Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.1: Super Tuesday, Mothers of the Movement Reclaim the Narrative

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of today’s Super Tuesday election.

Clinton spent the final day before Super Tuesday on the campaign trail in Massachusetts and Virginia.

The Boston Globe reports:
Hillary Clinton appeared to be campaigning against a Republican opponent — “whoever that might be,” she told the cheering crowd — Monday morning at the Springfield history museum, where she made a hastily planned campaign stop on the day before the high-stakes electoral contests of Super Tuesday.
Clinton seemed relaxed as she addressed an estimated crowd of 700, peppering her remarks with references to her history with Western Massachusetts issues and Democratic politicians.
“Across Western Mass., there is so much history and also a great future,” she said. “I don’t think America has ever stopped being great. What we need to do is make America whole again.”
She made reference to the tone of the campaign being waged by Republican candidates who, she said, have been mean-spirited and focused on scapegoating and finger-pointing.
“That’s not who we are,” she said. “It really undermines our fabric as a nation. I really want to do what I can with your help to set us on a different course.”
“I do not want to ask you to pay taxes to send Donald Trump’s youngest son to college,” she said, referring to the billionaire Republican presidential frontrunner. “We are going to lift the debt burden off of young people. I want you to be able to refinance your debt. If you can refinance your mortgage, and you can refinance your car, you ought to be able to refinance your college debt!”
On gun control, she listed a number of incidents of gun violence, bringing the crowd to near silence as talked about her friend, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, among others injured or killed.
“I am asking gun owners to join with all of us to come up with sensible solutions,” she said.
On issues including marriage equality, clean energy, voter rights, economic policies, campaign finance, and health care, she said, she presents a stark alternative to the Republican candidates.
“One thing I am sure of is we cannot have another contentious debate about health care,” she said. “We also have to defend everything we’ve accomplished to try and protect the rights we have. It doesn’t seem like the Republicans want to protect anyone’s rights.”
Clinton appealed to the crowd to not only vote Tuesday but also to bring others out to vote.
“I want to make progress together. I am a progressive who likes to make progress,” she said. “I know we have common ground and I will seek it out. I will also stand my ground.”
WRGB reports:
"Massachusetts is right in the middle of it and I need your help. I need your help to go and vote tomorrow and bring people to go with you," she said.
"I know the candidates are so close, her and Bernie, so I really wanted to see the last pitch," said Mychael Barnett, a Springfield voter, who came to hear from Clinton.
In that last pitch, the former Secretary of State focused on the economy, healthcare, affordable education and gun control. She specifically mentioned Western Massachusetts as she talked about the importance of jobs, including manufacturing.
"Instead of rewarding people for sending jobs overseas, let's reward them for bringing those jobs to Springfield and Western Mass," said Clinton.
Even closer to home, Clinton gave a shout out to Pittsfield, and a project she worked on in the '90s.
"I couldn't help but remember the great work we did when I was First Lady to save the Colonial Theatre. That was one of America's Treasures and it has continued as one of America's Treasures," said Clinton.
"I work at the Colonial Theatre, which was part of Hillary's Save America's Treasures project back in the '90s and I saw what a huge economic impact that had on the Berkshires," said Tara Kalish, a Pittsfield voter.
Mass Live reports:
The former secretary of state who rallied supporters at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, asked voters to turn out for Tuesday's primary election and pledged to stand with the city if sent to the White House in November.
"The day before Super Tuesday, when most states are in play, people will be caucusing and voting in primaries and I thought I'd come here to ask for your support -- the support of the people of Western Massachusetts...All of you know here in Springfield, you are a city on the way back up," she told supporters. "I'm going to be a president and a partner to help you keep going."
"If you come vote tomorrow, and if I am so fortunate to be the nominee, I will turn my attention to whomever the Republicans decide to nominate," she said. "One advantage I have is they've been after me for 25 years and I'm still standing."
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, who also helped rally supporters at the event and endorsed her over the weekend, praised Clinton's foreign policy experience, as well as her efforts to fight for stronger families, the middle class and main street.
He added that "she is firm, she is experienced, but more importantly she is respectful."

