Today's Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of last night’s Democratic Forum in Iowa.
The New Republic reports:
Hillary got the toughest question of the night, and she handled it like a pro.
When a Sanders-leaning voter at CNN’s Democratic town hall asked Clinton about charges that she is dishonest and double-dealing, Clinton launched into a short review of her long, committed political career.
“They throw all this stuff at me and I’m still standing,” Clinton said. “I’ve been on the front lines of change and progress since I was your age. I have been fighting to give kids and women and the people who are left out and left behind the chance to make the most of their own lives.” Clinton went on to reflect on her time rallying for expanded healthcare coverage as First Lady: “I’ve taken on the status quo again and again. I’ve had millions of dollars spent against me... The drug companies, the insurance companies spent millions against me.”
Clinton closed by adding that “if it were easy, hey, there wouldn’t be any contest. But it’s not easy... You have to have somebody who is a proven, proven fighter. Somebody who has taken them on and won.”
Here she was at her best because she wasn’t making any effort to present herself as especially millennial-friendly or fresh. She was presenting herself exactly as she is: a politician who’s spent a lot of time in the trenches, whose station and experience in the halls of power you either take or leave.
Sanders, who went first, was aggressive in attacking Clinton, while she did not directly attack him when it was her turn to take the stage.
More broadly, Clinton portrayed herself as better prepared for the presidency than Sanders, saying “you’ve got to do all aspects of the job,” including foreign policy.
Clinton was shown an extended clip of a minute-long Sanders ad that features images of his enthusiastic supporters at rallies while the Simon and Garfunkel classic “America” plays in the background.
Asked about the ad, Clinton said: “I think that’s great. I think that’s fabulous. I love it.”
She said she appreciated what Sanders has brought to the race but quickly pivoted to say “I believe I’m the better person to be the Democratic nominee and to be the commander in chief of the country.”The Washington Post reports more:
"Well, you can have it both," Clinton said at an event in Osklaoosa on Monday. "What I have done my entire life... was to do everything to help people who were really up against it — the odds were stacked against them."
Clinton's campaign has largely been an argument for practicality over passion. She tells voter time and again that her proposals are more practical than her opponents. She warns them that the next president will face domestic and geopolitical hurdles, and that those who promise easy progress aren't seeing the world as it really is.
"Yeah, you need to lead with both your heart and your head. It’s not either or," Clinton said. "You’ve got to take what you hear from people, what they’re telling you, sharing with you, the heartache they’re feeling and you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and get to work and do everything you can to solve the problems that are keeping Americans up at night."Time reports:
“I have a 40-year record of going after inequality. And not only economic inequality: racial inequality, sexist inequality, homophobic inequality. The kinds of things that go after people to put them down and push them back,” Clinton said.
Clinton’s wonkier side was also on display on Monday night. She told in detail her mission as Secretary of State to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, relating the tick-tock of meetings that prevented an Israeli ground invasion. She recited the economic record during her husband’s two terms, when she pointed to dramatic economic growth in the 1990s. And in defense of her own honesty after the embassy attacks in Libya, she characterized the numerous Benghazi investigations as unfair political attacks, saying that they go far beyond the scrutiny President Reagan faced in the 1983 embassy attack.
“My best defense is the truth. And that’s what you will hear from now until I am elected president,” Clinton said.Mother Jones shared highlights:
Hillary Clinton deftly handles a direct question about the enthusiasm gap and her perceived dishonesty among young voters.
Clinton has been dogged with a so-called "enthusiasm gap" among younger voters and Taylor Gipple asked her directly to respond to the problem.
"It feels like there's a lot of young people like myself who are very passionate supporters of Bernie Sanders, and I just don't see the same enthusiasm from younger people for you," he asked. "In fact, I've heard from quite a few people my age that they think you're dishonest. But I'd like to hear from you on why you feel the enthusiasm isn't there."
"Well I think it really depends upon who you're seeing and talking to," Clinton said, adding that she sees young people working for her all the time. Nonetheless, she praised young people for being involved and stressed the importance of their participation in November. As for being perceived as dishonest: that's politics. "People have thrown all sorts of stuff at me," she said, "and I'm still standing."
Clinton's foreign policy chops are a clear advantage for her in the Democratic primary, despite her vote in support of the war in Iraq.
