Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.27: South Carolina Votes, Black LGBT Back HRC, Organization v. Enthusiasm


Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with a focus on South Carolina’s primary election, which is currently underway.
 
The Atlantic reports:
As Clinton, clad in a long, emerald-green coat, held a hand to her chest and vowed to “build on the progress made under President Obama and go further,” her sentences alternated with chants of “yeah” from the overwhelmingly African American crowd. They stood and cheered when she entered, waving “Women for Hillary” and “African Americans for Hillary” signs.
It was a windy, rainy night in Sumter, a crime- and poverty-stricken burg that is the hometown of Representative Jim Clyburn, who had endorsed Clinton earlier in the week. Shortly after Clinton spoke, much of the town’s power would go out, plunging the campus into pitch-darkness. Testifying to the new conventional wisdom that the Democratic race is more or less over, the press riser for Clinton’s speech was half-empty, her potential comeback greeted with a yawn by a media that never really expected anything else.
“Everybody gets knocked down,” Clinton said, telling the story of her own failed attempt at health-care reform, which she positioned as the predecessor to the Affordable Care Act. “The question is, are you going to get back up?”
The crowd responded: “Yeah!
Washington Post reports:
There are three reasons Clinton’s firewall of black voters won’t #feelthebern in South Carolina and beyond.
First, Obama. His approval rating among African Americans is 89 percent in the latest Gallup tracking poll. This explains why Clinton has left no daylight between herself and the man who bested her in 2008 and for whom she worked as secretary of state. And it explains why she highlights the many times that Sanders argued for a primary challenge to Obama in 2012.
Second, Clinton doesn’t shy away from race. Sanders talks about race, too, of course. But he seems to do so at a remove, and his attempts to make a convincing link between his economic message and race continue to fall short.
The third reason is perhaps the most important, because of how deeply it resonates with African Americans: Clinton openly talks about the necessary role that whites must play in healing and bridging the racial divide.
“Ending systemic racism requires contributions from all of us, especially those of us who haven’t experienced it ourselves,” she said in Harlem. “White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers that you face every day. We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility, rather than assume that our experiences are everyone’s experiences.”
To BET, she said: “I’m trying to lead a conversation that doesn’t just address African Americans, but also goes right at talking with white Americans about the perspective they need to have in hearing about the barriers that African Americans face, not only in the criminal justice system, not only in the rates of incarceration, as devastating as those are, but in employment, in education, in housing.”
Do not underestimate how refreshing this is to African American ears. For generations, blacks have chafed at the notion that unpacking our nation’s racial baggage is a chore solely for them. That the lingering effects of slavery and Jim Crow are only their burdens to bear. That today’s whites are absolved from responsibility for helping to address the continuing consequences of yesterday’s offenses. For a potential president of the United States to acknowledge this and to do so from a knowing place — to demonstrate that she’s thought deeply about it and gets it — will elicit a ready chorus of “amen.”
For months, Sanders and his supporters have said that black voters will grow to like him once they get to know him. But the Democratic caucuses in Nevada last Saturday were a sign that the true base of the Democratic Party isn’t being moved by his message. By getting the substance right, Clinton has set the bar too high with African American voters for Sanders to clear it.