The Dallas Morning News reports:
With hours to go until first votes are cast on Super Tuesday, Hillary Clinton urged voters in Virginia on Monday afternoon to support her in Tuesday’s primary.
“I’m running for president to break down every barrier that stands in the way,” Clinton told a few hundred people at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. “If you go out and vote for me tomorrow, I will stand up and fight for you throughout this campaign no matter who the Republicans nominate.”
Clinton aimed most of her attacks at the GOP field, accusing them of creating a hostile economy that would hurt the middle class and trying to “deprive people of rights.” She touted the economic growth during husband Bill’s presidency and said she would seek to build an inclusive country that would encourage women and minorities to succeed.
“I really regret the language that is being used by Republicans, scapegoating people, finger-pointing, blaming,” she said. “There’s a different path Americans want to take.”
Mashable reports:
Reprising a line that she's used in other speeches around the country, Clinton declared that she "personally believe[s] America is and always has been great."
"What we need to do is make America whole again," Clinton said Monday in Norfolk, calling for a debate that focuses on "issues, not insults."
Later, she called Trump's rhetoric, particularly when it comes to Muslims, "not only offensive," but "dangerous."
"It matters what you say when you run for president and it really matters if you are president," she said.
Here in Norfolk, Clinton embraced Obama, declaring that "I don't think President Obama gets the credit he deserves."
The crowd shouted and applauded in approval.
It's a race for delegates, and today’s a big day for them.

Cook Political Report reports:
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would need to win 2,382 of Democrats' 4,763 delegates to the Philadelphia convention to clinch the nomination. To help you keep track of who's ahead, the Cook Political Report has devised a delegate scorecard estimating how many delegates Clinton and Sanders would need to win in each primary, caucus and convention to become the nominee.
Two days after a whopping 74 percent win in South Carolina, Clinton is on the verge of putting the race away on Super Tuesday. She leads the pledged delegate count 91 to 65, and is at 134 percent of her Cook pledged delegate target, compared to just 74 percent for Sanders - a lead she is likely to stretch when larger states with higher nonwhite populations like Texas and Georgia vote tomorrow.
Demographically and ideologically, Iowa and New Hampshire are two of Sanders's best-suited states, and they've already voted. More importantly, many southern states with large African American populations will vote tomorrow. On Super Tuesday, we estimate Clinton needs 396 delegates to "keep pace" while Sanders would need 469, a target he is highly unlikely to hit.
Clinton's strong performance in Latino and African American precincts in Nevada and South Carolina corroborates the findings of a February NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll that shows Clinton leading Sanders 73 percent to 23 percent among African Americans and 56 percent to 39 percent among Latinos. If those margins were to hold elsewhere, we estimate Clinton would win over 500 delegates tomorrow, to fewer than 400 for Sanders.
In short, it could very quickly become mathematically implausible for Sanders to come back from a large delegate deficit, and barring any major unexpected events, all signs point to Clinton being well "on pace" to secure the Democratic nomination.
Clinton earned the endorsement of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus PAC.

Politico reports:
The political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — CHC BOLD PAC — is set to endorse Hillary Clinton at a press conference at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters on Monday morning, in yet another sign of the presidential front-runner’s strength in Washington and among Hispanic leaders.
The move is hardly a surprise considering that most of the caucus members are publicly backing Clinton, but it's still a useful endorsement as she looks to effectively seal the nomination against Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday. Among the states voting on Tuesday is Texas, which has a large Hispanic population.
The announcement comes less than three weeks after the political arm of the Congressional Black Caucus formally backed Clinton — and two days after she swamped Sanders in South Carolina, largely on the strength of her support among that state’s large Democratic African American community.
Yesterday’s HNV had two great articles shared in the comments by community members.

Via Denise Oliver Velez, here is Dale Vieregge writing for Medium:

