Friday, February 26, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.26: Favreau Speaks, "Superpredators," America Loves Hillary When...

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with Obama administration veteran Jon Favreau making the case that electing Clinton in 2016 may be even more important than electing President Obama in 2008.

From The Daily Beast:
During the 2008 campaign, I wrote plenty of less-than-complimentary words about Hillary Clinton in my role as Barack Obama’s speechwriter. Then, a few weeks after the election, I had a well-documented run-in with a piece of cardboard that bore a striking resemblance to the incoming Secretary of State.
It was one of the stupider, more disrespectful mistakes I’ve made, and one that could have cost me a job if Hillary hadn’t accepted my apology, which she did with grace and humor. As a result, I had the chance to serve in the Obama Administration with someone who was far different than the caricature I had helped perpetuate.
The most famous woman in the world would walk through the White House with no entourage, casually chatting up junior staffers along the way. She was by far the most prepared, impressive person at every Cabinet meeting. She worked harder and logged more miles than anyone in the administration, including the president. And she’d spend large amounts of time and energy on things that offered no discernible benefit to her political future—saving elephants from ivory poachers, listening to the plight of female coffee farmers in Timor-Leste, defending LGBT rights in places like Uganda.
Trump’s eventual opponent will need to tell a story about America that offers a powerful rebuke to the demagogue’s dark vision for the future. I like Bernie Sanders. I like a lot of what he has to say, I love his idealism, and I believe deeply in his emphasis on grassroots change. My problem is not that his message is unrealistic—it’s that a campaign which is largely about Main St. vs. Wall St. economics is too narrow and divisive for the story we need to tell right now.
In her campaign against Sanders, Hillary has begun to tell that broader, more inclusive story about the future. There she is, comforting a crying child in Nevada who worries that her parents might be deported. There she is in South Carolina, with five mothers of African American children who died of gun violence, who told Mother Jones, “She listened and followed through for us. You can’t fake that…She cares. Not only does she care about victims of gun violence but she cares about women, she cares about African Americans. She cares!”
She cares.
Hillary is also more than just a policy wonk who can’t wait to start shuffling through white papers in the Oval. She cares. She tries. She perseveres. And now she has a chance to tell the story she’s always wanted about America: the story about a country that found the courage to turn away from our darkest impulses; that chose to embrace our growing diversity as a strength, not a weakness; that pushed the boundaries of opportunity outward and upward, until there are no more barriers, and no more ceilings.
At stake in this election is control of a Tea Party-run Congress, at least one Supreme Court vacancy that could tip the balance for a generation, and the very real chance that a highly unstable demagogue could become the 45th President of the United States. So while I may not have imagined myself saying this a few years ago, I certainly believe it now: It’s far more important to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016 than it was to elect Barack Obama in 2008.

Clinton has given an expanded answer to the question posed to her by a protester earlier this week.

Washington Post reports:
“In that speech, I was talking about the impact violent crime and vicious drug cartels were having on communities across the country and the particular danger they posed to children and families.  Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today.
“My life’s work has been about lifting up children and young people who’ve been let down by the system or by society.  Kids who never got the chance they deserved.  And unfortunately today, there are way too many of those kids, especially in African-American communities.  We haven’t done right by them.  We need to.  We need to end the school to prison pipeline and replace it with a cradle-to-college pipeline.
“As an advocate, as First Lady, as Senator, I was a champion for children.  And my campaign for president is about breaking down the barriers that stand in the way of all kids, so every one of them can live up to their God-given potential.”
This isn’t the broad brush Clinton’s critics today are accusing her of using 20 years ago. Despite Williams’s assertion that “I know you called black youth ‘superpredators,’” Clinton was clearly talking about a narrow band of young people who would not have included the admirably assertive Williams or the vast majority of African American youths then and now. And in light of the overarching fear of crime across the United States back in the 1990s, Clinton’s going out of her way to define “superpredator” as a kid with “no conscience, no empathy” is noteworthy.
Also noteworthy is Clinton saying then, “We can talk about why they ended up that way.”
The 1994 crime bill, the statute that many African Americans single out as the cause of mass incarceration of blacks over the past 20 years and that many in the criminal justice field view as a mistake, passed the House with 235 votes. Sanders joined 188 Democrats and 46 Republicans in voting “aye.”
No one would question Sanders’s commitment to justice before or after he voted for the crime bill. Nor should anyone do the same to Clinton, who didn’t even have a vote. Sure, her words sting in the light of 2016, but they should not blind anyone to what she did before and after she uttered those 42 words in the span of 12 seconds.
This is an important response from Clinton. Yes, I’m aware that the protester is possibly a paid staffer of Cornel West, Bernie Sanders’ leading African-American surrogate. But who asks the question is irrelevant; it’s the answer that’s important.