Sanders repeatedly criticized Clinton for voting in support of the war in Iraq in 2002. After answering a question about foreign policy by saying that diplomacy is always her first approach, Clinton acknowledged her mistaken Iraq War vote: "First of all, I have a much longer history than one vote, which I've said was a mistake because of the way that that was done and how the Bush administration handled it."
Clinton said she'd give her Republican opponents in Congress "bear hugs" once she's president, and find a way to work together.
Clinton knows she's had political enemies for decades, and talked Monday night about how political campaigns can bring the worst out of people. But, she said, when she's president, she'll do her best to work with everyone. And yes, she did say she would give Republicans in Congress "bear hugs."
Clinton took a strong stand against the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Donald Trump.
A Muslim woman, Erum Tariq-Munir, whom CNN identified as a US Air Force veteran, asked Clinton how she could make sure that the US was the best place to raise her family. Clinton used the opportunity to thank her for her service, but also to take a strong stand against the anti-Muslim rhetoric expressed by Donald Trump and others in the Republican primary.
When asked which previous president has inspired her most, Clinton chose not to name Barack Obama or her husband.
"Sorry President Obama, sorry Bill," she said, "Abraham Lincoln." In what served as her closing statement, Clinton used Lincoln's presidency to make her case as being the most prepared candidate, and the one who is most able to bring people together, work with political enemies, and keep her eye on several issues at once.Politics USA raved about Clinton’s performance:
Hillary Clinton’s performance at the CNN Town Hall was nothing less than presidential level. Clinton was intelligent, passionate, and it was clear that there is not another candidate in this race that possesses her level of knowledge.
Hillary Clinton looked and sounded like a president. If Bernie Sanders doesn’t beat Clinton, Republicans are going to face long odds in the general election. Hillary Clinton was very impressive.
It doesn’t matter which Democratic candidate voters support. The big takeaway is that Democrats are in much better shape than the Republicans.
After this town hall, Republicans should be very, very afraid.
BuzzFeed has an amazing piece on what has always motivated Hillary, a question that she is rarely asked — perhaps because so many people feel so comfortable answering for her. This profile captures the essence of Hillary better than any I've ever read.
Here is Hillary Clinton as seen by many: calculating, lacking principle, lacking conviction, driven by power and ambition. After eight years in the White House, two Senate races, and a term as secretary of state, she is followed by the popular image of a candidate willing to do whatever or be whoever, so long as the polls say she should.
Here is how Hillary Clinton sees herself: radically consistent, motivated by a core philosophy — voiced now through two words rarely associated with her. “Love and kindness.” If this sounds unlikely, she knows it. For 50 years, she’s struggled to explain the values that motivate her — in public life, as a candidate, as a person. The one time she really tried to, in the early 1990s, she was brutally mocked. In the view of some of her closest aides, Clinton never fully recovered from the critical backlash.
Now, Clinton doesn’t talk about this much, not like she did then. On this particular day, after a routine campaign event at a college in Manchester, New Hampshire — after taking photos and giving a speech, after getting a question from the audience about the women who’ve alleged they were sexually assaulted by her husband and answering it without hesitation or alarm, after moving onto the noise and chaos of a crowded rope line —Clinton is shepherded away to the quiet of an available room: the building’s industrial-style kitchen. And it’s in this setting, seated in a fold-out chair at a small table, that Clinton seems almost surprised by the most basic line of questioning: why she runs.
“I think most people who interview me never ask me,” she says. “They nibble a little bit around the edges but there’s very—” Clinton turns to the one aide present, her press secretary, also seated at the table, and asks him to think back: “I don’t know of very many instances in the last 14 years that we’ve had these kinds of conversations.”
“I am talking about love and kindness,” she says.
As Clinton sees it, she’s really talking about a “shorthand” for her personal and political beliefs, for all the impulses that shape what she does and how she does it. She is talking about the core of “what I believe and who I am.” Even if no one views her that way. Even if she’s never been quite able to explain it. Even if she still isn’t known for the vision she’s been trying to share for decades, going back to the beginning. Even if her earnest efforts to connect with people are hampered not just by her image, but by the actual barriers of public life. After so many years, how do you convince a nation full of people who think they know everything about you that they don’t?Some more quotes from the above article:
“I can only just be the person I am and continue to stand for what I feel like I have always stood for, in terms of values and in terms of my core beliefs,” Clinton says. “And of course, policies come and go, policies change. I mean, good grief, of course that’s the case. But who I am is pretty much who I’ve always been.”