The New York Times reports:
There are many reasons Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is polling as much as 30 percentage points behind Mrs. Clinton among black voters in South Carolina. Many African-Americans in the state say they do not know him well. Others bristle at his criticism of Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul, seeing it as an attack on the president’s legacy. Mr. Sanders wins points for his takedown of Wall Street and his vow to make public colleges free and health care available for all, but some wonder whether these ambitions are too lofty given the deeply divided Congress.
But one important reason for Mrs. Clinton’s support is that many black women, the drivers of the black vote, see this election as their chance to make up for the hard decision they had to make eight years ago. And in 2008, 98 percent of black women cast their ballots for Mr. Obama. Four years later, black women had the highest voter turnout of any group.
Not too far away, in her home outside Columbia, at the end of a cul-de-sac, Desiree Tomlinson said she, too, had started off as a Clinton supporter in 2008. “Back then, it was about seeing Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream come true,” she said. “We already have all these white men. We want to see a woman, but we have to have a black president. President Obama, it had to be him.”
Ms. Tomlinson said that seeing a black man as president had inspired her children, ages 6 and 11. But she has daughters, not sons, and as good as it felt to help Mr. Obama get elected twice, she said she still could not tell her girls that they can be anything they want to be.
On Tuesday, at Central Baptist Church in Columbia, the nearly-all black crowd was kinetic as Mrs. Clinton introduced five black women, including the mothers of Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead, and Eric Garner, who was killed after being wrestled to the ground by a police officer.
Placards proclaiming “African-Americans for Hillary” and “Women for Hillary” were waved back and forth. As Mrs. Clinton talked about “too many young lives cut short” and “too many questions still unanswered,” women shouted out from the pews, “Yes, Lord,” and, “Hmmhmm!”
When Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail after being arrested during a routine traffic stop, told the crowd she was not angry enough to riot but she was angry enough to help put Mrs. Clinton in office, the crowd rose to its feet.
Vox reports:
South Carolina is the first state from the South to weigh in for Democrats and the most delegate-rich state to vote so far. But, like its fellow early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, South Carolina is more important for how it can reshape the political world's perceptions of the race than it is for its delegates.
But few are expecting any big surprises in the Palmetto State today: Hillary Clinton is the universally acknowledged favorite to win, and viewed as likely to win very big indeed.
Clinton has always led Sanders by a lot in state polls there, and she's currently ahead of him by 26 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics polling average. If those polls are anything close to right, it will be a blowout.
One big reason why Clinton's leading by so much is that she retains a commanding advantage over Sanders among black voters, who make up a large proportion of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina. For instance, one poll of state voters from Emerson showed Clinton winning black Democrats 71-25. She also won white Democrats, but by the closer margin of 57-40.
As a result, Sanders's team has been attempting to lower expectations for his performance today. He traveled to other states this week rather than staying just in South Carolina (as Clinton did), and his team has openly admitted they expect to lose. "It's not going to be that close," his pollster Ben Tulchin told the State's Jamie Self and Andrew Shain. "If we had three more months, we could close the gap more."
CBS News reports:
Saturday's primary is a key step toward Super Tuesday next week, when both parties vote in a dozen states.
CBS News' Nancy Cordes reports the Clinton team sees South Carolina as the state that will finally re-establish her as the indisputable front-runner.
They're also hoping that not just a win but a big win will show that she can dominate in the South and she can dominate with minorities, and they're hoping that the people who get that message are the voters in the 12 states that go to the polls in three days on Super Tuesday.
Clinton has camped out in the state all week, protecting her lead.
She, her husband and daughter did a combined nine campaign events on Friday.
And prominent African-Americans like Congressman Jim Clyburn and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have gone to bat for her.
Cordes asked Booker what a senator from New Jersey was doing in South Carolina.
"Well, you know, there's an old saying that we're all in this together, so what happens in South Carolina affects the whole country," Booker said.
Politico reports:
In South Carolina, Hillary Clinton is finally the candidate she always wanted to be.
Gone are questions about her authenticity. Here, black voters say Clinton’s history as a civil rights stalwart -- she first visited the state as a college grad investigating the problem of youths incarcerated in adult jails for the Children’s Defense Fund -- trumps any trust issues that dog her elsewhere.
The script has been flipped, for the first time, in her favor.
Her stories about her own mother’s abused and abandoned childhood resonate deeply with African-American women -- and there are about 100,000 more black women than men of voting age in the state. And to them, it is Bernie Sanders who is viewed as an unknown quantity, whose big ideas of free college and healthcare are greeted with skepticism.
“She’s dealt with African-Americans,” said Gloria Major, a retiree who has been working as a campaign volunteer. “She knows the struggle. She knows what poverty is. It’s not like someone who just come in our lives who tells us these big ideals. Her mother’s story resonates. I’m raising a granddaughter right now, my daughter is in her life now but she’s not wanted. I know the hurt and the pain they go through.”'
Here, older African-American voters who have struggled with racism and poverty are pragmatic, and believe in the incremental change Clinton espouses. “They don’t have the luxury of an Iowa college student” to vote for ideals, Hodges added.
Many voters say they would have been happy to support her eight years ago if it wasn’t for the historic nature of Barack Obama’s candidacy. Clinton’s support for Obama since then has only increased their desire to help her this time.
Via the incomparable Denise Oliver Velez, a powerful article on Clinton’s support in the black LGBT community.

