Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.7: Being a Woman, Building a Diverse Staff, a "Transformational" Policy

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with several highlights from Time’s exclusive interview with Clinton, where she discusses the unique challenges of being a woman in electoral politics.

Here’s Clinton on how things have changed since she debuted on the national stage in 1992:
Well, there still is a double standard, there’s no doubt about that. I see it all the time where women are just expected to combine traits and qualities in a way that men are not. And it does make running for office for a woman a bigger challenge. It’s hard for anybody, but I do think that women bear that extra burden. And I think that the sexism is maybe less pronounced, less obvious but it still is prevalent in our political scene and in our culture and as a result people do say things and use language that have implicit biases about women in public life that demonstrate persistence sexism. And you just have to grow a thick skin as one my favorite Americans, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, and carry on.
On Angela Merkel:
Well, I have to say that I highly admire Angela Merkel. I’ve known Angela since the 1990s, she and I actually appeared on a German TV show together. I have spent personal time with her. She is, I think, a really effective strong leader and really right now the major leader in Europe, not just in Germany. I admire her political skills and her principles, her strong work ethic. I just find her to be an incredibly important person in the world today and I look to her to see how she’s managed it.
On how women govern differently from men:
I think that there are certain issues that we are more attuned to one of the things that I did in the State Department is increase resources to cases involving child abductions, trying to do more to promote international adoptions where appropriate. I just think there are some areas where our own life experiences really prepare us to be more receptive. I do think there is something in the governing or organizing approach. I just think women in general are better listeners, are more collegial, more open to new ideas and how to make things work in a way that looks for win-win outcomes. That has been my experience.
I think that my life experiences, what I care about, what I’ve been through just make me perhaps more aware of and responsive to a lot of the family issues that people are struggling with whether it’s affording child care or looking to get their incomes up because everything is increasing in cost. I really do feel that my preparation for being president puts me very strongly on the side of helping American families and that’s at the core of my campaign.
Fast Company has an article about how Clinton’s campaign made a deliberate choice to have a staff that is as “diverse as America”:
"It’s the most diverse and capable team I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with some amazing engineers," says Deepa Subramaniam, a 33-year-old who serves as director of product, a role she held previously at Charity Water, where she built an online fundraising platform to raise money ($27.9 million in 2014) to deliver clean water to the developing world. Before that she was at Adobe, where she tackled projects like the Creative Cloud and the open web platform. "We have people from public sector, private sector, media companies, big startups, and much smaller startups," says Koloc. "We have folks from all different angles coming in, many of them taking pay cuts to work much longer hours."
The campaign’s diversity extends far beyond career history. Over 50% of the campaign is female. Of the campaign’s more than 500 staffers nationwide, more than one-third are people of color; nearly 40% of Hillary for America's senior staff are people of color. Regional press secretary Tyrone Gayle points out that these numbers roughly reflect national demographics.
Clinton is taking a methodical approach to hiring a high-achieving team that also reflects America's demographics. "From the earliest days of our campaign, Hillary for America has adopted a state-of-the-art approach to hiring, allowing us to hire a talented and dedicated staff," says Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager. "We’re always on the lookout for new talent—whether they come from the private or public sector, media, tech, or are a veteran of the political world."
Marlon Marshall, Clinton's director of state campaigns and political engagement, who directs the field operations, says Koloc has helped him find volunteers and staff in places he never would have looked. "I think what happens on a lot of campaigns is you reach out to networks of people you know, so who has done a campaign before, or here is my social network," he says. "Nat has thought of ways to get nontraditional people involved. Also, how do we make sure to reach out to communities of color to talk about the different opportunities we have?"
The response to Clinton’s Autism Works Initiative has been glowing, being described as “empowering” and “transformational.”

The Guardian reports:
Hillary Clinton just made disability history. For the first time, a mainstream political candidate prioritized the rights and opinions of autistic people by embracing policies that autistic advocates and activists have rallied around for years.
Clinton’s autism plan, announced Tuesday, is well-informed and shows a grasp of the issues that few outside of disability rights circles have. If she wins the election and does even half of the things she promises, she could make an enormous difference in the everyday lives of autistic people. If she loses, she has still tremendously raised the bar on how presidential candidates can and should address autism.
Her plan focuses on necessary and sorely needed support programs for autistic people: improving employment opportunities and housing availability, significantly limiting the use of physical restraints, guaranteeing access to assistive communication technology for people who are nonverbal or have difficulty with spoken language and a specific call to do research on adult autism prevalence and needs. These issues are of vital importance to autistic people and our loved ones. No other major US presidential candidate has made these issues a part of his or her political platform.
Like many of my peers, I should be “feeling the Bern”. However, in promising to help support and preserve the rights of people whose humanity is rarely acknowledged, she has proposed something more progressive than many, if not all, of her opponents’ policies.
Clinton appeared alongside her primary rivals last night, speaking to a raucous crowd of Democratic activists.

Las Vegas Review Journal reports:
Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, gave a high-energy speech that was laced with Nevada specifics and included digs at Rep. Cresent Hardy and Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
"You have an attorney general who seems to have made it his mission to tear apart hard-working immigrant families," Clinton said to an uproarious crowd.
Clinton also called Nevada's new education savings account program a "misguided voucher program.”
The Guardian reports:
Clinton used her speech to hit out at the Republicans and set out her stall as the most likely candidate to win the general election in November. “In January 2017 a new president is going to walk into the Oval Office,” she said. “And America can’t afford for it to be a Republican, who will rip away all the progress we’ve made.”
In a dig at Sanders, she said Americans deserved “a president who can get the job done … and not just on a few issues, but on all the problems we face”.
“If the Republicans aren’t worried about me, then why are hedge fund billionaires already running ads against me?” she asked. “Why are the Koch brothers?”
Bloomberg Politics reports:
Clinton pointed to the foundation her campaign is building with the aim of big Democratic gains in November as a sign that she's the right choice, not just for president but to lead the Democratic Party, saying that she is "not only running for president but raising millions of dollars for our state parties.” Her campaign raised $18 million for the Democratic National Committee and 33 state Democratic parties during the fourth quarter of 2015. Sanders’s campaign has also signed a fundraising agreement with the DNC but did not raise anything for it in the fourth quarter, though it says it will moving forward.
Speaking of fundraising, Clinton has no intention of slowing down in the new year.

CNN reports:
Hillary Clinton has set a fundraising goal of $50 million for the first three months of 2016.
The Democratic presidential front-runner's target between now and March was unveiled on a National Finance Committee call her campaign held on Wednesday.
In the finance committee call, the campaign delivered a slick presentation highlighting what it accomplished in 2015.
One highlight: 63% of Clinton's donors are women, including 286 whose name is Hillary.

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