“I’ve been working for several months now on how to really inject this more into my speeches at every turn,” Clinton says in the kitchen in New Hampshire, “and to try to link it with my vision of where we can go in our country. And I’m hoping that I am getting closer to that. I’ve made some progress — not enough.”
“I want this campaign, and eventually my administration,” she said, “to be more about inspiring young people, and older ones as well, to find that niche where kindness matters, whether it’s to a friend, a neighbor, a colleague, a fellow student — whether it’s in the classroom, or a doctor’s office, or in a business — we need to do more to help each other.
“That’s what my campaign is about,” she said. “I want more kindness.”
“Service is the rent we pay for living,” she often told audiences, quoting a mentor of many years, Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, where Clinton began working in 1970. “It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” When a reporter once asked whether she felt “a sense of mission” — whether service felt like something she was “supposed to be doing” — Clinton responded flatly, “It just feels like who I am.”And some more, this time focused on the current election:
“The debate that has gone on — between those who say mostly on the left, ‘Everything is economic,’ and those mostly on the right who say, ‘Everything is cultural’ — are really missing it,” she says. “I mean, it is both. There is a level of economic security and opportunity that is essential to human dignity. But that doesn’t translate into meaning and purpose for one’s life.”
Now, Clinton sees a similar alienation in the current dynamics of terrorism — the kind where people leave jobs and homes in London or Brussels for ISIS. “Many of the young people, predominantly men, who are caught up in this latest wave of terrorism are educated,” she says. “They have other options in their lives, which for whatever reason they reject to move toward this ideology that promises such meaning and purpose, even though we looking at it think of it as perverse, evil, and hateful.”
When asked whether she is more “herself” as a candidate than in 2008, Clinton pauses.
“Hmm. I don’t know the answer to that question. I really don’t know,” she says.And some more, on the importance of personal connections on the campaign trail:
“But I also believe there is a learning process that anybody who does this has to go through. And I am trying very hard to present the most, shall we say, holistic view of what I believe and what I want to do.”
It was a volunteer at the event in Manchester, New Hampshire. “This woman comes up to me, and she says, ‘I’m really workin’ hard for you. I’ve got a lot of time on my hands, because I had a terrible accident two years ago, and turns out I wasn’t eligible for anything.’” The woman wasn’t asking for help, says Clinton. Still, she sent her across the room to talk to the campaign’s state director, Mike Vlacich, just as she sent the woman in Iowa to an aide there. “Immediately, I’m thinking, Oh god, maybe there’s some way we can help her. I’m not sure if there is.”
Any candidate, at any event, can encounter voters like this. But for Clinton, these are the moments when she feels she can carry out her own ideas about politics. These are the moments that “pierce the political screen” of a campaign apparatus. These are moments, as she puts it in New Hampshire, that are “worth everything to me.”And it’s not just empty words:
“What I found is if I was there as a lawyer or if I was there as an advocate, people would open up to me because they were seeing me as someone who might help them,” she says. “What I was surprised about — you know, I saw with my husband and others, but not to the extent that I found it with myself — when I started running for the Senate, I’d have these encounters that were so intimate…so personal…so quickly. And I’d look in people’s eyes and I could see that they were saying, ‘I’m going to tell this story, because maybe — maybe — she could help me.’”
“That all comes from the same place,” says Karen Finney, a senior campaign spokeswoman and a longtime Clinton aide, of the impulses behind the “love and kindness” mantra. “All those little moments on the rope line with people — she’s really adamant with staff. When she says, get their number or get their card and follow up, she really means it.”
