Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.11: President Obama, CBC, and Minority Voter Registration Launch

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with President Obama speaking out in support of political pragmatism, while his former Press Secretary stated the obvious about the President’s preference in the primary.

Politico reports:
President Barack Obama will not endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary, but there is no doubt where he is leaning, according to former White House press secretary Jay Carney.
"I think the president has signaled while still remaining neutral that he supports Secretary Clinton's candidacy and would prefer to see her as the nominee," Carney said on CNN Wednesday following coverage of the president's speech to the Illinois state Senate in Springfield.
Obama will not "officially embrace her unless and until it's clear she is going to be the nominee," Carney said.
"I think he is maintaining that tradition of not intervening in a party primary," he added.
"But I don't think there is any doubt that he wants Hillary to win the nomination and believes she would be the best candidate in the fall and the most effective as president in carrying forward what he has achieved."
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has more:
Obama's defense of realism vs. idealism and his irritation toward "short, frenzied" outbursts of emotion could be read as implicit criticisms of Bernie Sanders. Likewise, his defense of his progressive record includes a deliberate echo of Hillary Clinton's description of herself as a "progressive who likes to get things done."
It's not much, and it was relatively subtle. Still, even when he acknowledged that our democracy "seems stuck" and "we have to find a new way of doing business," he didn't endorse anything revolutionary. Quite the contrary. It became yet another chance to urge pragmatism and hard work: "In a big, complicated democracy like ours, if we can’t compromise, by definition, we can’t govern ourselves."

Meanwhile, Brian Fallon from the Clinton campaign is finally noting the obvious about Sanders’ chosen surrogates:

Regarding Cornel West in particular, Fallon is still using kid gloves. But good to see them start pointing out how anti-Obama they are.
Clinton will have to hold out for that official endorsement from President Obama, but the Congressional Black Caucus isn’t waiting around any longer.
The Washington Post reports:
The Congressional Black Caucus is rushing to defend Hillary Clinton, following what many black lawmakers said was an expected loss in New Hampshire but one that should not hurt her in the next round of voting.
On Thursday morning, the CBC’s leaders said they will appear at a club adjacent to the Democratic National Committee to formally endorse Clinton for president, through the CBC political action committee. The group will then disperse its African-American lawmakers to states where black voters are crucial, particularly in South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Feb. 27.
“It’s one thing to endorse and do nothing. It’s another thing to endorse and to go to work,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), chairman of the CBC PAC. These lawmakers are, Meeks said, “people that can actually testify [to] the work that Hillary Clinton has done.”
Meeks said that 90 percent of the 20-member board of the CBC’s PAC voted to endorse Clinton, while none of the board members voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders and a few members abstained because they had not yet endorsed in the race.
On the neutral list was Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.), the No. 3 House Democratic leader and  the most prominent South Carolina Democrat, who has since then said he is considering backing a candidate and that candidate, he suggested, is likely to be Clinton.
In other very big news, Clinton's allies are launching a nonpartisan PAC specifically focused on driving up registration numbers for black and Latino voters, and protecting their right to vote.

Associated Press reports:
Allies of Hillary Clinton are forming a new $25 million political organization aimed at expanding voter protection efforts and driving turnout and registration among Latino and black voters essential to her Democratic presidential campaign.
The non-partisan organization will focus on legislation, litigation, voter registration and turnout among black and Latino communities in the general election. It was formed in August and has recently begun developing partnerships with other organizations to expand voter education, registration, protection and turnout.
The group will operate as a nonprofit "social welfare" organization, allowing it to take unlimited donations and keep its donors' identities private. Organizers said it would not be involved in the Democratic primaries and would be focused on November's election and beyond.
An early leader in the group will be Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who has endorsed Clinton's campaign and will be a prominent supporter for her in Georgia's "Super Tuesday" primary on March 1.
Reed said in a statement that the organization would be a "powerful ally to those who want to make registration and voting easier and fairer. This is at the heart of what it means to be an American."
Every Citizen Counts is expected to have a budget of at least $25 million, according to a presentation given to potential donors. Among its goals will be expanding voting access in Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin.
The group already has a partnership with the National Democratic Voting Rights Trust, which has been involved in voting rights litigation in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Virginia and Ohio. The trust is advised by prominent campaign lawyer Marc Elias, who serves as general counsel for Clinton's presidential campaign.
Slides in a presentation provided to The Associated Press estimates that the group's litigation would protect the right to vote for 2 million voters in those four states, which will be among the most contested in the November election.
Cecil, who will serve as the organization's senior adviser, said he is putting together a team and advisory board that will oversee the group. He said the group was not aimed solely on the 2016 election but would be "in this fight for the long haul."
"There have been too many efforts to restrict access to the polls, making it even more difficult to vote," he said. "We will engage at all levels: pushing for stronger legislation around early voting, same-day registration and vote by mail, waging legal battles to roll back onerous laws and registering voters in underrepresented communities across the country."
Al Sharpton hasn’t endorsed yet, but his criteria for the best candidate certainly indicates where his preferences are leaning.

Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton has to earn the African American vote, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Wednesday.
"And I think she knows it," he said on MSNBC's "MTP Daily."
"You can’t go to South Carolina and not deal with the Walter Scott case, not deal with gun control and the ramifications of the Charleston Nine," he said, referring to the case of the North Charleston man who was shot and killed by a police officer and the victims of the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church last June.
"So what we want is specifics, not just catchphrases, not just some kind of soundbite, we want specifics just like you do in other areas," he told Chuck Todd. "You must earn our vote, and I think that we’ve heard some kind of headline statements, ‘we’re against discrimination,’ but not specifically how I will govern.”
Asked whether Sanders deserved credit for his long record of civil rights support, including his backing of the 1988 candidacy of Jesse Jackson, Sharpton said it would be one of many factors. The Vermont senator, like Clinton plans to do next Tuesday, will meet with the heads of national civil rights organizations in the near future.
“I think that all of that has to be considered, but I think that he’s got to run not on the ‘60s or the ‘80s, you know 50 or 30 years ago. He’s got to run on what is happening right now," Sharpton continued. "He’s got to be able to come as he did this morning and say right now we’re dealing with things like Flint, Michigan, right now we’re dealing with things like 15 states have new voter laws that have never been executed ‘til right now. So I think what people want to hear is right now, and that’s what I told him in the breakfast this morning.”
Sandra Bland’s mother will be campaigning with Clinton in Chicago, while other mothers impacted by gun violence will join her in South Carolina.

Yahoo! News reports:
Hillary Clinton will campaign next week with the mother of Sandra Bland, the Chicago-area woman who was discovered hanged in her jail cell three days after being pulled over for a routine traffic stop near Houston.
Geneva Reed-Veal will join the Democratic presidential candidate at a Feb. 17 voter mobilization event in Chicago. Bland's death has become a symbol of the racial inequalities in the criminal justice system. Her family, black leaders and other activists have questioned her treatment by white law enforcement officers and the determination she committed suicide.
"African-American parents shouldn't have to worry that their children will be harassed, humiliated and even shot because of the color of their skin. Immigrant families shouldn't have to lie awake at night listening for a knock on the door," Clinton said in her Tuesday evening concession speech.
Other African-American mothers whose children were victims of gun violence, including Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton; and Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis; are planning to campaign for Clinton in South Carolina in the coming weeks.
Also from South Carolina, six more endorsements.

Greenville Online reports:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton picked up six new endorsements from black Democratic South Carolina legislators Tuesday afternoon, including one from Rep. Leola Robinson-Simpson, a Greenville Democrat.
The other five endorsements came from Rep. Pat Henegan of Bennettsville, Rep. J. David Weeks of Sumter, Rep. J. Seth Whipper of North Charleston, Sen. Marlon Kimpson of Charleston and Rep. Robert Brown of Hollywood.
Clinton's campaign has been actively courting black voters, with radio and television ads aimed at the African-American community and endorsements from many members of the S.C. Legislative Black Caucus. Actresses Vivica Fox and Angela Bassett will hold Get Out the Vote rallies at South Carolina's historically black colleges and universities through the Democratic primary
 Clinton surrogates are reminding voters that Hillary Clinton has been there all along, while her opponent just showed up at “the dance.”

Politico reports:
On a conference call with African-American surrogates for Hillary Clinton, civil rights leader and former NAACP president Hazel Dukes dismissed the significance of Bernie Sanders’ participation in the March on Washington in 1963, when he was a college student. “I don’t remember,” Dukes, a major player in the civil rights movement at the time, said. “He probably was a participant. There were many people participating… thousands of people walked in Washington. What [are] the real policy issues that he has presented?”
New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries told reporters on the call that “issues of significance to communities of color will now be discussed and debated" as the nominating contest moves to Nevada and South Carolina. "When you match up the record of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, there simply is no comparison," he said. “She’s been at the dance from the beginning of her career." In contrast, “Sanders has been missing in action on issues of importance to the African American community," Jeffries said, characterizing him as “a new arrival to the the twilight of his career.”
Jeffries pointed to Sanders' record on guns, including his five votes against the Brady Bill. "Young African American men [are] being killed every year by the terms of gun violence," he said. Another surrogate, South Carolina House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, who endorsed Clinton on Wednesday, brought up Sanders’ vote for the 1994 crime bill -- a tougher critique for the Clinton campaign when the bill in question was signed into law by Bill Clinton.
Apparently voting for the law makes you less responsible for it than being married to the person who signed it.

Moving on to Nevada, where Clinton is better positioned for a win.

