Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.27: NH Debate, Supreme Court Justice Obama, "Children" Ad

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with debate news.

There may or may not be a debate in New Hampshire in the small window of time between their primary and the Iowa caucus.

ABC News reports:
Television network MSNBC and the Union Leader, New Hampshire's largest newspaper, announced the new debate on Tuesday, citing "overwhelming" calls from voters for another forum prior to the state's Feb. 9 primary. The proposal comes as Clinton and Sanders are locked in a tight race in first-to-vote Iowa and Clinton is trying to close the gap on Sanders in New Hampshire. Clinton's campaign had pushed for fewer debates earlier in the campaign, but now says she will participate in the forum if her competitors do.
"Hillary Clinton would be happy to participate in a debate in New Hampshire if the other candidates agree, which would allow the DNC to sanction the debate," Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's campaign said he plans to attend.
New Hampshire Union Leader reports how the debate proposal came to be:

The Union Leader, the state’s largest newspaper, decided to host the debate after weeks of efforts by both undecided Granite Staters and supporters of the Democratic presidential candidates to have a final opportunity to hear from the candidates in a debate setting.

The event upholds a longstanding tradition and will be the Democratic presidential candidates’ only face-to-face debate after the Iowa caucuses and before the first-in-the-nation primary. Such a debate has been held in New Hampshire before the primary in every cycle where there has been a contested election since 1984.

"Our readers have demanded a debate to help them see who is most fit to be the Democratic nominee for President," said Joseph W. McQuaid, president and publisher of the Union Leader. "We were always concerned that this would have been the first time in 32 years without a Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary. We are glad to partner with MSNBC to ensure Granite Staters have the information they need to make a critical decision on Feb. 9."
If this particular debate doesn't come to pass, it does look like the schedule will be revamped post-NH, so hopefully all of the campaigns and the DNC can reach a mutually agreeable resolution somewhere down the line.

Clinton likes the idea of nominating President Obama for the Supreme Court.

Washington Post reports:
The next president could appoint between one and three Supreme Court justices, as both Democrats and Republicans eagerly remind voters. But could one of the appointees be President Obama?
Asked that question Tuesday, Hillary Clinton appeared charmed by the prospect.
"Wow, what a great idea!" she told a man in Decorah, Iowa, at a town hall meeting. "Nobody has ever suggested that to me. Wow. I love that!"
She answered the question as if thinking out loud. First, she noted that Obama may have his own plans for his post-presidential life.
"I mean he’s brilliant, he can set forth an argument and he was a law professor," she told the man, musingly. "So he’s got all the credentials, but we would have to get a Democratic Senate to get him confirmed."
Clinton’s latest ad spotlights her lifelong work on behalf of children:

