Friday, January 29, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.29: Endorsements, Excitement, and a Seat at the Head of the Table


Today's Hillary News & Views begins with a review of progressive endorsements, followed by two more important endorsements from a key New Hampshire newspaper and a leading Iowa political blog.

National Memo reports:
Yet just a month ago, The Nation published its 2015 Progressive Honor Roll, an annual feature written by John Nichols, who happens to be a highly enthusiastic Sanders supporter — which named several strong supporters of Hillary Clinton among America’s “most valuable” progressives. In fact, of the individuals named on Nichols’ list, nearly every single one is backing Clinton...
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), named “most valuable Senator,” officially endorsed Clinton back in January 2014. Rosa DeLauro, “most valuable House member,” endorsed her last April. Pam Jochum, the Dubuque Democrat who presides over the Iowa State Senate — chosen from hundreds of local pols across the country as “most valuable state legislator” — announced her support for Clinton last October. Cecile Richards, the Planned Parenthood president named “most valuable activist,” led her organization to back Clinton earlier this month (and earned a sour-grapes dismissal by Sanders as “the establishment”). Newark’s Ras Baraka, the “most valuable mayor,” hasn’t officially endorsed a presidential candidate yet, but his political organization has shown every sign of backing Clinton since last summer. And “most valuable memoir” author Gloria Steinem, the great feminist leader and thinker, will campaign for Clinton in New Hampshire tomorrow.
As voting approaches, primary rhetoric gets super-hot, and partisans inevitably utter silly, uninformed, and even offensive remarks about the opposing candidate. But it is worth remembering that progressives can differ honestly over which of these two candidates will represent the nation’s real interests most effectively.
The Keene Sentinel endorses:
From her stint as perhaps the most active first lady in shaping national policy since Eleanor Roosevelt, to her time as a U.S. senator, representing New York, to her role as secretary of state, Clinton has more than proven herself a smart, energetic and capable public servant.
Clinton’s long and varied experience has included working across the aisle with Republicans on a range of initiatives. As first lady, she fought for universal health care, and succeeded in pushing the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In the Senate, she worked with leaders of both parties to better care for veterans and improve the lives of families and children. As secretary of state, she helped restore our global reputation, pushing for sanctions on Iran and a harder line in Syria, while advocating for the poor and disenfranchised everywhere.
It’s our belief that Clinton is best positioned to build on the successes of the past eight years; to make the necessary changes to the Affordable Care Act without tearing it down; to continue moving the economy in the right direction; to work to minimize the threat of climate change while creating, rather than costing, jobs; to work toward reversing the increasing disparity of wealth; and to build consensus to break through the logjam on the issues of gun violence and immigration. We also see her as more than capable of defending our national interests and serving as commander-in-chief.
The nation needs a leader not just of ideas but with the experience, capability and promise to work across the political divide to move the country forward. Those casting ballots in the primary would serve the nation well by voting to make Hillary Clinton the Democratic Party’s nominee.
Iowa Starting Line endorses:
As I’ve spoken with people who are wavering in their candidate choice or leaning toward Bernie Sanders, I hear the same thing over and over again. Sanders makes them feel something. His message and candidacy gives them excitement. Sanders is inspiring and Clinton is not. Most importantly, they believe that a vote for Clinton is one for a cynical acceptance of the way things are.
I do not understand this.
Hillary Clinton is one of the most successful public servants in America. She has helped expand economic opportunity and rights at home, while improving America’s reputation abroad after the Bush administration. And yet people somehow see her record and promise as a president in a cynical manner.
My question to them is this:
What is not inspiring about a little boy getting the health care coverage he needs thanks to Clinton’s leadership on the Children’s Health Insurance Program? What is not moving about an Israeli family who’s alive today because the ceasefire Clinton negotiated stopped rockets from raining down on their house? What is not stirring about the women’s rights movements sparked around the world from Clinton’s 1995 Beijing speech?
If these things do not inspire you, perhaps you should reconsider why you are interested in politics in the first place.
I’ve covered Clinton at countless events the past nine months, and saw up close her improve as a candidate as she took in Iowans’ stories and connected with their problems. It’s undeniable that she knows more in-depth details on every policy there is than pretty much any other politician or public servant. Most importantly, it’s clear she knows how to get things accomplished in these crazy political times. She’s still standing after decades of Republican attacks, and she’ll force them to the table once in office.
That’s what’s really important in this election: how we get progressive priorities accomplished.
True inspiration doesn’t come in chanting slogans, waving signs or enjoying a candidate’s soaring speech. Real inspiration happens in the real lives we change through progress born out of grueling, hard-won fights. I, for one, thought that’s why we’re all in this fight in the first place.
Hillary Clinton has been fighting for children, for women, for working families during my entire life. That is a feature of her candidacy, not a flaw. For all the trials and battles she’s been through, she’s still the one who can make a real difference.
Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan writes powerfully about the anti-establishment nature of Clinton’s candidacy for the presidency, and what Sanders overlooks when he portrays her as the embodiment of the establishment.