The Facts about Hillary Clinton

1. Hillary Clinton has proposed a comprehensive set of economic policies designed to promote sustainable growth, corporate reform, job creation, and shared prosperity.
2. Hillary Clinton believes that economic policies alone will not eliminate racial inequality; she advocates discrete, targeted policies to break down the barriers faced by African Americans.
3. Hillary Clinton is saying a lot of things that are very hard for some people to hear — specifically with respect to racial inequality, immigration reform, gender discrimination, and LGBT rights.
If you step back and consider our broader cultural history and the current political moment— xenophobic, bombastic White men appealing to a White male constituency with urgent cries about perceived threats to their privilege—it becomes very difficult to argue that Hillary is telling people what they want to hear or that she’s some milquetoast candidate who will preserve the status quo.
To the contrary, Hillary’s policy proposals, her public statements, her mere physical being signals a radical break from “politics as usual.” Indeed, thanks to her leadership, the center of our national politics will continue to shift not only leftward but also towards a position that focuses more keenly on the experiences of people who have been left out and left behind.
Via floridageorge, David Caris writes for Indy Week:
For a variety of reasons, many on the left view Hillary Clinton as a creature of the establishment—a fee-generating shill for corporate America whose past involvement in the punitive crime and welfare policies of her husband together with her support for hawkish adventurism overseas make her indistinguishable from her Republican rivals.
While there are legitimate criticisms to be made of the Clinton years, they gloss over some of the genuine progress that was made in the 1990s, including restoring higher taxes on the wealthy, elevating once-in-a-lifetime progressive jurists like Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court, raising the minimum wage, and passing a rudimentary family and medical leave bill, to say nothing of the long economic expansion that took place under his watch.
No one, I think, could plausibly argue that Clinton has a more liberal overall record than Sanders. But there are actually issues on which she has an equally if not more progressive history. One is campaign finance, an issue on which the Clintons have been very consistent. The jurists appointed by her husband during his presidency voted against the Citizens United decision, and Hillary herself has never said a single positive thing about it. She is, however, being punished for playing by Citizens United rules in a Citizens United universe. It will be the law of the land until the Supreme Court has a liberal majority, and there is no question Hillary Clinton will appoint those jurists. Citizens United was an awful decision; try to remember that Clinton didn’t write it. She also voted (as did Sanders) for the well-intentioned McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation. For the time being, Democrats needs those dollars to fight and win down-ballot races and take back state legislatures. Clinton is raising that money; Sanders is not.
Clinton has a long and positive and much better record than Sanders on another issue that is so important to Democratic primary voters and to the Obama coalition—immigration reform. This question came up during the pivotal Milwaukee debate, when Clinton pointed out that Sanders voted against bringing the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill to a full vote in the Senate. While Sanders claims to have had progressive reasons for voting against the doomed bill, the final vote was relatively close and his vote and high-profile opposition to it actually mattered.
Clinton, of course, voted yes.
It is also no secret that Clinton has the better record on gun violence. Sanders supporters dismiss this as unavoidable byproduct of representing rural Vermont but refuse to accord Clinton the same courtesy for representing the finance capital of New York in the Senate. Sanders has softened his position on the question, but it is clear he doesn’t care much about mass-casualty homicides and doesn’t think it is an important issue facing the United States. His record here is really mixed: he voted against the Brady Bill in the 1990s, and, in 2005, as a member of the House, he voted for the truly odious bill that protected gun manufacturers from legal liability. There can be no doubt that Clinton is to the left of Sanders on this question and that she would be the more vigorous proponent of common-sense gun laws, including authorizing federal funds to support research into causes and strategies. If you think that the epidemic of mass shootings across the country is a genuine crisis, there is no question that Clinton is your candidate.

Should you vote for Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman? Lost in often vitriolic debates about class versus identity on the left is the reality that gender politics is class politics. When women don’t have access to quality, affordable day care, it puts inexorable pressure on incomes in all kinds of families. When the overwhelmingly female domestic worker population doesn’t have basic rights and social safety supports, it harms not only women themselves, but also the economic position of their families and the loved ones upon whom they rely. When society offers paltry maternity leave and no substantive paternity leave whatsoever, it is inevitably women who take themselves out of the work force, crushing middle class aspirations underfoot and benefitting elites who can afford to pay for domestic work. When women drop out of the work force to care for aging parents—a question that will become much more central to our discourse as the baby boomers continue to age—it harms the economic prospects of working class and middle class families. Clinton has an actual record on these questions. She put paid leave at the center of her first run for the White House, and she has been the first national presidential candidate to speak about the caring economy and how to respond to the needs of caregivers for our burgeoning elderly population.
Why might Clinton be important for women? Political scientists think about women’s representation in politics in categories. “Formal representation” refers to women’s full right to participation in politics. “Descriptive representation” is the idea that elected politicians should reflect the demographics of the society they represent. For women this means that roughly half of their elected leaders should be women. “Substantive representation” is the idea that women should be represented not just in equal numbers to men, but by women whose platforms and actions support women’s rights, interests and equality. In the United States, we have achieved only the first of these goals—women’s representation in Congress (and in all levels of executive leadership in different fields) lags badly behind that of other advanced democracies. So while we should never ask anyone to vote for a candidate based on their gender alone, it is also important to remember that electing a woman as president—particularly a woman whose progressive overall record is nearly identical to Sanders’s—would be an enormous symbolic victory for women and the feminist movement and a huge step toward achieving the kind of substantive equality in politics that women enjoy in Scandinavia.
Melissa McEwan writes for Shakesville:
Hillary Clinton resoundingly won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, beating Bernie Sanders by 47% and winning virtually every demographic. Maybe now we can stop with the "no one's enthusiastic for Clinton" narrative?