Clinton continues to draw contrasts with her opponents on the campaign trail.
CNN reports:
After laying out her plans on college affordability, clean energy and taxes, Clinton said that she puts her plans on her website and cites how she is going to pay for each plan to prove to voters that she isn't offering empty promises.
"I do want you to know that I am not just shouting slogans, I am not just engaging in rhetoric," Clinton said. "I have thought this through, I have a plan."
"I want you to understand because I don't think you can get what we need done in this election nor in the presidency unless you level with people. You tell them what you can do and then you let them then respond to it," she added.
She is also focusing on her peacemaking efforts as Secretary of State.
Politico reports:
At a Democratic candidates’ forum in Des Moines on Monday night, Clinton — speaking soon after Sanders reminded voters yet again of her 2002 Iraq vote — pressed her peacemaker credentials, recounting her role in talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal and explaining her efforts to avert a wider war in Gaza.
“So the Israelis are telling me, ‘Look, we’ve got to go back in. We have to have a ground invasion again in Gaza,’” Clinton said. “I’m saying, no, please, don’t do that. Let’s try to figure out, how do we resolve it?”
After she shuttled between Jerusalem and Cairo, where Egyptian leaders acted as intermediaries for Hamas, Clinton boasted, "They got a cease-fire. There was no invasion. That’s what you have to do.”
On Monday night, Clinton depicted herself as having fended off a potential war with Iran while she worked to advance Obama's nuclear diplomacy. "You cannot imagine how tense it was, because a lot of our friends and partners in the region basically just wanted to end that [nuclear] program by bombing them. 'Just bomb them!'" Clinton said. "I spent a lot of my time explaining to our friends why that was not a good idea."
A preview of caucus strategy, courtesy of The New York Times:
The Clinton campaign is also confident about its turnout goals, but Mr. Paul and his team have spent far more time building political operations in each precinct. Thousands of fliers have been sent to supporters providing the addresses of their caucus locations. And over two weekends this month, thousands of volunteers joined in dry runs of caucus-day operations at more than 150 Clinton campaign offices, union halls and homes across the state.
“Last summer, we got to the point of having a supporter in every precinct of the state much earlier than any campaign ever had, because of the tenacity of our organizers to drive from gravel road to gravel road to identify supporters,” Mr. Paul said. “Look, there are 1,681 precincts. You organize from there.”
A map of Iowa on Mr. Paul’s wall shows the 99 counties and different news media markets, with sticky notes marking planned trips for Mrs. Clinton, her husband and other surrogates. Mr. Paul carries a binder with a spreadsheet tracking Mrs. Clinton’s visits and crowds, and a laptop to review readouts from each event about the number of commitment cards collected and volunteers signed up — information he shares with her quickly.
Several Democratic county leaders said that they were contacted by the Clinton campaign months before the Sanders campaign, and that this gap in organization could hurt him.
“My wife and I started receiving calls from the Sanders campaign only three weeks ago,” said Mr. Vilsack, the two-term former Iowa governor, who is a strong supporter of Mrs. Clinton. “People know my wife as Christie, but the Sanders person called and said, ‘Is Ann there?’ Her full name is Ann Christine. But it suggested a lack of information.”
It was Mr. Vilsack who recommended Mr. Paul, his longtime spokesman and adviser, to Robby Mook, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager.
When he first met with Mrs. Clinton, last spring, Mr. Paul recalled, she laid out her priorities for the Iowa operation. They dovetailed with his own reputation for emphasizing direct contact with voters in carefully chosen, comfortably arranged settings (with American and Iowa flags prominently displayed).
“She wanted to have time and opportunity to have independent conversations with folks,” Mr. Paul said, “like sitting with four people in a coffee shop on her first visit.”
Mayor Bill De Blasio is hitting the campaign trail in Iowa.

The Hill reports:
Chirlane and I are proud to head to Iowa, roll up our sleeves and work to get out the vote for Hillary,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“Her bold progressive vision is exactly what our nation and our party need now.”
He had already endorsed Clinton back in October, but his increased presence in Iowa may help appeal to liberals in a state where Clinton's rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is gaining momentum.
De Blasio, who is a favorite among the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, was Clinton's campaign manager during her successful 2000 Senate run.
The Huffington Post reports on the ongoing debate between working inside and outside of the system as president:
A Sanders presidency, as Devine noted, wouldn't be strict political combat. "He can switch-hit on this," but Republicans would "have to meet him halfway" first.
But here, too, there is skepticism -- not over whether Sanders would make that turn, but whether he could after spending a career and a campaign promising bold, uncompromising pursuits.
"You can see by the fact that he has no endorsements from his colleagues, governors too, Sen. Sanders would have to play entirely an outside game," said former Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who endorsed Obama over Clinton in the 2008 primaries. "And to me that is not as effective as doing both. You have to build public support for positions. But you also have to have relationships. Sen. Sanders, because he is a self-described socialist, has put himself out on the edge of American political positioning. People will be, 'Oh you compromised with a socialist? Or you're supporting a socialist?'"
"I wish that we could elect a Democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say, ‘We shall do this, and we shall do that,’" Clinton declared recently, in a comment that echoed the celestial choirs one from eight years prior. "That ain’t the real world we’re living in!”
And her campaign has begun more forcefully arguing the case that Sanders' vision is fanciful.
"Sen. Sanders has a habit of being unable to answer the follow-up question about how he is going to get any of this done short of invoking a so-called political revolution," said her spokesman Brian Fallon. "When you are campaigning for president you owe the voters more than just a platform that represents your idealized set of circumstances. You owe them an explanation for how you are actually going to achieve results to make a difference."
"Bernie is terrific. The thing is, he is pure in where he is and you can always deal with someone pure in their philosophy," said Penny Lee, a longtime adviser to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "The fault of Bernie is that there is no setting of expectations. He has an ideal and he wants to see America operate in the ideal of the issues he is fighting for. ... But it would be a struggle, because you have an intransigent other party that has a polar opposite view of where he is on many issues. You’d be setting his voters or supporters up for some disappointment."
Salon features a similar argument:
The difference between Sanders and Clinton is a matter of degree more than any fundamental ideological disagreement. They both advocate moving in the same direction, but by different methods. Bernie Sanders says he will bring about a political revolution to make his dreams of a democratic socialist society come true, which seems an unlikely proposition given that the GOP is sure to control one house of Congress and may well control both. Hillary Clinton advocates a pragmatic approach: protecting the progressive gains won under the Obama administration, taking what new gains may be possible in a divided government and setting the political table to back for more later.
Historically, it is this latter approach that has produced change. In any democratic system of government, progress is incremental. Only one time in our history as a nation have we seen such sweeping ideological change at a fundamental level happen in a brief span of time, and that change came at the price of five years of bloody civil war and some 500,000 deaths.
Human attitudes — and there is no more elemental human attitude than politics — cannot be defined as simply as darkness or the light. We’ve tried this again and again, and it never ends well. This Democratic primary contest isn’t a battle of good against evil. Hillary Clinton isn’t the evil agent of the powers of greed and darkness and Bernie Sanders isn’t an avenging angel or a pious saint. This is a political campaign and they are both professional politicians. While both candidates seek to highlight their differences, they have far more in common with each other than either of them does with the extremist and often dangerous positions of the Republican contenders. Politics is the art of the possible, not the perfect. One candidate embodies the possible. One insists on nothing less than the perfect. Paul Krugman is right. The achievable possible is always preferable to the unachievable perfect.
A conservative group is attacking Clinton for her tax proposals, which they claim will hurt economic growth.

