Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.9: Maddow Transcript, Final NH Push, Nevada and Beyond

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with a transcript of Clinton’s interview with Rachel Maddow, where she forcefully defended her supporters against the online attacks that have been relentless during the campaign cycle.

I wrote this transcript myself because it isn’t online anywhere yet, and the “worked up” quote is already being taken out of context.

Here’s a link to the video of the interview.

Clinton on the likely Sanders win in New Hampshire:
I always knew Iowa was going to be really, really hard, and we won. Narrow, but we won, and a win is a win. And I was happy about that.
And I always knew that because Senator Sanders has been in public life next door for 25 years — he’s been in Congress for that long — he had a tremendous amount of familiarity and a sense of belonging in the area.
So I always knew this was going to be hard. I feel really good about the campaign that we have waged here. It’s an uphill battle, and we’re going to battle until the last vote is counted. And then we’re going to turn around and head off to the next contest.
On the inaccurate reports of a “campaign shakeup”:
Somebody showed that to me. I have no idea what they’re talking about or who they’re talking to. We’re going to take stock, but it's going to be the campaign that I’ve got. I’m very confident in the people that I have. I'm very committed to them, and they’re committed to doing the best we can. We’re gonna take stock — what works, what doesn’t work.
We’re moving into a different phase of the campaign. We’re moving into a more diverse electorate. We’re moving into different geographic areas. So, of course, it would be malpractice not to say, “Okay. What worked? What can we do better? What do we have to do new and different?”
On the Sanders campaign and its supporters’ interactions with Clinton’s supporters online:
Here’s my view. I think Bill was really defending my supporters, because we know a lot of them are being harassed online, they’re being harassed at our events, they’re being really treated badly.
I’m all for people who are for my opponent. I think it’s great to bring in as many new, young people as possible. But I want people treated respectfully, and I think that’s part of what he was talking about.
I am somewhat concerned about the tone of his campaign over the last few weeks. We were running, I thought, a good campaign on issues, and we’re getting to the point where we’ve got to draw contrasts. That’s natural.
I have a health care approach, he has a health care approach. We may have the same goal, but we have a different view on how we get there. That's fair game, as it should be.
There has been a constant undercurrent, that I said in the debate last week, that is kind of an attack by innuendo, by insinuation, kind of artful smears.
And I just said, “Enough is enough.” If you’ve got something to say to my face, say it. If you can point to any event, any vote, any view that you think has ever been influenced by any donation that I've ever made, call it out. 
Then they put up the Bankruptcy Bill, and I answered that yesterday on the morning shows.
So I want this innuendo to stop. Let’s by honest with each other.
Look, Senator Sanders has taken money from Wall Street through the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. That’s what we do. That doesn’t mean his views are compromised. It doesn't mean my views, and it doesn't mean President Obama’s views — when he was running for President, he took a lot of money from Wall Street, and in any way stopped him from pushing through and signing Dodd-Frank and imposing tough rules.
So he gets his supporters — he sends them messages. The campaign then amplifies those messages, and then a lot of his young people get really worked up, and they’re going off on tangents.
They can attack me. That’s fine. I’m in the arena. But to go after journalists who say something nice about me, to go after supporters who post things, to go after officials who are for me…
I have the vast majority of elected officials on the Democratic side because they know us both, and they know that I will be the president who can actually get done what I’m saying.
I’m also focused on what he says, because what he says is this: “Anyone who’s ever taken a donation, anyone connected with Wall Street is compromised. Their vote has been bought. They can’t be trusted.”
That’s just not true. And if it is true, now it includes him because he’s taken contributions from Wall Street.
On Sanders implying that she’s been compromised, even if she says she hasn’t:
Then put out the proof, Rachel. Don't listen to what people say. I find it deeply offensive. I’ve worked really hard. I’ve taken on many more powerful groups than he has. I’ve taken on the insurance companies, the drug companies. I’ve got Big Oil going after me. I’ve got hedge fund guys spending $6 million dollars in ads against me, which I think would raise an interesting question: If they’re so worried about Bernie, why are they trying to defeat me?
