Friday, March 18, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.18: Arizona, Trump, bell hooks, Supreme Court, EPAC, Disliking Hillary


Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with a look at the upcoming primary in Arizona.

Politico reports:
The pattern in Democratic primaries and caucuses so far is that Sanders has had the advantage among younger voters and less diverse electorates while Clinton has had the upper hand in more diverse electorates and among older voters. Arizona is closer to the latter.
"She's doing very well with whites over 50, which is most whites. Half of the [early] white vote that’s in is over 65," Quinlan said, pointing to that as a positive sign for Clinton. "Frankly I just think Hillary's organization is stronger and the fact is I just think she has a built-in Demographic advantage."
Sanders isn’t just fighting demographics in Arizona – he’s also fighting against a candidate who is very well known in the state.
"The Clintons have been very popular in Arizona. President Bill Clinton has visited on multiple occasions to campaign on behalf of Democrats over the last two, four cycles," said Arizona Democratic Party chairwoman Alexis Tameron. "So there's a familial essence to that. And I also do think it's a belief amongst political types that Latinos are drawn to the Clintons like Latinos are drawn to the Kennedys type of reference in which you can see that places like Texas where she performs pretty well in polling and has performed pretty well in presidential contests."
Clinton, who led by 26 percentage points in the only recent polling, hasn't yet campaigned in the state (her first campaign stop is Monday) while Sanders has made stops three times and his campaign has attracted large crowds in the state.
Early voting, which in Arizona starts about two weeks before the primary election, may hold some clues as to the eventual outcome. The numbers have offered some positive signs for Clinton: According to figures provided by the Arizona Democratic Party, of the 601,049 early ballot requests, 262,547 were returned, with 121,374 from voters 65 and over and another 75,504 from voters between the ages 50-64. Both age groups have been friendly to Clinton in other states.
By contrast, just 18,842 ballots have been returned from voters between the ages of 25 to 34 and 8,959 from voters between 18 and 24 – ominous signs for Sanders, who runs best among younger voters.
Early voting, which in Arizona starts about two weeks before the primary election, may hold some clues as to the eventual outcome. The numbers have offered some positive signs for Clinton: According to figures provided by the Arizona Democratic Party, of the 601,049 early ballot requests, 262,547 were returned, with 121,374 from voters 65 and over and another 75,504 from voters between the ages 50-64. Both age groups have been friendly to Clinton in other states.
By contrast, just 18,842 ballots have been returned from voters between the ages of 25 to 34 and 8,959 from voters between 18 and 24 – ominous signs for Sanders, who runs best among younger voters.

 The violence being incited by Donald Trump is the fault of only one person: Donald Trump.

Here’s Hillary’s video response:

Los Angeles Times reports how that violence might be moving more voters to Clinton:
Violence at Donald Trump’s campaign events and the ensuing controversy did not slow his march toward the Republican nomination, but it may have helped Hillary Clinton in her pursuit of the Democratic nod.
The boost that Trump has given Clinton was suggested in surveys of Tuesday voters. In Ohio, the industrial state in which Clinton and her challenger Bernie Sanders fought most fiercely, two-thirds of voters said that Clinton was the strongest candidate to defeat Trump, and they went for her by a factor of 4 to 1.
More than half the Ohio electorate actually embraced Sanders’ main argument in the state, that trade deals such as those Clinton has backed in the past had cost American jobs. But the majority of those voters sided with Clinton anyway.
Those who made up their minds on election day, and thus were most influenced by recent events, also went easily for Clinton over Sanders. All told, it suggested something of a cascade toward the former secretary of State as Trump has dominated news coverage of the campaign.
The 2016 race has been marked by gyrations, and it’s possible that there is another turn in store for Clinton. But it was hard to imagine a better setting for a Sanders victory than Ohio after his upset victory last week in Michigan. And, still, the Vermont senator, who had expended much time and money on the state, fell flat.
bell hooks has spoken out against her words being used out of context to attack Hillary Clinton, which in claiming the support of a feminist without her consent, violates her agency:
Being committed to feminist politics, I am rarely called on to address the larger political situation by anyone. In 2014, when Hillary Clinton was not yet running for president, I stated that I was not in agreement with her politics. More recently, when asked my thoughts about Hillary Clinton during a public conversation with Gloria Steinem, I stated, “she embodies the very best of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t vote for her.” It is troubling that my 2014 comments have been taken out of context and have made it appear that I am aggressively anti-Hillary Clinton. From my perspective, none of the candidates for the presidency concern themselves in a meaningful way with feminist politics and, therefore, I would not speak on behalf of any of them. Individual white women have prodded me to denounce black female support of Clinton. Their desire to castigate black women for their political stance is both condescending and disrespectful. As a firm believer in the importance of free speech, I consider it vital to feminist democratic process that all women be free to choose who they want to support—whether I agree with them or not. As a challenge to dominant thinking and practice, it is crucial to not construct images of individuals that are one dimensional and binary. No one is all good or all bad. Importantly, our focus should be on critical issues, standpoints and political perspective, not on personalities. In my private journal, I write “Michelle Obama for President!”
-- bell hooks
Clinton has released two statements in recent days.

