Today's Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of Clinton’s Town Hall in Flint, Michigan.
Bloomberg Politics reports:
“Clean water isn’t optional my friends. It’s not a luxury,” Clinton said at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in this low-income, majority black city about 70 miles (112 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. “What happened here should never have happened anywhere.”
The former secretary of state took a break from campaigning in New Hampshire to visit the city where the discovery of contaminated water, and criticism of a slow and indifferent response by authorities, has drawn national attention. She drew a crowd of about 1,000 for a revival-type event capped by a 20-minute speech.
“If what is happening in Flint had been happening in Grosse Point or Bloomfield Hills, it would have been solved yesterday,” said Clinton, referring to wealthy towns in the Detroit area.
“It’s a critical point in making sure they get the resources they need to help people, particularly children,” Clinton said in a brief interview with New Hampshire’s WMUR television station before leaving for Michigan. “It is so fundamentally wrong that people would allow children to drink and bathe in poisoned water. It’s so wrong.”Talking Points Memo reports:
Taking a detour from New Hampshire's campaign trail, Hillary Clinton said Sunday that a water crisis in a Michigan city was "immoral" and demanded that Congress approve $200 million in emergency aid to address the community's battle with lead-contaminated water.
Clinton said she was making a "personal commitment" to help Flint in a message delivered not only to the congregants at a local Baptist church but also a more heavily-minority electorate in Southern contests that could help her build a foundation for a delegate-by-delegate drive toward the nomination.
"This is not merely unacceptable or wrong, though it is both. What happened in Flint is immoral," Clinton said at House of Prayer Missionary Church. She added: "I will fight for you in Flint no matter how long it takes."
Aides said Clinton was invited by Flint Mayor Karen Weaver to address the crisis of lead-poisoned water, a case that she has cited in Iowa and New Hampshire as an example of racial and economic injustice. It's an issue that resonates among Democrats, particularly African-American voters who play a major role in later contests in South Carolina and a swath of "Super Tuesday" states on March 1.
From the pulpit, Clinton urged Congress to provide $200 million to fix Flint's water system, saying it was "no time for politics as usual."
Clinton’s wide-ranging interviews yesterday covered everything from Flint and feminism to finance bills and the flustering Marc Rubio.
"There is no acceptable level of lead for kids. None," Clinton told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union."
Clinton was set to fly to Flint later Sunday, as attention on the Democratic side of the race has increasingly turned to the disaster there. CNN announced Sunday that it would be hosting the next Democratic debate in Flint next month.
Clinton played up her credentials on the issue, citing her work as a senator from New York.
"I know something about lead poisoning because of the work I've done in the past (with Children's Defense Fund) and as a senator from New York, we had a lot of old housing with lead paint in it. A lot of kids suffered from lead poisoning," Clinton said. "And part of the challenge is you've got to intervene early. We need comprehensive health screenings, then we need to figure out how do we get the right nutrition and vitamins. You've got to begin to work to counteract the lead."Mediaite reports:
On Sunday morning’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Hillary slapped back at the implications being made about her character, and tried to explain that her work on the bankruptcy bill in question had to do with protecting women and children. While she put up a vociferous defense of her record, Hillary was studious about not directly slamming Warren, instead focusing her ire on the Sanders campaign:
CLINTON: When I got to the Senate in 2001, one of the first big votes there was on a version of the bankruptcy bill and I was deluged by women’s groups and children’s advocates groups to do everything I could to make sure that child support and women’s precarious financial situation in case of divorce or not being able to get the kind of funding they needed from a partner or a spouse in bankruptcy would not be endangered. And it was. The current — that bill was making it a very low priority. So I did go to work on behalf of all these women’s groups and children’s groups because they needed a champion. And I got that bill changed. And in return, it had nothing to do with any money whatsoever — and I resent deeply any effort by the Sanders campaign to so imply. It had to do with trying to get a deal…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s not what…
CLINTON: — that would protect women. But now let me finish, George, because this has been bandied about and I just want to set the record straight. And so then three years later, part of the — part of what Senator — Senator Warren said, you played. You didn’t play the whole thing, because we’ve been allies. I faced a tough decision and I stood up for women and children. I went to the Senate floor, said that was exactly what I was doing. Then the bill did not pass. It never became law. And then when the next bill came up, 2005, women’s issues were taken care of because I had made that a point back in 2001. And so then I was against that bill. I didn’t get a chance to actually vote against it because Bill was in the hospital having a heart procedure. But I put a statement out. I was against it. So I’m happy to set this record straight. And I really want to, once again, call out the Sanders campaign, which claims they like to run a positive campaign. But they have been quite artful in raising questions and trying to cast doubts about my record.