Here’s an important reminder about that from Melissa McEwan of Shakesville:
A couple thoughts: 1. Clinton said during her Harlem address: "Hold me accountable. Hold every candidate accountable." 2. She also said during the same address: "Some of what we tried [in the '90s] didn't solve problems; some created even more problems." Some people find that satisfactory; some people don't. 3. People may disagree on methods to hold politicians accountable, but just because your strategy is different doesn't mean another is bad faith. (That doesn't mean all strategies are good faith, but Black Lives Matter disruptions are.) 4. Clinton is running for President of the United States. She can handle being challenged. 5. I am a Clinton supporter and I want her to repudiate those statements and policies, too. To pretend that BLM activists are in cahoots with Sanders is garbage. Desire for accountability comes from many places.
When does America love Hillary? When she’s doing the job that they loathe her applying for. It’s something she has in common with all powerful women, including Elizabeth Warren.

Quartz reports:
Public opinion of Clinton has followed a fixed pattern throughout her career. Her public approval plummets whenever she applies for a new position. Then it soars when she gets the job. The wild difference between the way we talk about Clinton when she campaigns and the way we talk about her when she’s in office can’t be explained as ordinary political mud-slinging. Rather, the predictable swings of public opinion reveal Americans’ continued prejudice against women caught in the act of asking for power.
We beg Clinton to run, and then accuse her of feeling “entitled” to win. Several feminist writers have analyzed the Clinton yo-yo. Melissa McEwan sees a deliberate pattern of humiliation, which involves “building [Clinton] up and pressuring her to take on increasingly prominent public challenges, only to immediately turn on her and unleash breathtaking misogyny against her when she steps up to the plate.”
This issue is not specific to Clinton. As Slate writer Jamelle Bouie has pointed out on Twitter, even progressive demigod Elizabeth Warren was seen as “unlikable” when she ran for the Massachusetts senate seat. Local outlets published op-eds about how women were being “turned off” by Warren’s “know-it-all style”—a framing that’s indistinguishable from 2016 Clinton coverage. “I’m asking her to be more authentic,” a Democratic analyst for Boston radio station WBUR said of Warren. “I want her to just sound like a human being, not read the script that makes her sound like some angry, hectoring school marm.”
Once Warren made it to the Senate, she was lionized—right down to a Clinton-esque moment in which supporters begged her to run for President. Yet seeing Warren engaged in the actual act of running seems to freak people out.
Campaigning is not succeeding. It’s asking for success, and for power. To campaign is to publicly claim that you are better than the others (usually white men) who want the same job, and that a whole lot of people should work to place you in a more powerful position. In other words, campaigning is a transgressive act for women.
Thus, the single worst thing a female politician can do to herself is to look for a job in politics. We can accept women in power, but not women’s desire for more of it.
Would a victory in the primaries or general election cool down public anger toward Clinton—or increase it to record levels? As Friedman pointed out to me in conversation, there’s no way to know: “When you get to the level Hillary is at now … there’s no data. It’s just her.” As the only woman to ever be a leading contender for president, Clinton is the only case study we have about how gender impacts frontrunners. This gives us an incomplete picture, as Friedman notes, because it erases any complexity that arises from Clinton’s status as an individual, and imperfect, politician.
Personally, I think that we’ll start liking Clinton again sooner rather than later. After all, she can’t keep campaigning forever. If she loses the Democratic primaries or the general election, she’ll have run out of rungs to climb. The loss would let us forgive her. And if she makes it to the top, she’ll have reached a vantage point that she—and we—have never seen before. Up there, everything may look new.
FiveThirtyEight looks at the Super Tuesday delegate math:
Our benchmarks suggest that Sanders ought to win Vermont, Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee to be on track for the nomination. Sanders is going to rout Clinton in Vermont, of course; he’s also slightly ahead in Massachusetts polls, although not by as much as our targets say he “should” be. There hasn’t been enough recent polling in Colorado or Minnesota for us to make forecasts of the caucuses there, but we’d probably consider Sanders the favorite in those states also.
Sanders trails in polls of Oklahoma (narrowly) and Tennessee (badly), however, when he probably needs to win those states too. Meanwhile, he’s losing states such as Georgia by a wider margin than our benchmarks suggest he can afford. The Democrats’ delegate allocation is quite proportional, so these margins matter; underperforming his targets on Super Tuesday would mean that Sanders would have to make up more ground later on with less time left on the clock.
But the March 15 states don’t look great for Sanders either: He trails Clinton in Ohio when that’s a state where he should be able to fight her to a draw. There’s less polling for the contests beyond March 15, but the states where we have recent numbers, such as Pennsylvania, are fairly discouraging for Sanders also.
So Sanders is doomed? If he doesn’t beat these polls, then probably yes — Sanders is not going to win the Democratic nomination if he’s losing Ohio by 13 percentage points. And if Clinton has a really good night on Super Tuesday — by winning Massachusetts, for instance — that would take almost all the suspense out of the race.
Here are their benchmarks, where Sanders has fallen short in each state so far and looks like he’s in trouble in most of the upcoming races:
Current delegate benchmarks that need to be met for Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton.
Cory Booker on the campaign trail for Hillary:
And Al Franken, reading Mean Tweets he’s received — from the left — since endorsing Clinton:
 Planned Parenthood has dropped a huge Super Tuesday ad buy.

