Monday, February 29, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.29: Pre-ST Campaigning, Solidarity w/Sanders, Newspaper Endorsements

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton on the campaign trail in Tennessee.

The Tennessean reports:
Fresh off a commanding victory in South Carolina, Clinton used a speech at Meharry Medical College to tout her plans to continue building on President Barack Obama’s agenda, including finding a way to encourage states such as Tennessee to deepen their participation in the Affordable Care Act.
“We can’t go back,” she said as she reeled off statistics, pointing out that 19 million people have received health insurance as a result of the president's effort to expand health care coverage nationwide.
“I’m really sorry that your state did not extend Medicaid to 200,000 working Tennesseans,” she said. “I’m going to do whatever I can as president to convince governors and state legislatures — it’s a pretty big deal.”
“I want to be a small-business president,” she said, calling for a minimum wage hike and equal pay for women.
Discussing the country's criminal justice system, Clinton said although there are good police officers in the United States who deserve support, it is time to "be honest about systemic racism."
Pointing out that black families are more likely to be turned down for a mortgage than a white family with similar financial standing, Clinton added, "African-American men are much more likely to get stopped, arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated."
As she has done throughout her campaign, Clinton continued to praise Obama for his efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act, as well as his work to fix the country's economy after the 2008 financial crisis.
"You have to ask yourself, why did we need to recover? Because the Republicans crashed the economy," Clinton said to raucous applause.
CNN reports:
Clinton made her oft used called for "love and kindness" at the two church stops, but did so with a more political bent by subtly knocking Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, in front of the primarily black audiences.
"America has never stopped being great, our task is to make America whole," Clinton said at the Greater Imani Cathedral of Faith outside Memphis, where she was welcomed with roaring applause and a choir's song.
Later, at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Clinton said that while the United States have "a lot of work to be done," she remains "confident" in the future.
"I am very confident, not just hopeful, I am confident that if we start working together again, if we remembered we are the United States of America, if we reject the demagoguery, the prejudice, the paranoia, the mean spiritedness we hear in our public political discourse ... America's best days can still be ahead of us," Clinton added.
"It will take all of us working together to knock down these barriers to stand for the basic proposition that yes we are all created equal," Clinton said at the first service.
"I want to build on that," Clinton said of Obamacare. "I know how hard that was to do. And we have improvements to make, but we are on the right path."

A nice moment of solidarity came yesterday when Clinton retweeted a powerful statement from fellow candidate Bernie Sanders.

The Hill reports:
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton showed a rare moment of unity with rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as the two landed on the same side regarding Donald Trump’s delay in denouncing the Ku Klux Klan this week.
“America's first black president cannot and will not be succeeded by a hatemonger who refuses to condemn the KKK,” Sanders tweeted, which Clinton's account retweeted several minutes later.
Clinton picked up some newspaper endorsements over the weekend.