Mother Jones reports:
Part of her advantage in Nevada, which holds its Democratic caucuses on February 20, is demographic: It's a far more diverse state than the lily-white ones that kicked off the contest. But Clinton is also counting on a secret weapon to dominate the ground game in Nevada and deliver her a decisive win: campaign manager Robby Mook. The 36-year-old Mook first rose to fame in Clintonland after he oversaw Clinton's 2008 Nevada caucus campaign, where she won 51 percent of the popular vote.
This time around, Mook has infused the entire Clinton campaign with that organizer's spirit and stocked it with his old aides, self-proclaimed members of the "Mook Mafia" that formed in Nevada in 2008.
Clinton's Nevada organization is headed by Emmy Ruiz, a member of the Mook Mafia who started out as a field organizer in Las Vegas in June 2007. She ended up running Latino outreach in the state for Mook before the 2008 caucuses and returned to Nevada to manage Obama's winning general election effort there in 2012. "She went to the Robby Mook school of political organizing," says Rory Reid, the son of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid who served as Clinton's 2008 Nevada state chairman and is supporting her informally this year. "Robby's influence is significant."
I asked Ruiz if she's trying to replicate the Ganz-style community-based organizing that Mook used last time. "Absolutely!" she responded. "We've been able to bring together a lot of the best practices of different organizing styles. Similar to what we ran with Robby in 2008, there's a high emphasis on community outreach and empowering precinct captains to really take ownership of organizing their communities."
Ruiz says the Clinton campaign is benefiting from the ground-game emphasis of 2008, with precinct captains from the last campaign signing up to help out again. "It feels like déjà vu all over again," Reid says. "It's the same kind of effort."
Much like Mook, who once unhappily suffered through a Céline Dion concert just to win support from a local LGBT group, Ruiz has placed a big emphasis on microtargeting to appeal to the interests of groups across the state, a strategy involving what she calls "culturally competent community programs." Those include "Caucus Conmigo" for Latinos, listening tours on Native American reservations, a dinner organized for Filipino groups, and poetry slams in African American communities.
Speaking of delegate counting, Clinton's support among superdelegates helped her break even in New Hampshire, after they padded her victory in Iowa.

The Hill reports:
Sanders won 15 delegates with his 20-point victory Tuesday while Clinton won nine. 
But Clinton came into the contest with the support of six superdelegates, who are state party insiders given the freedom to support any candidate they choose.
Superdelegate support is fluid, though, so some of those delegates now backing Clinton could switch to Sanders before the Democratic National Convention in late July.
But as it stands, the superdelegate support gives Clinton a total of 15 New Hampshire delegates.
Those results also include eight delegates who will be selected at the state's caucus in April. While the alignment of those eight delegates is not final and could change, news organizations extrapolated the final breakdown in line with Tuesday's results.  
The Clinton campaign has mounted an aggressive effort to secure about 360 superdelegates across the country, according to The Associated Press. Sanders has a total of eight superdelegates.
Finally, no better way to end an HNV than with Melissa McEwan, writing for Shakesville about misogyny in the mainstream media:
That the demonstrable fact Clinton is subject to misogyny is considered "debatable" absolutely enrages me.
There is, of course, all the constant dribbling detritus of a patriarchal culture, to which any woman is subjected by any old person. The obvious misogyny of slurs. Bitch. Cunt. Whore. The more insidious misogyny of language that means something different, something specific, when it's used against a woman. Entitled. Narcissistic.
Untrustworthy. Loud. The policing of her appearance, her clothes, her hair, her voice, her tone, her likeability, her emotions, her sexuality, her mothering, her wifeliness, her "murderous cackle," her very womanhood.

There are the Remember Your Place photos, the misogynistic photoshops, the memes, the Hillary Clinton nutcracker.

This demeaning garbage can be found all over the place, all the time. The more hateful and belittling it is, the more quickly it proliferates, shared across platforms for people to laugh at; to satisfy their deep detestation of a woman, of women—to use it to try to "prove" something about Hillary Clinton.

No one loves this game more than the US media. They love to endlessly discuss her "likability," while running segments about how unlikable "some people" find her to be. They love that "some people" construction, which gives them a (laughable) measure of distance from calling her a cold bitch themselves. They depict her with devil horns and portray her as a towering man-crushing monster. They say that she "must be stopped," like she is a plague or, perhaps, Godzilla. They pit her against other women, and imply it says something profound and nefarious about her, if women fail to support her. They dismiss and demean defenders who call out misogyny, accuse them—and Clinton—of twisting words, of being oversensitive, of playing the gender card.

There is no more damning evidence of the unfathomable scope of misogyny to which Hillary Clinton is subjected than the fact that the US media's favorite game is trying to destroy her.
Go read the whole thing. Please.


  1. A great read! 'The Case for Hillary' --