Please Note: Shakesville is a safe space with a required Comment Policy that is strictly enforced.  If you are going to participate in the community, respect it. You should also read Feminism 101 before commenting.
In this country, we tell little girls, at least the decent among us do, that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, but there are still so many spaces which women have never inhabited. And the most visible of them all is the presidency. Because of an "establishment" that keeps us out….

And this is what bothers me, this is the thing that has itching at the back of my brain, about Sanders using this particular line of attack against Hillary Clinton. To continually assert that she is representative of "the establishment," into the highest echelons of which women aren't even allowed, is a neat way of obfuscating the fact that she is, in her very personhood, a challenge to the establishment. Let me say that again, plainly: Sanders calls Clinton emblematic of an establishment that has never even allowed a woman to be seated at the head of the table….
Clinton's womanhood matters. Her clothes matter. Her hair matters. Her voice matters. Her tone matters. Her likeability matters. Her emotions matter. Her "murderous cackle" matters.
The thing about "the establishment" is that it's impervious to such demeanment.
It sets the rules by which Hillary Clinton is judged ever wanting, by virtue of metrics that are inextricably tied to womanhood.
There is a person in this Democratic primary who can be visibly angry, who can shout, who can use any tone and show any emotion, who can show up to campaign events looking like they just rolled out of bed after a bender. Who can coast by on the double-standard defined and enforced by the establishment.
It is not Hillary Clinton.
All the things I am admonished to admire about Bernie Sanders, that he is passionate, that he is unpolished, that he is impolitic, that he doesn't give a fuck, are things that the very establishment he allegedly wants to dismantle do not afford his female competitor.
Bernie’s dig at the Clinton campaign is inspiring her volunteers.

The Washington Post reports:
The comment has particularly galled the Clinton campaign, which believes that reports of an enthusiasm gap between the campaigns are greatly exaggerated.
And so, at campaign offices from Waukee to Ames, Sanders's quote now adorns whiteboards and poster boards, put there by Clinton staffers and volunteers hoping to prove him wrong.
The theme has also become a common feature of increasingly high-pitched fundraising appeals to supporters.
"I am so tired of Hillary's team being dismissed and written off like this," Abedin said. "On the road with Hillary every day, I see countless women, men, girls, and boys of all colors and creeds who are inspired by Hillary, and excited to make her vision a reality."
The Iowa caucuses are particularly driven by the energy and enthusiasm of a candidate's voter base, considering that they are held every four years at night, on a weekday, in bitterly cold weather.
Clinton campaign staffers point out that although the attention is often focused on the huge attendance at Sanders's rallies — such as his 20,000-person day in Minnesota this week — their candidate is the one with the most loyal supporters. In recent polling, for example, 51 percent of Clinton supporters in Iowa say they "strongly" support her candidacy, compared with 46 percent of Sanders supporters.