The Washington Blade reports:
Those who spoke to the Blade in the days before primary contests in their states are uniformly in favor of Clinton for a range of reasons.
Alvin McEwen, a gay Columbia, S.C.-based blogger who writes for “Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters,” said he came to support Clinton because she has a more realistic approach to her proposals.
“I’m 45, I’m not one for revolution,” McEwen said. “I’m a very pragmatic individual. It’s all about planning and execution and the work. You got to build. It doesn’t happen fast. So, Clinton is the closer to my style of how things move along for us or will happen for us in the LGBT community.”
Based on her record, McEwen said he thinks Clinton can make things happen in Congress — or make things happen even without lawmakers if they decide to obstruct her.
“We’re going to have to have somebody who can work with Congress, or if Congress pulls that nonsense they did when Obama was president, somebody who knows the ins and outs,” McEwen said. “I think Clinton’s the one to do it.
“She did work in the Obama administration,” McEwen said. “And even if Obama doesn’t say anything, that does rub off on her positively in the eyes of a lot of Americans, particularly black South Carolinians.”
Darius Jones, a 26-year-old gay resident of Columbia, S.C., and vice president of South Carolina Black Pride, cited Clinton’s support for LGBT rights as the reason why he’s supporting her candidacy.
“One of the main reasons I’m supporting Secretary Clinton in the primary is because of her stance when it comes to LGBT rights here in the South — not just in the South but in the nation, period,” Jones said. “She has a long history of fighting for our rights and just for equality.”
“She did work in the Obama administration,” McEwen said. “And even if Obama doesn’t say anything, that does rub off on her positively in the eyes of a lot of Americans, particularly black South Carolinians.”
Darius Jones, a 26-year-old gay resident of Columbia, S.C., and vice president of South Carolina Black Pride, cited Clinton’s support for LGBT rights as the reason why he’s supporting her candidacy.
“One of the main reasons I’m supporting Secretary Clinton in the primary is because of her stance when it comes to LGBT rights here in the South — not just in the South but in the nation, period,” Jones said. “She has a long history of fighting for our rights and just for equality.”
For those of you keeping score at home, the official media narrative is that Bernie Sanders has the enthusiasm, and Clinton has the organization. This means either a victory or loss can be framed in the same way, data be damned.

The Huffington Post reports:
Hillary Clinton's Campaign Organization Could Overshadow Enthusiasm For Bernie Sanders In Midwest 
With Clinton likely to win many delegates from seven Southern states on Super Tuesday, Sanders is banking on the Midwest for a shot at an upset. Caucuses in states like Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska could work in his favor, since the process typically brings out only the most motivated voters and the electorate is predominately white and liberal.
Voters' enthusiasm was overwhelming in Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon, with the crowd of over 7,000 chanting the Vermont senator’s name. The major question is whether that enthusiasm will translate into support. So far, voter turnout in the Democratic caucuses has been down -- nowhere near the numbers of 2008. According to Democratic Party officials, 80,000 voters turned out for the caucus in Nevada last week, compared with nearly 118,000 in 2008.
With Clinton likely to win many delegates from seven Southern states on Super Tuesday, Sanders is banking on the Midwest for a shot at an upset. Caucuses in states like Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska could work in his favor, since the process typically brings out only the most motivated voters and the electorate is predominately white and liberal.
Voters' enthusiasm was overwhelming in Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon, with the crowd of over 7,000 chanting the Vermont senator’s name. The major question is whether that enthusiasm will translate into support. So far, voter turnout in the Democratic caucuses has been down -- nowhere near the numbers of 2008. According to Democratic Party officials, 80,000 voters turned out for the caucus in Nevada last week, compared with nearly 118,000 in 2008.
HNV regulars will love this one.