I’ve taken on the gun lobby, something that he never has done. I’ve got the scars to prove my bona fides, and what I’m willing to take on, and how I’ve stood firm against an onslaught of attacks. I’ve ended up a political pinata sometimes.
But point to the evidence. Otherwise, stop it. Let’s talk about, I want to get to universal coverage building on the Affordable Care Act, you want to start over with Single Payer. Let the people decide what’s the best way to do this. That’s what this should be about.
On being the only candidate expected to release transcripts:
I’m getting a little bit weary of the double standard. Let’s release what everybody has ever said. There are a lot of people on both sides. If we’re going to start saying what you did while you were out of public office, or in the private sector, fair game. Release it all. Everybody.
But once again, I’m being asked to do something for which there is no basis, just the attempt to cast suspicion. I said we’ll look into it, and we’ll look into it. But what’s good for the gander should be good for the goose.
I’m not thinking about it until I get through New Hampshire, to be honest. I want to get through tomorrow, and then it’s going to be very boring for people, once it is done, under whatever circumstances.

Clinton keeps the heat on the GOP regarding women’s rights.

Politics USA reports:
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. She has been for her entire life. She’s not done yet, in fact it seems she’s just getting warmed up.
Asked which Republicans is most troubling for young women, 2016 presidential candidate and former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton blasted the entire lot of them, “It’s a nine-way tie…They’ve all got the wrong ideas about women’s health and bodies and autonomy and futures.”
In an interview featured today on Cosmopolitan.com, Sec. Clinton was asked which of the Republican candidates was most concerning for young women. She replied that it was hard to choose just one:
“If you look just at the question of reproductive health, it’s clear just how dangerous — really truly dangerous — their ideas are. Every single Republican candidate would work to roll back the clock on safe and legal abortion. Some would even prohibit it in cases of rape or incest. We know exactly what that means. When it’s harder to get a safe abortion, desperate women will get unsafe abortions. History is very clear on that. If we care about the lives and health of women and girls, we have to protect access to safe and legal abortion.”
But the problems with the Republican platform are even bigger than denying women the right to make medical choices. Clinton pointed out that they all want to defund Planned Parenthood, “That means less funding for mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, HIV tests, and other essential health care that women — especially low-income women — depend on to stay healthy, and even to stay alive.”
Clinton made it personal by saying she wished Republican candidates “would talk to mothers who caught their breast cancer early because they got screened, thanks to Planned Parenthood. Or young women who avoided unintended pregnancies, and were able to graduate college and start families when they felt more prepared to give their kids a great life.”
“So it’s a nine-way tie,” the former Secretary of State announced. “All the Republican candidates are on the wrong side of this issue. They’ve all got the wrong ideas about women’s health and bodies and autonomy and futures.”
Mic reports on the enthusiasm of young Clinton supporters:
Chelsea Rose is a senior in high school, not yet old enough to vote. Regardless, she spent her Sunday afternoon making phone calls to convince New Hampshire voters to get out for Clinton at the primary on Tuesday.
"[Clinton] is a big advocate for middle class rights and women's rights and looks out for a lot of different groups," Chelsea Rose told Mic, when asked why she counted herself among Clinton's supporters.
Sabrina Heart-Meyer is 17, and spends most of her weekends helping the campaign in New Hampshire.
"She is the most qualified candidate to be president, and I think she'd make a great one. There's that historic aspect of I think: it's time we have a woman president in this country," Heart-Meyer told Mic. "She's more electable than Bernie is, I think that I don't want a Republican in office so I think that she's the one that's going to be able to beat the Republicans when it comes down to it, and also her experience, she has so much experience."
Heart-Meyer cited Planned Parenthood and reproductive justice as her most important issues. "[Clinton] is pro-choice, so that's a big issue for me," she said. "I don't think the government should take [the right to choose] away from you."