Detroit Free Press endorses:
Not since then-Vice President George Bush won the Republican nomination in 1992 has either major party offered voters a candidate with such a breadth of experience in federal government. Besides playing an enormous policy-making role during her husband’s two terms in the White House, Clinton has served more than capably as a U.S. Senator and cabinet officer, presiding over President Barack Obama’s State Department during one of the most challenging and dangerous intervals since the Vietnam War.
If the world did not become dramatically safer during her tenure as Secretary of State, neither did it spin out of control. All in all, Clinton and Obama fared pretty well in containing, and even beginning to reverse, the damage wrought by their predecessors’ reckless foreign policy.
In the realm of domestic affairs, Clinton has been a bulwark in the battle to achieve and defend universal health care in the U.S. As first lady, she played a pivotal role in the creation of a Children’s Health Insurance Program that provides medical benefits to 8 million children. (Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and other Republicans who supported the program have asserted that Clinton has exaggerated her own contribution, but their criticism does not withstand scrutiny.)
The president is above all the manager of a vast bureaucracy that can be marshaled to accomplish great things or mismanaged at enormous cost, both in both financial resources and squandered opportunity.
Responding aggressively to climate change, reining in ISIS and other terrorist organizations, sustaining a still-fragile economic recovery and developing new strategies to combat crime and drug addiction are but a handful of the urgent challenges awaiting President Obama’s successor. And, like Obama, the next president will have to confront each of those challenges in concert with a dysfunctional legislative branch and a sharply polarized electorate.
No candidate in either party seems particularly well-suited to bridging those divisions, and most of the remaining Republican contenders seem determined only to exploit them for personal and partisan political advantage. Clinton alone possesses the experience, maturity and pragmatic managerial instincts to navigate the rocky road to 2020.
Minneapolis Star Tribune endorses:
No single candidate will satisfy every voter. But Clinton has shown a dogged commitment to Democratic values while fighting not at the periphery, but front and center. When denied the whole loaf, she takes a piece and keeps coming back for more.
Clinton proposes changes that are less sexy but more realistic: Shifting capital gains incentives to favor long-term investments, tough prosecution of wrongdoers and imposing greater accountability all could provide needed change while avoiding wholesale disruption that could threaten an economy that shows signs of fragility. Among the more intriguing proposals: a tax credit for companies that offer profit-sharing on top of wage increases.
President Obama has said his biggest regret was his inability to breach the divide between Democrats and Republicans. The next president must demonstrate some capacity for working with opponents, for seeking reasonable compromise, while remaining committed to a firm set of values. Clinton has done so throughout her career.
The Barre Montpelier Times Argus endorses:
This endorsement rests on Clinton’s breadth of experience and her proven commitment to those many issues where she shares a progressive outlook with Sanders. The very notion of political experience has taken on a negative connotation in this surprising year because voters associate it with compromise and corruption. But outsider status, which Sanders has always enjoyed, does not automatically confer wisdom or ability. Clinton’s experience as a hard-working, policy-oriented senator and a secretary of state who restored the good name of the United States weighs heavily in her favor.
The contest between Clinton and Sanders has been framed as a choice between pragmatism and idealism, between incrementalism and boldness. Framing it that way oversells what Sanders offers. Fighting for health care reform, as Clinton has done for a quarter century, has been an exercise in idealism. It has been a long, difficult fight against powerful entrenched interests. The Clinton administration didn’t succeed in the 1990s. The Obama administration has made significant progress, and Clinton is right to underscore the importance of that victory.
The politics of this election are scary. We face the prospect that the Republicans will nominate one of the most dangerous and irresponsible demagogic figures ever to run for president. Donald Trump is an outrageous insult to American democracy. The Democrats must be prepared to turn back that threat with the best possible candidate.
It is argued by frustrated progressives that President Barack Obama was too willing to compromise and so he didn’t achieve all he could have done. But Obama has been president not just of Vermont and Cambridge and Berkeley. He has been president of South Carolina and Kentucky and Alabama. It was never going to be easy, and it is unclear whether a more ideologically extreme approach on his part would have achieved more. As it is, his methods have made him, perhaps, the most effective president since Franklin Roosevelt.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s foreign policy experience is a plus, though not without failures of judgment. We do not need a foreign policy neophyte in office in this dangerous time.
The Huffington Post observes that Democrats are largely unified.
An observer of the debates between each candidate's more fervent online supporters could be forgiven for thinking that the party electorate is similarly divided. Charged arguments have left Clinton's backers denouncing their rivals as "Bernie bros," a characterization that Sanders' supporters emphatically reject.
But Twitter and Reddit, as either scientific studies or a bit of common sense can attest to, are far from representative of the broader electorate. And such animosity hasn't taken much hold among the majority of party voters, who like both their candidates and are already largely willing to rally behind either in a general election.
Exit polls in South Carolina, like those in previous states, show that a strong majority of voters would be satisfied to see either candidate as the nominee. And a national HuffPost/YouGov poll, conducted before the primary, shows Democrats generally happy to accept either candidate.
According to that survey, 77 percent of Democratic primary voters nationwide would be at least satisfied with a Clinton nomination, and 63 percent would be at least satisfied with Sanders as the nominee. Fewer than a fifth would be angry about either outcome.
While Clinton, who continues to hold a small lead in national polls, has the edge, even those who'd be less than happy with a Sanders victory would support him over a Republican rival.
Finally, The Washington Post analyzes the implications of Clinton’s unexpectedly huge victory in South Carolina on Saturday:
Hillary will very likely win all the states with large black or brown populations. Bernie will win a bunch, but by no means all, of the states that are overwhelmingly white. (Hillary actually carried whites 54-46 in the South Carolina). Game it out, and factor in the establishment-minded super delegates, and Clinton now appears virtually certain to become the Democratic nominee.
-- Non-white voters will account for more than 40 percent of Democrats who vote in the 11 contests on Tuesday.
  • Black voters could be determinative in six Southern states that day: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. (It’s not like South Carolina was an outlier: she won black voters by 54 points in the Nevada caucuses.)
  • Sanders’ strategists thinks he can win in five of the 11 states that vote Tuesday: Minnesota, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oklahoma and Colorado. Minorities will make up a relatively small percentage of the electorate in all but one of them.
  • Texas, the biggest delegate prize on Tuesday, will be a telling window into how much traction Sanders has gotten among Hispanic voters. His campaign is adamant that they won Latinos in Nevada last weekend; the Clinton team is just as adamant that the entrance polls were wrong. Texas, where Clinton beat Obama 51-47 in 2008, will tell us who is right.

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