from China, India, and Brazil.
And today, in Hillary, we see a presidential candidate with the most impressive and progressive agenda for tackling climate change. Here’s where she stands on the key issues:
  • Clinton opposes offshore drilling in the Arctic.
  • As president, she will set a goal to have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of her first term.
  • She will defend and improve President Obama’s historic Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from our nation’s power plants.
  • She will build on the Obama plan with her own Clean Energy Challenge, to help cities, states, and rural communities invest more in clean energy and energy efficiency.
  • As a result, within 10 years of Clinton taking office, we will generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America.
  • She opposed Keystone XL because she doesn’t believe we should be building a pipeline to transport North America’s dirtiest fuel through the heartland.
  • And Clinton will modernize our energy infrastructure by improving existing pipeline and railway safety, enhancing security from cyberattacks, and using wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal sources to add more clean power to our grid.
  • She would establish a national infrastructure bank to leverage public and private capital and accelerate investment into the most critical large scale energy projects.
  • As president, she will make sure taxpayers get their fair share for energy production on public lands, and see through President Obama’s recent evaluation of the coal leasing program. (And she has a plan to invest in communities and make sure we don’t leave coal miners and their families behind.)
  • And of course, she will hold up America’s commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement and continue to engage the international community on global efforts to reduce carbon pollution and keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
We’ve both known Hillary long enough to know this is just the beginning. She asks tough and pointed questions — one of which is always, “What more can we be doing?”
Clinton addressed a possible independent presidential run by Mike Bloomberg.

AP reports:
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton says former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg won't need to run for president because she'll win the Democratic nomination.
The former secretary of state said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that as she understands Bloomberg's statement, he'll consider running if Clinton does not win the nomination. She said Sunday that she'll "relieve" him of that decision by winning the nomination.
Clinton’s campaign is guiding voters on how to caucus for her on February 1:

1. Find out where you’re supposed to caucus—just visit hillaryclinton.com/ia to find your caucus location. No matter where you live, there’s one nearby.

2. Arrive by 6:30 p.m. on February 1. A volunteer will show you where to go (and explain what to do if you’ve never caucused before) so you’re ready when the caucus starts at 7 p.m.

3. Celebrate …… because you just joined thousands of Iowans to defend our progress and keep moving our country forward.


Interesting NBC News piece on how geography in Iowa may favor Clinton:
Iowa is a caucus not a primary. That means a supporter in one place is not necessary as valuable as a supporter in another place.
Just like how the electoral college system makes it so extra Democrats votes are worth less in Vermont than in Ohio, the caucus process makes it so extra supporters in a heavily Sanders precinct are worth less than if they were in a battleground precinct.
Obama won in 2008 by flooding caucuses with young people and first-time caucus-goers — that was icing on the cake of a statewide caucus operation that focused on more traditional caucus-goers.
For Sanders, “the icing came first for them and they’re trying to build cake underneath it,”  said Jeff Link, the longtime strategist to former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.
Unlike the electoral college, however, the caucuses are not winner-take-all, so delegates will be awarded even for second and third-place finishers. Delegates are awarded to candidates based on a complicated process, but how many delegates can be won at each precinct or county is fixed. It’s assigned by the party based on history, and does not change no matter how many people show up. That means that Sanders could double, triple or even quintuple support in a precinct, but can only win so many delegates there.
Even if Sanders racks up delegates in population centers, Clinton can beat him by winning dozens of smaller counties.
Clinton’s team, which includes many of the people who engineered Obama’s 2008 win, has been on the ground in more places longer than Sanders’. And organizers say there’s no way to make up the lost time when it comes to volunteer training and relationship building.
On 2008, the caucuses were held on Jan. 3, when most college students were home on winter break. That meant that Obama’s army of young supporters could caucus at their parents’ homes all over the state, and not waste their support in Johnson or Story counties, home to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, respectively.
The Sanders campaign is working to encourage college students to return home to caucus, and helping to arrange travel. But it’s a big organizational lift and asking a lot of a demographic that has historically already been reluctant to turn out. The caucuses are on a Monday night, so students will have classes on the day of the caucuses and the next morning.

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