CNN reports:
Hillary Clinton's tax plan would reduce both wealthy Americans' incomes and economic growth, a new report by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation said Tuesday.
Clinton has said she would hike taxes on the rich in several ways, including creating a 4% surcharge on high-income taxpayers and establishing a 30% minimum tax on millionaires, known as the Buffett Rule. She would also raise rates on long-term capital gains.
These provisions would decrease after-tax income of the top 1% by 1.7% and of the top 10% by 0.7%, according to the Tax Foundation, and all Americans would see their incomes slip once reduced economic growth is factored in.
The Clinton campaign said the Tax Foundation's analysis is misleading and doesn't take into account her tax relief for businesses and individuals, nor her investments that would promote growth, said Brian Fallon, a Clinton campaign spokesman.
Washington Post writes about the sexism a hashtag revealed:
Yes, there are more than a few overt and thinly-veiled references to the many, many questions about Clinton's ethics, her ties to Wall Street, her email issues and even whether Clinton's past record of attempting to discredit women in defense of her husband comports with the rules of 21st century feminism. But there are also repeated references to Clinton's looks and her alleged failure to comport with Twitter users' notions of what a woman should be.
Note how many times the words, feminine, attractive, pretty, beautiful or the more artful "pleasant to look at" appear. Or how about "fashionable," "innocent," "warm," "thin-ankled," "genteel" and "able to satisfy husband."
Some don't even bother to bury these assessments in long lists of words. They just keep it simple with single-word statements like "cutie." Others are — and this is perhaps a statement about the overall content of the Internet — inherently sexual. We really could go on. Just keep scrolling on that hashtag.
Now even if you are part of the "well, this is just an honest and random sample of assessments" school of thought and, therefore, believe that this hashtag and its contents have no larger meaning, there is still something hard to dismiss here. How likely is it that "honest" assessments of the rather average — actually, let's be honest, on a good day and after a fresh haircut maybe "average" — collection of men running for president would include this many assessments of their collective appearance? How many references to other peoples's sexual interest in these male candidates would you really expect to see? And would those things truly rank top of mind when asked to describe a man seeking the White House?
The takeaway from the contents of the #WordsThatDontDescribeHillary collection is this. After more than 30 years of  serving as both a U.S. senator and secretary of state, among many other resume points, Clinton's appearance and whether or not she meets a certain set of cultural standards of appropriate or ideal behavior for women remains top of mind for some American voters.
And finally, from Twitter, two Hillary supporters show that enthusiasm isn’t just for the young!

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