From Clinton’s offices in Brooklyn, the campaign maintains its own constituent services shop of sorts. Week to week, it is assured that voters like the woman in Manchester don’t leave before an aide makes an introduction. Often, the candidate is the one who facilitates. In New Hampshire, you’ll see her stop on a rope line, scanning the room for Vlacich. In Iowa, you’ll hear her in a crowd, calling to no one in particular — “Where’s Matt? Anybody see Matt?” — before someone summons state director Matt Paul to the voter with the issue to pursue or problem to fix or story to remember. That Clinton actually follows through on these in-passing commitments is considered imperative: A few months into the race, aides began tracking encounters in a spreadsheet to ensure the campaign make good on promises to follow up, be in touch, or look into this or that.
It’s not an ideological approach. On the campaign trail, the result is a mix of pragmatism and what she has called the “human dimension.” “Emotion is a necessary engine, because you got to have a track you’re going down once you get it fired up,” as she put it in the ’90s. Today, she says she describes the presidency in the same way, in language not often applied to the role. “I see the presidency, yes, in its obvious historic terms. You have to run the executive branch, you have to be the commander-in-chief, you have to work with the Congress,” she says. “But I also see it as a catalyst, as a convener, as a collaborator and a coordinator.”
To do any of this on the campaign trail, though, Clinton actually needs to be near people, physically. She describes this as “a level of intimacy that you don’t get unless you’re somehow in somebody else’s space.”What the press (and her critics) always miss:
It’s not easy for Clinton to actually share private space with people. Between the security, the press aides, the press, the advance staffers who find the event spaces and get voters there and coordinate between the security and the press aides and the press, Clinton does not move without being accompanied by massive machinery.
Maybe that barrier creates expectations of indifference in voters. Maybe it puts Clinton in a role of agency. Because up close, on the rope line, in the small meeting, across the table, people walk away surprised by, and often sold on, Clinton. She is aware of this, that she succeeds in these small spaces. “I really believe that personal connection,” she says, “is what gets me the level of loyal support that I have, because people do believe that I will do exactly what I’ve told them. I can’t promise a specific result, but I can promise my best efforts.”
The problem is, these interactions often go unseen, in private or far from the press. The problem is, it’s a style of politics that plays out on the smallest scale, voter by voter by voter — and that’s hard to translate to the outside, or to more than one person at a time, and always has been.How journalism has changed:
In fact, she says, talking about something like “love and kindness” may be even harder now than before. She is wary of a cynical reaction to the line, and heightened to the changes in media and technology that have altered the process of campaigning. “It’s so much harder than it used to be,” she says. “You don’t get a chance to think before you have to respond to something.”
“They’re aware that they have to break through in the media, on social media in particular — and how do you do that if you are not somewhat confrontational, somewhat controversial?”
“The cynicism or skepticism that really stalks most political journalists is pretty clear,” she says. But women, Clinton notes, have been more interested in questions surrounding her motivations. “I don’t want to sound sexist about this, but I think women who have interviewed me have been more interested. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it.”
Part of the issue, as Clinton puts it, is that a candidate’s motivations might have no place in the new media environment: “A conversation like this doesn’t lend itself to a tweet, for example.” And the need to “break through,” as she puts it, “makes the discussion about what we’re doing this for, and who we’re trying to help, and why us… it makes that discussion harder to have because it’s not considered interesting.”
“The vocabulary is, I think, somewhat challenging because there is such a premium on skepticism, even cynicism, in our political discourse right now,” Clinton continues, sitting forward. She can even predict the questions — questions she’s probably heard before. “People will say, ‘Oh, what’s the angle. What does that really mean? How do you translate that?’ or ‘Why is she saying that? She’s got some ulterior motive, right?’”
“I am aware of that,” she says. “I don’t want to undermine what I am trying to do and what I am trying to say by triggering such a dismissive reaction as could come.”
“So, I don’t know,” she trails off. “I think that there are life experiences and, you know when I talk about this stuff, I talk about this with my friends, my girlfriends, right? I mean, we have these conversations. We trade quotes. We trade books. We trade ideas. And it’s totally normal for us. We’ve gone through so much together: deaths, divorce, illness, and good things like grandchildren. So people in those settings, it’s very natural to have these kinds of conversations, right? And it’s just not in the public discourse very much — so now whether what I am trying to do will have any impact or not, we will see.”