And it isn't just young women. The young female Clinton supporters were joined in their conviction by many young men working side-by-side at headquarters in Concord, making calls and preparing to canvass. Several of them expressed excitement over the historic nature of Clinton's possible election.
"I am very excited about the idea of a first female president," Jake Garfield, a senior in high school, said between phone calls. "I feel like women's rights are like everyone's rights. Twenty percent of the Senate is women, and they've actually gotten the most done," mentioning the fact that only female senators showed up to work during the recent snowstorm that brought Washington, D.C., to a standstill.
Another senior sitting nearby agreed. Matt Wassong is only 17, but says Clinton's plans for education reform are more "realistic" than Sanders', and Clinton "has a better chance of getting that done than he does."
Mother Jones analyses Wall Street ties:
Still, what about Clinton? How cozy with the financial industry is she? I asked about this on Twitter over the weekend, figuring that all the Bernie supporters would give me an earful. But no such luck. Mostly they just told me that she had taken Wall Street money and given Wall Street speeches. The only concrete criticism was one that Elizabeth Warren made in 2004: that Clinton had changed her view on the bankruptcy bill after she accepted lots of Wall Street money to get elected to the Senate.
But that didn't really hold water. She opposed the bill in 1999 because she wanted alimony and child-support payments to take precedence over credit card companies during bankruptcy proceeding. The bill passed anyway, but Bill Clinton vetoed it. In 2001, she brokered a compromise that gave priority to alimony and child support, and then voted for the bill. It didn't pass at the time, and in 2005 her compromise was removed from the bill. She said then that she opposed it.
This is classic Hillary. Once George Bush was president, she had no way of stopping the bill—so she worked hard behind the scenes to get what she could in return for her vote. Love it or hate it, this is the kind of pragmatic politics she practices. But there's no hypocrisy here; no change of heart thanks to Wall Street money (she supported the bill when it protected women and children and opposed it when it didn't); and no real support for the financial industry.
What else? Clinton says she gave several speeches in 2007 warning about the dangers of derivatives and subprime loans, and introduced proposals for stronger financial oversight. Apparently that's true. I'm not aware if she took a stand on the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, but I don't think this was responsible for the financial crisis and wouldn't hold it against her either way. (And it was supported by nearly the entire Democratic Party at the time.) The CFMA did make the financial crisis worse, but Bernie Sanders himself supported it. Clinton voted for Sarbanes-Oxley, but everyone else did too.
The word "cozy" does a whole lot of heavy lifting in stories about Hillary Clinton and Wall Street. But what does it mean? Does she have an actual record of supporting Wall Street interests? By ordinary standards, is her current campaign proposal for financial regulation a strong one? (I've been impressed by her rhetorical emphasis on shadow banking, but it's not clear just how far her proposals go in real life.) Has she protected financial interests against the Bernie Sanders of the world?
I think it's safe to say that Clinton has hardly been a scourge of the banking industry. Until recently, her main interests were elsewhere. But if there's a strong case to be made for "coziness," I've failed to find it. Anyone care to point me in the right direction?
Media Matters reports on the relentlessly negative coverage that Clinton receives:
But it's not just awkward gender stereotypes that are in play these days. It's a much larger pattern of thumb-on-the-scale coverage and commentary. Just look at what seemed to be the press' insatiable appetite to frame Clinton's Iowa caucus win last week as an unnerving loss. Pundits also inaccurately claimed that she had to rely on a series of coin tosses to secure a victory. 
As I've noted before, these anti-Clinton guttural roars from the press have become predictable, cyclical events, where pundits and reporters wind themselves up with righteous indignation and shift into pile-on mode regardless of the facts on the ground. (And the GOP cheers.) The angry eruptions now arrive like clockwork, but that doesn't make them any less baffling. Nor does that make it any easier to figure out why the political press corps has decided to wage war on the Democratic frontrunner. (And publicly admit that they're doing it.)
Watching Beltway reporters and pundits reveal their creeping contempt for Clinton and wrapping it in condescension during a heated primary season is disturbing. And for some, it might trigger bouts of déjà vu.