The Daily Dot reports:
Holly Ellis doesn't like to talk politics on social media unless she's confident her opinions will be popular. 
“I know it sounds pathetic,” she admits, “but I'm just not interested in getting into debates that I know are going to upset me or others, unless it's in-person where I can make sure that I'm understood.”
While Clinton has led her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in most national polls since the race began, outspoken support for the former secretary of state is remarkably absent online. That may now be changing.
As her friends increasingly began to “feel the Bern,” Ellis started to wonder if there were other Clinton supporters out there who, for one reason or another, weren't speaking up online. So she put what she calls “a feeler post.”
“I was ... surprised by how many of my friends and family liked and commented,” she recalls. “Many were women that I would normally have assumed were in Bernie's camp (liberals, socialist leanings, etc.). For them, the reaction seemed to have a sense of relief. Like, ‘Finally, someone else agrees with me and I feel safe to say what I think!’”
As it turns out, Ellis is far from alone. An analysis by social media analytics firm Wayin, conducted on behalf of the Daily Dot, found that, for a stretch running between late January and early February, 52 percent of all the tweets mentioning Clinton by name were positive. Compare that to an analysis conducted last September, when the percentage of Clinton's positive Twitter mentions typically hovered somewhere in the 30s—save for brief spikes to above 50 percent, like when she did the whip and nae nae on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
What's happening is a newfound willingness among many Clinton supporters to publicly voice positive opinions about the candidate, not just as the least-bad or most-electable alternative to Donald Trump but as a worthy and impressive candidate in her own right. The question is, why now?
What's clear is that, in a very real way, many long-time Clinton supporters have found their voice online and now feel more comfortable expressing their pro-Clinton sentiment just as forcefully and urgently as the messages of Sanders supporters—or, for that matter, the legions who swarmed Barack Obama into the White House eight years ago. 
Brooklyn-based Clinton backer Jessia Mowles counts herself as an example of the trend.
“I've been a fan of Hillary Clinton's smart, strategic liberalism for years,” says Mowles, “but really only felt compelled to speak out about my support for her when so many friends began buying into misinformation and falsehoods about her as compared to Bernie Sanders.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorses:
For the sake of the nation, Democrats must give greater weight to Clinton’s experience for their presidential nominee.
Clinton, 68, has worked on social justice issues since her college years, continued that work after graduating from Yale Law School and was an active participant in husband Bill Clinton’s administration as governor of Arkansas and after he was elected president in 1992.
She was elected to the Senate in 2000 and was Barack Obama’s chief rival for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. She served as Obama’s secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Clinton’s experience as secretary of state is crucial in this race and the one to come in November. No one else running for president has her depth of understanding of foreign affairs or can match her already forged relationships with foreign leaders, in war and peace.
America cannot put itself in the hands of a foreign affairs neophyte or a loudmouth likely to needlessly offend our foreign friends as well as our enemies.
Fitting for a public servant of her tenure, Clinton has a long list of sound policy proposals, from aiming for a cure for Alzheimer’s to campaign finance reform, climate change, early education, higher education, the economy, gun violence, immigration, racial justice, Social Security, veterans, workforce skills and more.
And, yes, should she gain the Democratic nomination and be elected in November, Clinton would be our first female president.
There are better reasons to vote for her, but that one’s cool, too.
And to end on a lighter note, Clinton crashed a bachelor’s party. Seriously.