“Maybe it’s just something I’ve gotten used to,” she says, toward the end of the interview, at this point speaking without any edge. “And so I don’t have a personal… sense of disappointment, or being misunderstood, because I’m aware that I present personally a kind of Rorschach test to so many people.” That’s been true since the 1969 commencement, when, as Clinton writes in her memoir, “my mother reported that opinion about my speech seemed to be divided between the overly effuse — ‘she spoke for a generation’ — to the exceedingly negative — ‘who does she think she is?’”
“So when I get the zing, or the criticism, you know, I don’t take it so much to heart,” she says. “I try to take criticism seriously, but not personally. Like if somebody writes something or says something that is critical, you know, I will kind of process it and think, Well maybe there is something to that. But I won’t take it personally. Not anymore. It’s not gonna get to me.”
She is still bringing it up. She’s still trying to talk about it. She’s still asking simply and plainly for love and kindness. The integrated life, she says, is something you strive for, not achieve. “I am not sure anybody ever gets there. But recognizing the path and being willing to keep moving forward — and trying to do better to be a coherent person with a coherent set of beliefs, and a value placed on what’s most important in your life, and maybe life in general — is what I continue to strive for.”
“I try to do it every day.”Vox has some guidance for Democratic primary voters:
Sanders's transition from protest to serious candidate raises a new question about him and Clinton, namely: Who would be better at being president?
It sounds simple, but it wasn't really a test Sanders had to pass before, so it's not yet been a serious point of comparison between the two. Now it is a relevant question, and worth digging into a little. Answering it depends on clarifying exactly what kind of job a Democratic presidency would be in 2016.
If they are both serious candidates for president, then they should be treated like job candidates, evaluated on the qualities that are likely to affect their performance.
How liberal they are willing to talk during a primary is not one of those qualities. Their opinions on single-payer health care are not hugely relevant, nor are their stances on breaking up big banks, carbon taxes, serious gun control, or reparations for slavery.
How they talk about these aspirational issues can tell us something about their priorities, of course. But in practice, they are going to be hemmed in to the point that circumstances, more than priorities, will dictate opportunities.
Success, then, will come from seizing those opportunities when they arise, and making the most of them. It will come from understanding and manipulating the levers of the bureaucracy, from being ruthless about taking incremental wins wherever they can be found, from taking the long view and not overreacting to the hysterical, endless fluctuations in elite DC opinion.Shakesville again, this time on Sanders attacking the Democratic Senators and Governors that have endorsed Clinton as having “turned their backs on the working class”:
Sanders' response to Todd creates a dynamic in which, if any of those Democratic Senators (or governors) had been inclined to endorse him, their endorsement may now be construed as tacit endorsement of his contempt for their colleagues. So anyone who was considering endorsing him now has to weigh whether they want to risk good will to do it. Again: This is just terrible politics.Also worth noting, IMO, is this Sanders NH mailer:
Further, in that broad proclamation about Senate Democrats, Sanders included, for example, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Sherrod Brown. Whooooops.
At this point, anyone who doesn't support Bernie Sanders is, according to Bernie Sanders, part of the establishment. He is dismissing all criticism and concerns out of hand with sweeping rhetoric and his "political revolution" incantation.
Which, frankly, only underscores the validity of those concerns, as they're rooted in questions about whether Sanders can effectively work with people with whom he shares deep ideological disagreements to get shit done.
Sanders seems to be saying he can't. Or won't.
That is his biggest problem as a candidate, and it is a grave concern. It should be a grave concern to his supporters, who are supporting him expressly because of the promises he's making to them.
Policy proposals are worth less than the paper on which they're printed, if there is no plan for making them happen. And "a political revolution of millions of people" isn't a plan. Especially not when its leader is busily torching every bridge in sight.
"NH businesses stay shuttered." Fairly tone deaf mailer in a state with a 3.1 unemployment rate. #fitn pic.twitter.com/B98WfzVP3n— Dean Barker (@deanbarker) January 25, 2016
The good folks at Hillary’s campaign fixed another Sanders mailer for him:
The Nation reports:
Being a Hillary Clinton defender on the left is a tough job. It was worse back in 2008, when she was running against the talented, charismatic senator who had the chance to be our first black president. The Clinton campaign made more than its share of mistakes, but it was the victim of a media double standard in which Barack Obama’s jousts were judged the stuff of normal political give and take—at worst—while Clinton’s were frequently attacked as dirty, below-the-belt, Nixonian rat-fucking. The Obama camp took advantage of that media bias, understandably.