To note that Clinton won large majorities of black voters and women voters is important, because it resists the rhetorical disenfranchisement that's embedded in commentary like "millennials support Sanders" and the shit I saw some dude on CNN saying after the South Carolina primary: Clinton is better in bigger states and Sanders is better in smaller states. That is, ah, not the primary difference between, say, Vermont and South Carolina.

I have a real problem with voters who are disproportionately likely to be disenfranchised at the ballot box also having their support invisibilized in the public conversation about voting.

As @kerryreid observed on Twitter: "Saying 'nobody likes HRC' then looking at who's voting for her gives me an instructive glimpse into what some 'liberals' consider 'nobody.'"
Lest anyone imagine that Clinton was able to win a decisive victory without being subjected to misogynist bullshit from the media, NBC's Chuck Todd helpfully offered: "Clinton now has new challenge if Super Tuesday looks like tonight: beating Sanders without alienating his supporters." Of course.

Remember, ladies: Winning hurts men's feelings. I hope Clinton's sensitive enough to make each Sanders supporter a sandwich.
Sanders, for his part, tried to spin his crushing defeat by calling the contest a tie so far: "We won a decisive victory in New Hampshire. She won a decisive victory in South Carolina. Now it's on to Super Tuesday."

Except: The thing about Sanders implying it's a virtual tie is that it isn't. Clinton also won Iowa and Nevada. Plus she's got the vast majority of the superdelegates.

The "basically a tie" narrative upholds the pernicious dynamic in which women have to do twice as well as a man to be considered half as good. So, yes: On to Super Tuesday.
But, please, Senator Sanders, do not trade on misogynistic tropes. If a woman is thumping you, it ain't a tie.
As always, read the whole thing. Not just the article, but the whole site on a regular basis!

Finally, tears are in abundance as I read how the Mothers of the Movement began. It’s the story of five women reclaiming the narrative about the sons they lost to racial violence:

Geneva Reed-Veal

Mother of Sandra Bland
Chicago, Illinois
What does it feel like to take up this fight alongside other mothers?
You know, when you're a mom and you're grieving and you're missing your child, even after you're done with the crying, you still have to go home and deal with your regular life, which is hard. And so when we get together, it is one of the most powerful things you ever can imagine. We catch up, and we hear what's going on with the legislature in each person's state. And we try to have fun. We try to at least laugh. Because there is a lot of crying sometimes. We keep tissue available. We will talk about our kids, of course, but we also talk about all the things that are going on in the world. And now, with all of us endorsing Hillary, we're in this movement to get her in there. We don't care what we have to do, we’re going to do it.
What was it like when you came together in Chicago last November?
Well, first of all, I wasn't even going to go to that meeting. It was one of those days where I woke up, and it was a bad day. I was having a “Sandy day” all day. I was crying, and I said, "I'm not going, ok?" And then my daughter said, "What do you mean you're not going? Oh no, we're going." So I get there, and all the other moms are there, and it's like this big reunion. We just hugged each other. Might not have said a word, but we just hugged each other and you could feel that energy.
Then Hillary Clinton comes in, she sits down. And immediately it was like she's at our kitchen table. There was this overwhelming sense that this is family. She said, "I'm honored to be here with you guys. Tell me about your daughter, your son." And we were like, "My God." She took her time and listened to each one of us around the table. And then, around the end of the meeting, she said, “You guys really need to unify." And that's what we did. Then she said, "I will be getting back with you." And to talk with all the ladies and find out that's literally what she did—you can't fake that. That's not phony. We're just rolling with Hillary. Period.