And I really am not going to sit and take it anymore —
STEPHANOPOULOS: But Senator —
CLINTON: I have a public record. I have never, ever been influenced in a view or a vote by anyone who has given me any kind of money. So I’m just going to keep setting the record straight.CNN reports:
"We are still living with a double standard," Clinton told CNN's Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union." "I know it. Every woman I know knows it, whether you're in the media as a woman, or you're in the professions or business or politics, and I don't know anything other to do than just keep forging through it, and just keep taking the slings and arrows that comes with being a woman in the arena."
Clinton said she finds the discussion about her volume on the campaign trail interesting, adding, "Sometimes I talk soft, sometimes I get passionate and I get a little bit excited. I don't know any man who doesn't do the same thing."Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton called Rubio's performance in Saturday’s Republican debate “pathetic.” She was not knocking his Rubio-on-repeat response to attacks from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but his sharp-edged assault on her record on abortion.
“It’s really quite sad to see what Sen. Rubio is becoming in this campaign,” Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Everybody understands that he is diving as far right as he possibly can.”
Her comments followed Rubio’s claim in the debate that Democrats are the "extremists" in the abortion argument, arguing Clinton supports unfettered access to abortion while he believes it should be legal only to save the life of the mother, and he would make no exceptions for rape or incest.
For her part, Clinton also displayed an even more energetic rejection of her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders’ concern that she’s accepted too much money from Wall Street interests in campaign contributions and as a paid speaker.
“They have been quite artful at raising questions and trying to cast doubts about my record. I’m really not gonna sit here and take it anymore,” Clinton said on ABC. The former secretary of state also said she’d mulled over requests to release the transcripts of her closed-door speeches to financial firms — and she said she’d do it under one, unlikely, condition.
“These rules need to apply to everybody, including my opponent, who’s given speeches to groups, people on the other side who’ve given speeches to groups,” she said. “If this is going to be a new standard … let it apply to everybody.”CBS News reports:
"This is something that illustrates how Senator Rubio has just been going as far as he can to try to, I guess, buttress his credentials with certain parts of the Republican constituency. I've been on record for years about where I stand on making abortions safe and legal, the exceptions that are appropriate that should be looked into. And the very difficult choices that very few women have to confront that lead to excruciating kinds of decisions."
She said Rubio was engaging in a "tried and true tactic by those on the right" to try to convince voters that he would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and defund Planned Parenthood.
Clinton also returned to a topic that dominated the last Democratic debate: How tough she will be in reigning in Wall Street relative to her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton said she has the "toughest, most effective effort to reign in financial abuse" of anyone running for president, and criticized Sanders for suggesting that she has been corrupted by donations from the financial industry.
"What the Sanders campaign is trying to do is link donations to my political campaign or really donations to anyone's political campaign, with undue influence with changing people's' views and votes. I've never ever done that and I really do resent the implication or as I said the other night the insinuation," Clinton said.
"That would be like saying President Obama who took more money from Wall Street than certainly any Democrat ever had in 2008, with his successful campaign, was therefore automatically disqualified. Well in fact we know that's not true. He's signed the toughest financial regulation since the 1930s with the Dodd-Frank bill."
When moderator John Dickerson asked her whether people in the financial services industry have had greater access to her than others, Clinton responded, "I am available to and open to listening to people from all walks of life. I always have been and always will be."
"Senator Sanders has a lot more time in elective office than I do. I find that sort of an amusing contrast," she said. "I think I bring a great mix of experience and I think being a woman is a big part of how I see problems, how I think about solving problems."
Clinton said she took on drug companies, the financial system and the gun lobby during her career.