Politico reports:
Planned Parenthood Votes and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched a multi-platform, seven-figure ad campaign in Michigan, Virginia and Texas on Thursday.
The campaign will use videos, digital ads, phone banks and mailers in support of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who the the two political arms of Planned Parenthood have endorsed in the Democratic presidential primary.
“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate in this race who has made women’s health and rights a priority. Hillary Clinton has been fighting for women and their families for her entire life,” Deirdre Schifeling, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a statement. “Politicians in Virginia, Texas and Michigan have been stripping women and families of their basic health and rights. Women in these three states know how important it is to elect a champion who will fight for women. That’s why so many women are standing up in support of Hillary. They know what’s at stake, and they know she’ll fight for us.”
Finally, a new ad featuring Rep. Jim Clyburn:


  1. thank you lysis, for this post and this blog.

    I have been suspended from DK for posting facts about Sanders, the man who is challenging a woman.

    And I was just watching Steve Kornacki's interview Julian Castro, and not let him finish any sentence without interrupting him with his own reasons why Hillary is not being singled out with the demand to release speech transcripts that no one else has been asked to release.

    Bernie claims no speeches to wall street, right now it's a primary so the Republican candidates don't count. And the question first came from MSNBC, Chuck Todd, when he did not ask Bernie to release any tax returns, or to name his economic advisors and his health care reform advisors. He didn't even ask for Bernie's favorite color.

    And we don't know how many paid speeches Sander's has given or to whom, because he hasn't released any tax returns (she caught up with the last 7 when she announced last summer) and he hasn't listed the speeches and what he was paid (she voluntarily added that, without being asked).

    1. What's your username at DK, if you don't mind me asking? A lot of Clinton supporters are on time out...and some of them I have no idea why. Am I next?

  2. I was blogging for Hillary at DK from 2006, but I went on strike with the other Hillary bloggers in 2008, because of the hideous level of sexist smears leveled at Hillary and at her supporters.

    But this time I was going to stay anyway, and defend her, and point out the facts about Bernie, and I got suspended, not from from hidden comments, not by a program, but by real people over there who don't like what I've been reporting.

    Me, Anna Shane, PhD, American Lacanian psychoanalyst, friend of Moustapha Safouan, Slavoj Zizek, Ellie Ragland, author of "the Technique of Lacanian Psychoanalysis" at, and "Babe and the End of Analysis" at, editor of "four Lessons of Psychoanalysis," and feminist, has been suspended from a political blog for being too readable, too many facts, too many links, can't be hidden so can only be suspended.

    1. Yeah...not sure what's going on. Here's the current time out list at DK. Also, I looked at your comments and I am at a loss about why or how you could be banned. I'm sorry to hear that. But I hope you will comment here!

    2. yes, I will. thank you. I mean to write an essay on Trump, from the Lacanian perspective of identification.