Cosmopolitan reports:
She was at Saffron, a café and bar in Charleston, South Carolina, and quickly realized it was a groom and his 10 groomsmen partying before the big day. The group asked for a photo, and Clinton's campaign-trail photographer arranged some of them so they were kneeling down near the former secretary of state. "I love having men at my feet," Clinton joked. (In my personal fantasy, she secretly muttered, "So I can crush them," at the end of this sentence.)
The groom, John Schreck, invited Clinton to his wedding that night, but she regretfully said she couldn't make it. He says he's still undecided about the election but is a fan of Clinton's. Maybe she should have showed up at the wedding to clinch his vote.

3 comments:

  1. I've seen a change in Ezra Klein, he's more independent, or maybe just smarter, than his old friends at MSNBC. They have a small margin share anyway, and it's probably a given that it has a whiter and more affluent audience, even if just by virtue of being a cable channel that not everyone has. Given that he's the fact based one, and isn't doing 'the best bernie spin,; Ezra says she leads by a smaller margin among white voters in SC, that's 17 points, as opposed to 46 points for African American voters. I'd say a less huge margin.

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  2. this quote from Alvin McEwen: “One of the main reasons I’m supporting Secretary Clinton in the primary is because of her stance when it comes to LGBT rights here in the South — not just in the South but in the nation, period,” Jones said. “She has a long history of fighting for our rights and just for equality.”

    it's more than that, as SOS under President Obama she spoke about LGBT rights worldwide, and as much as she could as diplomat in chief she protected the rights of women and children and LGBT.

    And she's openly called for transgender people to have the choice to serve in the military. Those are the most marginalized of Americans, employment discrimination is ubiquitous and most gender hate crimes (other than all women as a group for hate crimes, which always trumps all other) are transgender people.

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  3. it's experience, stupid!

    After W showed that stupid people who don't know it make terrible executives, the shift was to competence, and Barack's amazing competent campaign was quite a pleasure. We've had nearly 8 competent years now, no "katrina's" no "wars of choice" on his watch and a lot of saving us from financial meltdown and rebuilding our international alliances.

    But there is not one remotely qualified person running against her, Bernie's long career of not using his position to do anything great is sad, what opportunities he had that he didn't even notice. And the other side is great entertainment.

    The world is even more complex, yet Bernie has no foreign affairs advisors who admit to more than a conversation, and his economic models are damn scary, the real fringe that includes Ron Paul. And his health care guy, the Banker for Bernie, Enrique Diaz-Alvarez" who wrote "The Backroom Deal That Could’ve Given Us Single-Payer," thinks it would have "only cost the Treasury $240 billion — about 2 percent of 2009 gross domestic product. And this figure is highly inflated — premiums for buying out well-established companies rarely exceed 50 percent and are usually closer to 20 percent."

    ..."So what would be the costs if we had a president willing to nationalize health care now that Obamacare is the law of the land? Since 2009, when single-payer was taken off the table, the stock market has been lifted by the Federal Reserve’s desperate attempts to compensate for fiscal austerity and public and private disinvestment. The Treasury check would have to be bigger today, perhaps on the order of $500 billion — much less if the payoff to shareholders went from colossal to merely enormous, for instance. The public’s return on investment would still be over 30 percent."

    and "The US does not have a health insurance problem. It has a health care cost problem — the uninsured are a symptom, not the illness itself. The parasitism of the actual health insurance companies is just more obvious than others. But from overpaid doctors, to usurious hospitals that charge $500 for a stitch, to snake oil-peddling pharmaceutical companies charging thousands a year for dubious treatments, there are simply too many people collecting too much money just because they can."


    So I guess it has to be "it's real-world experience, stupid?

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