It was fitting that the extended examination of Clinton's "tone" last week unfolded on Morning Joe. As Think Progress noted, that show served as a hotbed for weird gender discussions when Clinton ran for president in 2008: "Scarborough often referenced the 'Clinton cackle' and another panelist cracked a joke that Clinton reminded everyone of their 'first wife in probate court.'" (The crack about probate court got lots of laughs from Scarborough's all-male panel at the time.)
The toxic put-downs during the heated Democratic primary in 2008 were everywhere. (i.e. Candidate Clinton was a "hellish housewife.") At the time, Salon's Rebecca Traister detected among male pundits "a nearly pornographic investment in Clinton's demise."
Over the past week, media outlets have been trying to explain how Clinton's hard-fought win in Iowa wasn't really a win.
During the run-up to the vote, Iowa was often described as a state that Clinton absolutely had to win (electorally, it wasn't). And so then when she won, what did some in the press do? They claimed she didn't really win Iowa, and if she did it was because of lucky coin tosses.
False and false.
"Even if he doesn't actually win, this feels like a win for @BernieSanders," tweeted Associated Press reporter Lisa Lerer the night of the Iowa vote, echoing a widespread media talking point. The New York Times repeatedly referred to her Iowa victory as a "tie."
Why was Iowa dubbed a loss by so many for Clinton? Because Sanders "was nowhere a few months ago," as CNN's Wolf Blitzer put it the night of the vote.
Actually, if you go back to last September and October, polls showed the Iowa race was in flux and occasionally veered within the margin of error. More recently, CNN's final Iowa poll before the caucus had Clinton trailing by eight points in that state. So the idea a close Iowa finish was "surprising," or constituted a Clinton collapse, doesn't add up.
Meanwhile, did you notice that when the Clinton campaign accurately predicted that it had the votes to win the caucus, members of the press were quick to mock the move. Even after Iowa officials declared her the winner, the Clinton campaign was attacked as being "disingenuous" for saying she was the winner.
And then there was the weird embrace of the coin toss story, which was fitting, since so much of the Clinton campaign coverage these days seems to revolve around a very simple premise: Heads she loses, tails she loses.
The Atlantic analyses the lack of party support for Sanders, and its implications for November, should he get the nomination:
Sanders and his supporters see the party support for Clinton as evidence that “the establishment” is against him. But there are two other interpretations. What party leaders necessarily care about is winning the next election. They look at the electability of the presidential candidate as it affects the electoral prospects of candidates at all levels, including their own. The endorsement primary is a symptom of deep anxiety about what Sanders would do to the entire party’s fortunes in November.
The lack of support for Sanders among elected Democrats may also reflect his lack of support for them. During 2015, Clinton raised $18 million for other Democratic candidates, while Sanders did no fundraising for them at all. Those are just last year’s numbers. The difference in party fundraising between them going back decades would surely be even more dramatic. After all, before this campaign began, Sanders was emphatic that he was not a Democrat.
Sanders has left a long trail of denunciations of the Democratic Party. He began on the revolutionary left; in 1980, he served as an elector for the Socialist Workers’ Party, founded by Leon Trotsky and committed to nationalizing major industries. In 1989 he said the Democrats and Republicans were “in reality, one party—the party of the ruling class.” That year he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times describing the two parties as “tweedle-dee” and “tweedle-dum” since both subscribed to what he called an “ideology of greed and vulgarity.” As the Republican Party has moved to the right, Sanders has said the Democrats are better, but he has refused to run as a Democrat and continued to insist—as late as the 2012 election—that he is not a Democrat because the party fails to support the interests of workers.
To people on the left who have long attacked both parties, Sanders’s disdain for Democrats may not be a problem. But it would be a remarkable and difficult situation for any party to go into an election with a presidential nominee so at odds with its other candidates. As the journalist Michael Tomasky has argued, many of them would run on their own, keeping their distance from Sanders. And if Michael Bloomberg runs as an independent, the party could face a schism.
The Clinton campaign looks ahead to Nevada...