It’s a relief to hear the president admit that the media are generally unfair to Clinton and too quick to believe the self-serving political charges of her opponents, in both 2008 and 2016. Again, this time around, it’s not that Clinton hasn’t leveled any harsh or unseemly attacks at Bernie Sanders. David Brock’s general approach to the campaign, whether on issues of Sanders’s socialism or his health and age, hasn’t been high-minded, to say the least (the health joust even prompted a slapdown by Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.) Personally, I think Team Clinton will hurt itself if it red-baits Sanders. As far back as the 1940s, when Democrats try to distance themselves from colleagues on the left, it backfires: Republicans later use their slurs to malign Democrats.
Still, the Sanders campaign has imitated Team Obama 2008 by taking advantage of a media bias that tends to conclude that Clinton plays dirty, even without evidence. When she and surrogates questioned how Sanders would actually achieve a single-payer system of healthcare, and whether he still wants to let states administer the program, as a Senate bill he authored proposed, they were asking fair questions (though daughter Chelsea seemed to leave the impression Sanders would “dismantle” existing programs without replacing them). But the media mostly echoed the Sanders camp’s outrage at her questions, ignoring the fact that he won’t release his own health reform plan until after the Iowa caucuses. Just as she was when fighting Obama, Clinton is damned by the media if she isn’t seen as taking Sanders seriously—but even more damned when she takes him so seriously that she lands a blow that might hurt him.
Of course, the president is being criticized by Sanders supporters for giving a boost to his former secretary of state, though he promised to stay neutral in the primary. Obama rejected Thrush’s suggestion that, this time around, Sanders is “an analog for you, and she is herself,” replying, “No, no,” and he argued that “I don’t want to exaggerate these differences, because Hillary is really idealistic and progressive.” It’s clear from the piece that Obama is fond of his former rival, and it’s clear from Clinton, and her campaign, that the feeling is mutual. I’d say that’s to be expected; the Sanders camp is turning it into another example of the “establishment” lining up against the insurgent. Which is also to be expected. I’d like to think Obama’s words will help the media see its own biases, but for now it’s enough that the president sees them, and called them out. We might have to wait for 2024 to get a similarly candid assessment of this Democratic primary.The Huffington Post has a longer Obama quote on the 2008 primary than I used yesterday:
"I mean, we had as competitive and lengthy and expensive and tough primary fight as there has been in modern American politics, and she had to do everything that I had to do, except, like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels. 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. She had a tougher job throughout that primary than I did and, you know, she was right there the entire time and, had things gone a little bit different in some states or if the sequence of primaries and caucuses been a little different, she could have easily won," the president said.Paul Krugman sides with Obama:
Greg Sargent notes that President Obama, in his interview with Glenn Thrush of Politico, essentially supports the Hillary Clinton theory of change over the Bernie Sanders theory.
He could be wrong, of course. But if you’re a progressive who not only supports Sanders but is furious with anyone skeptical about his insurgency, someone who considers Mike Konczal a minion and me a corrupt crook, you might want to ask why Barack Obama is saying essentially the same things as the progressive Bernie skeptics. And you might want to think hard about why you’re not just sure that you’re right, but sure that anyone who disagrees must be evil.Clinton is picking up a slew of LGBTQ endorsements from New York.
New York Daily News reports:
Ten gay and lesbian state and city Democratic elected officials on Tuesday are set to formally endorse Hillary Clinton for president, the Daily News has learned.
Among those backing Clinton are state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat and the state’s only openly gay senator, as well as Assembly members Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan), Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), Harry Bronson (D-Rochester), and Matthew Titone (D-Staten Island).
City Council members James Vacca, who recently came out as gay, Daniel Dromm, Corey Johnson, Rosie Mendez, and Jimmy Van Bramer are also endorsing her.
“Not only has she been a proven leader domestically on issues around women's rights, LGBT rights and education, she has been a superlative diplomat with a wide range of international experience unlike any other candidate,” said Glick, who was the state Legislature’s first openly gay member.
Hoylman cited Clinton’s record and called it “icing on the cake” that she has the first openly gay campaign manager for a major presidential candidate.