"I think I've shown I've got a lot of experience taking on the establishment," she said.Talking Points Memo reports:
NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked Clinton how her criticisms of President Barack Obama's foreign policy experience in the 2008 debate differed from those on Sanders.
Clinton argued that Obama had a "network of advisers on national security and foreign policy issues" who were helping him prepare.
"And they really went toe-to-toe with all the people supporting me. That's not happening in this campaign. There really isn't any kind of foreign policy network that is supporting and advising Senator Sanders. I'll let him speak for himself," Clinton said. "I think that what's important is this job requires you to be ready on all aspects of it on the first day. And we know we’ve got a particularly complex world right now. And the President's not going to have the time."
Hillary Clinton 385Sanders is outspending Clinton 3-1 on television ads in New Hampshire.
Bernie Sanders 29
According to an analysis of media buyer data, Sanders has spent $2.8 million to Clinton’s $800,000 in the final two weeks before the New Hampshire primary.
To some degree, the spending disparity reflects the priorities of each campaign. Sanders’ operation has focused on pulling out all the stops to guarantee a do-or-die victory after his narrow loss in Iowa.
“A huge win for [the Sanders campaign] here is pretty critical for the momentum that they’re counting on out of Nevada and South Carolina, and going onto March 1,” explained Sean Downey, the New Hampshire political director for President Barack Obama in 2012 and the Northeast director of the Ready for Hillary PAC before Clinton declared her candidacy. “So it makes sense for them to spend any dollar they can to make the margin big enough."
Breaking News: HIllary Clinton won Iowa! (This is not breaking news.)
Politico begrudgingly reports:
Hillary Clinton still has defeated Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic caucus, but an internal party review released Sunday found new errors in the original count that further narrowed her margin of victory — a result that’s likely to keep scrutiny on the caucus state while the rest of the country looks to New Hampshire.
The audit by the Iowa Democratic Party discovered errors in five of 14 precincts across the state from Monday’s caucuses that shrink Clinton’s overall advantage in the key delegate results to a 0.25 percent lead over Sanders, down from 0.27 percent.
The shift towards building fences instead of building bridges left Sanders with a huge political vulnerability that Clinton pounced on during the debate. “I was somewhat amused today that Senator Sanders set himself up to be the gatekeeper,” she said, adding that Sanders had defined a “progressive” so narrowly that it excludes President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and even liberal legends like Sen. Paul Wellstone. “So I’m not going to let that bother me. I know where I stand. I know who stands with me. I know what I’ve done.”
“I don’t think it helps for the senator to be making those kinds of comparisons because clearly we all share a lot of the same hopes and aspirations for our country that we want to see achieved,” she added.
The attack was a deadly one, and not just because Clinton highlighted how this line of argument is about purity-testing instead of coalition-building. Without saying anything directly, her response also riffed on some of the uncomfortable gender issues that have shaped this primary season.
Most women, after all, have had the deeply unpleasant experience of having a man dismiss your intelligence, expertise and even values out of hand like this during a disagreement. Having Sanders simply assume his definition of “progressive” is the objective one and Clinton’s is not reminds a lot of women of having to deal with this way that men’s opinions are casually privileged over women’s every day, even if women are able to bring expertise and experience to the table to justify their arguments.
In fact, the ongoing struggle over the phenomenon of the “Bernie bro” really goes back to this issue. It’s easy to riff on the occasional Bernie bro who does something like calls women “clittrash” or “vagina voters,” but the real source of irritation for many female Clinton supporters is being imperiously lectured, as if you’re a small and stupid child, by male Sanders supporters who often have less political experience than you. (Obligatory #notallmen moment: Most male Sanders supporters I know do not do this.) More than any stupid misogynist slur, this behavior suggests a deep discomfort with female expertise and power is motivating this small but extremely vocal minority of Sanders supporters.