On the Supreme Court nomination:
“It is the President’s Constitutional responsibility to nominate justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Today, in announcing Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee, President Obama has met his responsibility. He has chosen a nominee with considerable experience on the bench and in public service, a brilliant legal mind, and a long history of bipartisan support and admiration. Now, it’s up to members of the Senate to meet their own, and perform the Constitutional duty they swore to undertake.
“Evaluating and confirming a Justice to sit on this nation’s highest court should not be an exercise in political brinkmanship and partisan posturing. It is a serious obligation, performed on behalf of the American people, to ensure a highly qualified candidate fills a vacancy on the Court. That obligation does not depend on the party affiliation of a sitting president, nor does the Constitution make an exception to that duty in an election year.
“The Senate has never taken more than 125 days to vote on a Supreme Court nominee, and on average, a confirmation or rejection has taken just two months. This Senate has almost a full year to consider and confirm Judge Garland. It should begin that work immediately by giving Judge Garland a full and fair hearing followed by a vote. That is what the American people deserve, it is what our Constitution demands, and with millions of people’s lives in the balance, anything less is entirely unacceptable.”
On the Equality PAC endorsement:
“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the Equality PAC and the leaders of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, who are fighting every day for full and equal rights for LGBT Americans. We achieved a tremendous victory in the fight to make our country fairer and freer for all Americans when marriage equality became the law of the land last spring. But we all know our work is far from over. Too many LGBT Americans still face discrimination—in employment, in housing, in education, in health care—because of who they are or who they love. And the stakes in this election couldn’t be higher. The Republican candidates for president have made it clear that, if elected, they won’t stand with the LGBT community as they fight for the rights we all deserve.
“As President, I will continue to fight alongside the LGBT community to pass the Equality Act and end discrimination in all its forms. I will fight to end the dangerous practice of ‘conversion therapy’ on minors and confront the epidemic of violence facing the transgender community, especially transgender women of color. And I will continue the efforts I led as Secretary of State to advance the human rights of LGBT people around the world.
“And we need to recognize and honor the strength, courage, and determination of the advocates, activists, and countless heroic individuals who told us all that ‘Silence = Death’ and brought the AIDS crisis to the forefront of the national consciousness in the 1980s. They fought on the front lines of the crisis, from hospital wards and bedsides, some with their last breath—and without them, we would not be where we are today in preventing and treating HIV and AIDS. They saved lives. And we can save more. We need to expand access to HIV prevention and treatment, work with states to remove outdated and stigmatizing HIV criminalization laws, and fight at every moment to achieve that which is at last within our reach: an AIDS-free generation.
“I’m proud to stand with the Equality PAC in this fight to make our country and our world more just, fair, and equal.”
Time writes about “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Disliking Hillary Clinton”:
Clinton has been in the public eye for so long, journalists have long since formulated a storyline about her, as former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis recently observed. Their view—and portrayal—of her as “remote and programmed,” he said, is “nonsense” and impervious to accounts by those who know or meet her that she is actually warm, smart and funny. Political opponents have had decades to dredge up (or fabricate) accusations, with a smoke-there’s-fire (you might say blame-the-victim) result. Whitewater! Benghazi! Email! After endless investigations, each accusation has turned out to be groundless. Yet the impression remains: she’s been the object of so many accusations and investigations, she must be doing something wrong. Hence the impression she’s not trustworthy.
There is also a self-fulfilling prophecy element to Clinton’s long history with the press. Part of the reason that they see, and depict, her as stiff and measured (and therefore inauthentic) surely is what she herself said recently: she’s not a natural politician—something that is as ironic as it is obvious, since her being a seasoned politician is one of the main criticisms raised against her. But another part of it, no doubt, is that she has had so much experience having her words and actions turned against her, it’s no wonder she might be cautious in choosing them. And this, too, started with her hair.
When Clinton first appeared on the national stage back in 1992, the young wife of the Arkansas governor running for president, she kept her natural-brown hair off her face with a headband. This sparked an avalanche of criticism, so she colored her hair and had it styled, which led to a new round of accusations: she was nefariously manipulating her image! Other damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t attacks were also particular to her as a woman. Because the Clintons kept their small daughter out of the public eye, polls showed that people thought they were childless, a condition that stigmatizes women. When evidence emerged that Clinton was a devoted mother, Margaret Carlson writing in TIME found her guilty of “yuppie overdoting on her daughter.”
All these forces have played a role in Clinton being seen as inauthentic and untrustworthy. And they are all related to the double bind that confronts women in positions of authority, as I recently wrote in the Washington Post. A double bind means you must obey two commands, but anything you do to fulfill one violates the other. While the requirements of a good leader and a good man are similar, the requirements of a good leader and a good woman are mutually exclusive. A good leader must be tough, but a good woman must not be. A good woman must be self-deprecating, but a good leader must not be.
New York Times writes about Hillary Clinton’s “bold vision, hidden in plain sight”:
Mrs. Clinton has put forth an ambitious and broadly popular policy agenda: family and medical leave, continued financial reform, improvements in the Affordable Care Act, investments in infrastructure and scientific research, measures to tackle global warming and improve air and water quality, and so on.
But Mrs. Clinton does have an ambitious vision, and it’s one that should be inspiring. The fact that it remains mostly hidden from view reveals more about our current political environment than it does about her — more about how we understand (or misunderstand) our nation’s past and present than about the comparative merits of her governing philosophy.
A few decades ago, Mrs. Clinton would have been seen as a common political type: an evidence-oriented pragmatist committed to using public authority to solve big problems.
In the middle decades of the 20th century, this pragmatic problem-solving mentality had a prominent place in both parties. Some issues were deeply divisive: labor rights and national health insurance, for example, and civil rights. Nonetheless, a bipartisan governing coalition that included leaders from both business and labor proved remarkably willing to endorse and improve the mixed economy to promote prosperity.
More important, the major policies that this coalition devised deserve credit for some of the greatest achievements of American society, including the nation’s once decisive lead in science and education, its creation of a continent-spanning market linked by transportation and communications, and its pioneering creation of product and environmental regulations that added immensely to Americans’ health and quality of life. In the 20th century, life expectancy increased by more than in all of world history. Americans’ income per capita doubled and then more than doubled again, with the gains broadly distributed for most of the era.
The embrace of an active government, working in creative tension with the private sector, also sowed the seeds for technological and health advances that are still flowering today, including the creation of vaccines and antibiotics to the development of sophisticated medical treatments for hypertension and cancer. Virtually every major computing technology — magnetic core memory, graphics displays, multiple central processors — has its roots in government procurement or financing.
Clinton has spoken out about the security of the southern border.