BuzzFeed reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is ahead of her opponent Bernie Sanders when it comes to targeting Nevada’s rapidly growing Asian American population, according to activists who are attempting to increase voter turnout among immigrant communities in the early caucus state.
While Nevada’s substantial Latino population is well known – and its support much-coveted by presidential candidates – the state has also seen a massive increase in the size of its Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) population to almost 10% of the state’s population. Given the closeness of the Democratic race, mobilising this support could be crucial in the state’s Feb. 20 caucus and could make the difference between a Clinton victory or a defeat to Sanders.
“Sanders is much more focussed on the Latino community than the AAPI community”, said Emily Persaud, the Nevada state co-ordinator for the iAmerica Action campaign, a non-partisan group which campaigns for immigrants to take citizenship and then become involved in politics.
Persaud told BuzzFeed News you just needed “to look at the pictures” of who was currently involved in the Sanders campaign to see a relative absence of Asian Americans. She wants all candidates to spend more time talking to Asian American voters in the state. She also said the media often focussed too much on more politically organised Latino groups and missed the recent influx of new Asian voters, especially those from the Philippines.
“Sanders is building up, but in terms of who has been interested it’s Clinton,” Persuad’s colleague Christian Bato agreed, noting Clinton had produced a plan setting out what she would do for the AAPI community. “I hadn’t seen an actual [Presidential campaign] document based on AAPI before – that’s the first time I’ve seen that.”
Kate Harding writes her reasons for endorsing Clinton. Here are a couple of them:
8) She does her homework like Hermione Granger on an Adderall bender. What this means is that even if I don’t always agree with her decisions (which I surely will not), I trust that they’ll be thoroughly considered by a sharp mind. It’s something a lot of people, including me, appreciate about President Obama. I look forward to eight more years of the same baseline level of assurance that my president is not A) dumber than me or B) prone to going off half-cocked. We’re all still smarting from the W years.
9) She’s the best candidate on women’s issues. Disagree with me if you like (quietly, to yourself, or anywhere that’s not in my Twitter mentions), but here are some reasons why I believe this.
For starters, if you look at both Clinton and Sanders’s “women’s issues” pages, you’ll see they both promise to do very similar things as president, but Clinton’s also includes a section on what she’s already done. She’s bulletproof on choice, was first to say that she’ll move to repeal the Hyde amendment, and has been the only candidate to bring up abortion or the recent political and physical attacks on Planned Parenthood during a debate. She’s worked domestically and globally to end sexual violence against women and has made one promise regarding campus sexual assault prevention at home that I find really noteworthy: to “increase… education programs that cover issues like consent and bystander intervention, not only in college, but also in secondary school.” It’s the secondary school thing that matters, because a review of 140 sexual assault prevention programs found only two actually worked, and both were aimed at junior high and high school students, not college students. This tells me she’s up to date on best practices, and ready to make policy accordingly.
During her confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, Clinton said,
“Our foreign policy must reflect our deep commitment to help millions of oppressed people around the world. And of particular concern to me is the plight of women and girls, who comprise the majority of the world’s unhealthy, unschooled, unfed, and unpaid. If half the world’s population remains vulnerable to economic, political, legal and social marginalization, our hope of advancing democracy and prosperity is in serious jeopardy. The United States must be an unequivocal and unwavering voice in support of women’s rights in every country on every continent.”
And then, after she was confirmed, the Obama administration created an Office on Global Women’s Issues (reporting to Clinton) and… well, pop over to the Center for American Progress and read about everything that happened for women while she was Secretary of State.
She wants to close the pay gap, invest in child care, and raise the minimum wage. She recognizes the economic damage that bad parental and family leave policies create, and there’s no doubt in my mind she’ll prioritize exposing and resisting the many ways that mothers—and plenty of other people, but let’s be real, mostly mothers—get fucked in the workplace. (I’m not a mother, so I think maybe, possibly, I’m allowed to say that without being accused of talking out my vagina.) I’m going to move on to the next point now, but believe me, I could say a lot more on this one.