Sanders has so far been able to keep a healthy distance from his most aggravating supporters with an upbeat message. But this shift towards gatekeeping pulls him closer to the stereotype of a Bernie bro lecturing the ladies on how their opinions are the most objective-est of all.Sady Doyle reflects on progressivism:
Is feminism progressive? Is sexism political? I get the answer every time someone complains that Hillary Clinton’s supporters are only backing the most qualified and experienced Presidential candidate in memory “because she is a woman;” because Hillary Clinton, too, the politician who was a pioneer in the fight for universal healthcare, who has been one of the most visible advocates for women’s rights in the world since the mid-‘90s, who was one of the more liberal Senators on the floor, who was the second-most popular Secretary of State in history and whose incorporation of feminist priorities into foreign policy goals was so unprecedented that entire books have been written about it, is just “a woman.” Not a feminist, not a liberal, not even herself; just a gender, and the wrong gender, at that. I get the answer whenever, despite Clinton being almost ideologically identical to the current, male President, and for that matter to his equally male Vice-President, people looking to compare her to another politician can somehow only ever do so by comparing her to a woman — usually a dead woman, from an entirely different country, with entirely different, openly conservative politics, and who, by the way, was Margaret fucking Thatcher. Once again, Clinton is just a gender, and the gender is bad. I get the answer every time a guy defines “actual power” for me, and doesn’t include sexism on the list of what “actual power” is. I get the answer continually, as it happens, because somehow, no-one, anywhere, from any part of the political spectrum, will stop bringing up Hillary Clinton’s goddamned vagina.
I have my answer. I do. When one of the most accomplished women in the goddamned world is rhetorically reduced to just another pussy, over and over, and when “progressives” are not only not furious about this, they’re actually the ones doing it, and they are telling those of us who complain about it to shut up, I know exactly where I, and women, and feminism, rank on the “progressive” movement’s list of priorities.
But I already knew all this. I knew it when Michael Moore giggled about sexual assault allegations on TV. I knew it when Olbermann called Katie Couric “the Worst Person In The World” for suggesting some journalists had been sexist toward Hillary Clinton. I knew it when Freddie de Boer was out storming women’s comment sections because they told too many jokes to be Real Leftists, I knew it when I sat at that job interview and heard that “progressives” were mostly men who couldn’t read feminist writing, I knew it every time I saw left-wing men being abusive and shitty and condescending to their female co-workers, and believe me, I have seen that one thing happen, a lot.
I knew. I just hoped it wasn’t true.
But if this is where we stand, fellas, then hear this, from the bottom of my stupid ol’ vaginavoting feminazi crybaby dumb girl heart: You can do this, but you can’t do it and ask me to pretend it isn’t happening. You can use sexism to rally people for a “progressive” cause, but you can’t then claim that the sexism is invisible, that it doesn’t exist, or that it doesn’t matter, or doesn’t compromise you. You can frame women and feminists as your Women’s Auxiliary, people to be tapped when you need their time and effort and platforms and organizing skill, and discarded or flat-out trashed in favor of better, more male politics whenever we step out of line or whenever it’s convenient. But you can’t do it and tell me that your gender politics are “progressive.” You can’t be a feminist on some days and a person screaming about Hillary Clinton’s vagina on the internet other days, as a wise man might say. So go ahead. Type about how Hillary Clinton is “pandering for votes with her vagina.” But don’t do it and then tell me your opposition to Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with her gender. There is a limit to precisely how many times you can feed me horseshit and call it chocolate frosting, and right now, the taste in my mouth says your time is up.Chrissy Schwen writes for Blue Nation Review:
The reality is that prominent people, with unique perspectives, are paid quite well to inspire and inform audiences of all kinds, and are rarely questioned about it, let alone are forced to to promise that they’ve “never changed a vote” after receiving such fees, as Hillary did in Thursday’s debate.
Hillary confronted Bernie Sanders about insinuations that she was influenced by speaking fees: “If you’ve got something to say, say it.”
So let’s come out and say it. Let’s talk about why women are held to a different standard. In 2016, women are still paid less than men in this country, even when compared to men working in the same industry, and the pay disparity gets worse the higher up you go. This is something Hillary has fought against throughout her career, and why places like Levo are campaigning to encourage women to “Ask4More.”
Hillary Clinton is a former Senator, a former Secretary of State, and a former First Lady. This combined experience is unique in modern life, and it’s normal to expect that as a result, her speaking fees are high.
So it’s particularly revealing that when a woman like Hillary is in the unique position to break through that glass ceiling by being able to ask for more, and to get it, she’s being shamed for getting as much as she has earned.
We need to be honest about why so we can put a stop to it.