CNN reports:
"I think we've done a really good job securing the border," Clinton said. "I think that those who say we haven't are not paying attention to what was done the last 15 years under President Bush and President Obama."
During the interview, Clinton said "immigration from Mexico has dropped considerably, it's just not happening any more."
"I voted to secure the border when I was in the Senate. I think we have accomplished a lot of that work," Clinton said. "Now, I think it is time to turn our attention to comprehensive immigration reform."
Clinton's campaign plans to push Clinton's immigration platform ahead of Tuesday's contest in Arizona, where more than 30% of the population is Latino.
Clinton is getting some big fundraising help from a Hollywood power couple. As usual, the media misses the bigger story. If tickets cost $33,400 per person, she’s primarily fundraising for the Democratic Party, not her campaign.

Variety reports:
George Clooney and his wife, Amal, will host a series of fundraisers next month for Hillary Clinton, with the campaign launching a contest in which winners can meet the candidate and the couple at the Clooneys’ home.
The full details have not yet been announced, but the events will be held in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and include cocktails and dinner, according to the campaign.
The Los Angeles event will be on April 16, according to a source, with tickets priced at $33,400 per person for the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The event will be co-hosted by Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, and Haim and Cheryl Saban, with more co-hosts to be announced at a later date.
In 2012, Clooney hosted a fundraiser at his Studio City home for President Obama’s re-election campaign, raising about $15 million, a big boost to fundraising coffers after the campaign invited supporters to participate in a raffle contest to attend. The success led to other campaigns adopting a similar fundraising approach, with the campaign of Mitt Romney holding a raffle to attend dinner with the candidate and Donald Trump.
Washington Post asks, “Do gendered comments help or hurt Hillary Clinton?”  They miss the fact that gendered comments against Hillary Clinton hurt all women. Has some interesting stats from this election, though, that I hadn’t seen yet.
So how exactly does someone “run as a woman”?
For Clinton, the strategy has included a stream of reminders about gender discrimination faced by ordinary Americans and political figures alike. She regularly mentions gender pay inequity. She often notes what a historic feat it would be to elect her as the first woman president.
Tuesday night’s pundit commentary about her victory speech simply gave her campaign more ammunition for that stream. The pushback reinforced what we find in data on the Democratic primary: Some of Clinton’s more fervent support is among those who perceive gender-based discrimination to be a really big problem.
Data from the 2016 American National Election Study Pilot Study show this pattern. Overall, Democratic respondents (including Democratic-leaning independents) gave Clinton a 63-37 edge over Bernie Sanders. But prospective voters who stated that women face a great deal of discrimination in the United States preferred Clinton by a 76-24 margin. That’s a pretty significant 13 percentage-point increase in support.
For Democrats who reported that they themselves had faced a great deal of discrimination because of their sex and/or gender, the preference jumped yet again. Those Democrats preferred Clinton over Sanders by 82-18.
The People’s View reprises the tired question about who is the real revolutionary this cycle — they claim Clinton — but I loved their closing paragraph, so I’m including it anyway!
In the end, the candidate currently leading the Democratic primary is the candidate who is running the cleaner campaign. The one who had access to a video of their opponent saying controversial things in the mid-1980s but chose not to use it for attack purposes. The one who is speaking positively of our president and his accomplishments. The one who is being outspent in multiple states but is winning because their campaign is better organized and their campaign workers and volunteers aren't taking a single vote for granted. The one who is taking in 94% of their campaign contributions from individuals. The one who is drawing enthusiastic voters to the polls and who has more votes than anyone this election cycle, including Donald Trump. The one who is taking time of their busy campaign schedule to host fundraisers for down-ballot Democratic candidates, knowing full well that this is the only way to pass meaningful progressive legislation once the new president takes office. This person, this particular candidate, is the one who is truly running a "revolutionary" campaign.