Sybrina Fulton

Mother of Trayvon Martin
Miami, Florida
What is like to be a “Mother of the Movement”?
Well, I guess you can call me an unwilling participant. I don't think any of the mothers that I come to the table with want to be on that side of the table. I would not have signed up for this, I would not have trained for this. This is something that happens in your life and you feel like, “I have to do something about it. I can't just continue to be broken. I must do my part.” And so this is me doing my part, not only for my son who's in heaven but for my son who's here on earth, too. I'll always have two boys. But I will continue to do the work to try to fight against senseless gun violence. I will try to do what I can, and I’m dedicated to this fight. I can't help Trayvon at this time. But there are other Trayvon Martins who I can help. And working with these mothers is one way I can do that.
What was it like when you first sat down with the other mothers in Chicago?
It was a very heartfelt meeting. It was supposed to be pretty short in the beginning, but because of the topics and the tragedies and the things that were being discussed, Secretary Clinton wanted to hear more. The meeting was very productive on our end as mothers. But it was also an eye opener for Secretary Clinton, because now, not only did she hear about these tragedies in the news and on social media and from her staffers, she heard first-hand from the mothers. And she's a mother. She's a grandmother. She's a wife. She's a woman. She related to us at a time when nobody else would listen. She made no promises about, “I'll do this and I'll do that if I'm elected.” What she did commit to do was put every effort into making sure that this does not happen to anybody else's kid. She wanted to make sure that she put the proper laws and policies in place to try to make a difference. And that was important to us as mothers.

Lucia McBath

Mother of Jordan Davis
Jacksonville, Florida
What happened when you came together as a group that first time in Chicago?
It was very powerful. There was just this sense of awe, because I've been watching the cases on television, and I've been watching the women, and I've been listening to their stories and listening to the news. But to actually be in the same company of women who have been so morally injured by the same gun violence, the same implicit bias, that was just ... I looked at Cleo Pendleton, and I said to her, "You know what? I'm so glad we're together, but it's just so painful why we have to be at this meeting with Secretary Clinton. We shouldn't have to be here for these reasons."
But it was empowering, because during that meeting Secretary Clinton told us, "I need you, the mothers, to mobilize and move forward in this movement."
And before that, nobody else had really given us permission to really begin to challenge those things that we've suffered. We’d just taken permission, and decided ourselves to do it. But to have someone of the stature of Secretary Clinton back us up, and support us, and ask us to help champion as well, and to know that she's championing for us and our communities, that was huge. It was monumental to me.

Maria Hamilton

Mother of Dontre Hamilton
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Why did you come to South Carolina?
Because I believe Hillary Clinton will make the best president. I chose Hillary because of her record, because of her caring spirit, and because she's a listener and she's been involved since we got together. After we first met, she made my struggle for justice her business and her affair. I had a meeting with Hillary at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I spoke with her for about five minutes. She told me that she was a mother and a grandmother. She was very compassionate. She told me how sorry she was, and that she was going to build her policy in a way that allowed her to do everything in her power to stop things like what happened to us from ever happening again. And right then and there, during the meeting, I knew that I was going to endorse her. I knew that some point in my near future I would be partnering up with her. I didn't know it would be to this extent, but I am able to move forward because of her efforts. I appreciate that. That’s why I’m here.

Gwen Carr

Mother of Eric Garner New York, New York
Why did you become involved with this movement?
My son no longer has a voice, but his mother does. I'm going to get out there, and I'm going to speak out. I'm going to walk, I'm going to rally—whatever it takes—until my voice is heard, until we get justice. As a people, we have to take a stand. And I have to take a stand for my son, as well as for the people who experienced this, but no one knows their stories. Or they were in the news for one day and never talked about again. I'm going to be the voice of the voiceless and the nameless. I'm going to speak out—not only for Eric, but for all the other mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, and aunts out there. We have to make the world aware of what they are doing to our young men. And if we don't stop it, it's going to continue.
What stands out to you from the first meeting with the mothers and Hillary Clinton?
There were 12 of us mothers in that meeting. Hillary asked each of us to share our stories, and everyone's child had died of gun violence—except for my child. So when it became my turn, she said, before I even spoke, “Well I know, Ms. Carr, your son didn't die from gun violence.” I said, “You’re right, he was choked to death.” She said, “There's something we have to do about that, too.” She took that into consideration, that no matter how your son died, it was still violence. And this is what we need our officials to recognize—our hurt and our pain, no matter how it came. It was really impressive to me because she was clearly concerned about my situation.


  1. Thanks Lysis. Beautifully Done :) Can't wait to get home tonight and watch the results come in.

  2. It cannot be underestimated how powerful and inspirational the movement of the mothers is - and that they are supporting Hillary. There are no words..... For all of the round the clock cable news coverage of their children's deaths, the national media can't be bothered to cover the mothers themselves on the campaign trail. Could it be that this is due to the fact that they are campaigning, along with Gabby Giffords, for Hillary?! I watched them on C-SPAN at an event with Hillary in South Carolina last week, and it brought tears to my eyes.