10) I cannot imagine anyone who has a better handle on global and domestic affairs than she does. In some ways, this is just reiterating number 1, but it’s not only about a list of accomplishments—it’s about the breadth of knowledge she’s accumulated in that time. Think of all the things she simply won’t need explained to her. That frees up time to get things done—and to learn about new things, and delve into old things with a degree of depth and nuance not available to someone who first needs to be brought up to speed.
...and beyond.

Politico reports:
Her Brooklyn-based brain trust is now quietly taking steps to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself in the wake of her Iowa caucus win — by investing heavily in caucus states like Idaho, Maine, Colorado and Minnesota to keep Bernie Sanders from quickly converting his popularity with young voters into a succession of easy victories that puts her in an unrecoverable hole.
With Sanders on the brink of a big win here in New Hampshire, Brooklyn is even investing in the senator’s home state of Vermont — in a bid to steal delegates from a primary held in Sanders’ backyard.
The campaign has made a strategic decision to spend big on organizers — new hires and staffers who helped her eke out a win in Iowa with a strong ground game — in the caucus states, according to people briefed on the campaign’s strategic blueprint.
“We are going on offense in the states that the Sanders campaign thinks will make for the friendliest terrain for them,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told Politico, the first time he’s publicly discussed the strategy. Mook declined to provide specific details on staff and cash allocations.
In 2008, Clinton learned the hard way that winning all of the delegate-rich primary states like Ohio, Texas and Florida was not enough to secure the nomination. With his team of Chicago operatives, Barack Obama cleaned up in smaller states where it was possible to build up huge margins of victory and amassed delegates with a relatively small expenditure of resources — even as Clinton was dominating the big primary states.
Obama’s ability to win 15 delegates in Idaho, for example, to Clinton’s 3, netted him 12 delegates. And even though Clinton won by 10 points in Ohio — a state that pledged 141 delegates awarded proportionally and where Mook served as Clinton’s state director that cycle — the campaign netted only a paltry nine delegates for all of the hard work of organizing a big state.
The 2016 strategy, campaign officials said, is built on lessons learned. The hope is to limit Sanders’ gains and block him from racking up the 2,382 delegates needed to win the nomination.
“About 60 percent of delegates are at stake in March,” said another campaign official, who declined to discuss strategy on the record. “Mathematically, the contest might not be over by the end of the month, but, realistically, somebody might be ahead and not able to be caught.”
The moves don’t reflect a shift in strategy but an admission that Sanders’ surge has shifted the dynamics of the race.
Hunkering down for what’s now expected to be a months-long battle against the 74-year-old democratic socialist, Clinton’s campaign has started to invest more heavily in the March primary states, as well. It recently opened a campaign office in Birmingham, Alabama. In San Antonio, Texas, the campaign this week organized a series of canvasses and phone banks. Those initial efforts are expected to be bolstered by big spending on television commercials and mail.
But the campaign is planning to send a disproportionate amount of its resources to caucus states like Colorado, where it anticipates a difficult battle but wants to prevent the Vermont senator from running up the delegate score.
The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi endorses Clinton.

The Clarion Ledger reports:
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Monday, saying she will push for issues important to urban centers, including smaller cities like Jackson.
“Hillary Clinton knows how to make it happen,” Yarber said in a statement. “As President, she will give special and needed attention to cities, particularly minority-led cities, and the issues that plague us.’’
His endorsement follows Clinton's recent comments expressing concern over high lead levels recently reported in Jackson's water.
Yarber and some other black elected officials, mostly from the South, were on a conference call with Clinton earlier Monday.
Yarber said he's encouraged by the level of engagement by Clinton's team about “policy initiatives that we think should be in place to  make sure that cities like ours can compete, make sure cities like ours are viable and that we don’t get lost in the shuffle in terms of conversations about infrastructure investments, quality-of-life issues.’’
He said it's important that Democratic cities in red states get fair treatment.
Other high-profile Mississippi Democrats, including Rep. Bennie Thompson, top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, also have endorsed the former secretary of state.

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