Hillary_Sanders_Quote.jpe
The sign at Hillary HQ that inspires her volunteers.
The Nation notes that Sanders should incorporate elements of Clinton’s Wall Street plan to strengthen his own:
Clinton’s reform package aims wide, extending scrutiny from the banks to smaller players who played an outsized role in the financial crisis. Sanders—who, unlike Clinton, has rejected Wall Street money—actually takes a narrower approach that favors a popular but insufficient strategy to “break up the banks.” If Sanders wants to challenge modern finance, he should incorporate and surpass Clinton’s plan.
Because he views their primary sins as political—big banks wield big influence—Sanders focuses on making the banks smaller. But the left can and should change the way that modern finance shapes the economy directly.
Hillary Clinton is proposing reforms that address these problems, with a risk fee for debt and a focus on “short-termism” for investment. Republicans are likely to pay lip service to these issues, while stressing ways to weaken the progress that has been made. Sanders could immediately change the nature of this debate by proposing even stronger reforms, pointing toward a positive vision of finance.
Gabby Giffords and her husband will campaign for Clinton in Iowa this weekend.
The Hill reports:
The pair will tout Clinton’s “common sense” gun safety measures before canvassing for her in the Hawkeye State.
Giffords and her husband endorsed Clinton in the Democratic primary earlier this month, praising her dedication on the issue.
“Most of the people who run for president talk a lot about how tough they are,” Giffords said on Jan. 11. "But most of them have shown they aren’t tough enough to stand up to the gun lobbyists.
“Only one candidate for president has the determination and toughness to stand up to the corporate gun lobby — and the record to prove it. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.”
Congressman Tim Ryan, writing for U.S. News & World Report:
We need a proud Democrat in the White House who will continue to not only advance our beliefs and policies, but who can realistically navigate the often difficult waters of Washington, D.C.
As a member of Congress, I have seen my share of tough attacks and what Republicans are capable of when it comes to campaigning. Their playbook is ugly. We need a tough competitor. We need Hillary Clinton.
I support Hillary Clinton for president, because she is a strong and resilient leader, standing strong against the roar of attacks and divisive partisan campaigning we see during every presidential election here in Ohio. I know she is more prepared for the challenges this complicated world will throw at our next president than any other candidate, Democrat or Republican.
Ohio is a moderate state, a swing state and a purple state – and where I come from, independent voters, moderate Republican voters and even many Democratic voters will run for the hills if our party names a self-identifying socialist as our nominee.
Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for the Democratic nomination who can preserve the progress made during the last seven years under President Obama. Hillary's vision for the future will unite Democrats and attract independent and moderate Republican voters who want to continue to move America forward from our school boards and statehouses to the White House.
Anita Finlay, writing for Blue Nation Review:
Hillary’s a progressive who gets results, and she demonstrated this most recently by dispatching two senior aides to Flint, Michigan to offer assistance with their lead-poisoned water crisis when their own governor would not act. Two hours after Hillary applied pressure, he acted. Hillary earned the endorsement of Flint’s mayor for being “the only candidate” to get the city the help they needed.
Hillary is still revered in Arkansas for her instrumental role in reforming and improving their education system when she was First Lady of the state. During her husband’s administration, she worked to successfully lower the rates of teen pregnancy. She initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families act, helped create SCHIP with Senators Kennedy and Hatch, helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice and played a key role in bringing the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of United States policy.
Hillary fought for and won extended benefits for military families and health benefits for our troops in the National Guard and Reserves. She fought off large cuts to Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Her ability to reach across the aisle, collaborating on health insurance legislation with the man who had been her husband’s nemesis years before, was impressive. Hillary also co-sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage on five different occasions, was prescient in predicting and cautioning against the housing collapse and offered economic prescriptions praised by Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman.
In 2007, Hillary championed the Financial Product Safety Commission, something Wall Street hated, and put it at the heart of her “Fair Credit for Families Agenda.” The idea came from a then little-known Professor Elizabeth Warren. In other words, Hillary has a long history of working on behalf of Main Street — fighting for women’s rights, for children, for education and to strengthen families.
As Secretary of State, Hillary restored the American brand and diplomatic relations badly damaged during the Bush Administration and put diplomacy back in the hands of the State Department rather than the military. She also restored a demoralized organization made up of some 70,000 people, energizing and modernizing the way the State Department engaged. Hillary was a powerful ally in securing lucrative business contracts for American companies overseas and in May 2009, introduced a plan granting benefits to same sex partners in the Foreign Service.
Mary Steenburgen writing for The Huffington Post;
My friend Hillary and I have each weathered a lot. And been blessed with even more, particularly our children and grandchildren. (I beat her to that exquisite position which drove her a little crazy.) She has been there as a friend in the darkest moments of my life, judged me the least, advised me the best and has always, always been the owner of one of my favorite and readiest laughs I've ever heard. One that I find myself provoking just 'cause it's fun. In the kitchen counter days, I used to privately dream that Bill would be elected president someday. I remember once thinking about Hillary being president but that idea...that a woman could do such a thing...seemed a million miles away.
So I will vote for Hillary with my head and my heart. I will be hopeful that a woman who does think before she speaks is not completely perceived as "guarded," because a man who thinks before he speaks is called "thoughtful." I will hope that people's hearts are touched by her life of service to this country and even the world, that is second to none. I love that my friend, who has seen many of the world's sorrows, is still outraged about what has happened in Flint, Mich. And that fierceness is true to her. There has been no numbing, no inuring, on her part, to the mountains that people face. I LOVE that she has that edge. And I love that she chooses her words in a world where we hang on every one. Much of what is said about her tells us much more about ourselves; how we all still struggle with what a woman in a position of power is supposed to sound like and be like.
But I want every young woman to be as unafraid of her fantastic potential as my friend, the young Hillary Clinton was, and I wish for all of us grandmothers, the still fierce caring for the world, the beautiful well-earned edges and the impenetrable sense of humor that she has today. True, I'm extremely biased, but it's a bias born of knowing someone for almost forty years. So if that helps your heart at all, you're welcome.

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