And that candidate's name is Hillary Clinton.
Clinton’s got a big supporter who is moving off of the sidelines: the President of the United States.

New York Times reports:
In unusually candid remarks, President Obama privately told a group of Democratic donors last Friday that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was nearing the point at which his campaign against Hillary Clinton would end, and that the party must soon come together to back her.
Mr. Obama made the remarks after reporters had left a fund-raising event in Austin, Tex., for the Democratic National Committee. The comments were described by three people in the room for the event, all of whom were granted anonymity to describe a candid moment with the president. The comments were later confirmed by a White House official.
Mr. Obama indicated that he knew some people were not “excited” by Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy, a White House official confirmed.
But, while he stressed that he was not endorsing either candidate, and that both would make good presidents, Mr. Obama went on to lavish praise on Mrs. Clinton, describing her as smart, tough and experienced, and said that she would continue the work of his administration. Mr. Sanders has publicly criticized Mr. Obama on certain policies and has called for a “political revolution.”
Anita Finlay on the state of the race:
Hillary made history again last Tuesday, taking the primary contests of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina by huge margins, and unexpectedly scoring narrow wins in Illinois and Missouri.  Instead of celebrating her clean sweep, beltway media by and large pretended it wasn’t happening, focusing on “how well” Bernie did, or — in the case of major pundits/reporters Joe Scarborough, Brit Hume, Glenn Thrush and Howard Kurtz — told Hillary to “smile.”  Hillary is running to be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and leader of the free world. She has, from the beginning of this campaign, offered a comprehensive, progressive platform.  Her victory speech was an invigorating, inclusive call to arms.  In a frustrated attempt to distract from the trail she is blazing, pundits pretend she’s running for Miss Congeniality, but her momentum cannot be denied.
For the intellectually dishonest, in the press or otherwise, who pretend Hillary Clinton is not already our de facto Democratic nominee, or that she is somehow “subverting” the will of the people, Secretary Clinton currently leads Senator Sanders by more than 2.5 million votes. She is also 323 PLEDGED delegates ahead of him. SUPER delegates (comprised of 718 senior party officials) are not even at issue at this point, but currently support Hillary 479 to Sanders’ 26.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton got more votes than anyone in primary history, about 200,000 more than Barack Obama. He narrowly beat her in the pledged delegate race, however, to the tune of about 130.  Super Delegates then ran to him. Despite the closeness of their contest, Hillary acquiesced to Democratic Party rules, released her delegates at the Convention and proposed that then-Senator Obama be nominated by acclamation.  Afterwards, she made 180 campaign appearances to help elect him, later serving faithfully as his Secretary of State.  At no point in the 2008 contest did Barack Obama have anywhere near the formidable lead Hillary does now.
For Senator Sanders to continue to run on issues dear to him is valid, but his campaign might want to consider being honest about the way the Democratic nominating contest works. To pretend his campaign can overthrow the popular vote and delegate counts is dishonest to his loyalists, taking campaign contributions on a whim that will not come to pass.
Hillary Clinton is a lifelong Democrat who has been fighting for progressive causes since her years working for the Children’s Defense Fund.  As a New York Times opinion piece just offered “Clinton’s bipartisan governing tradition may not be stylish, but it is highly effective.”  She marches onward with a diverse, dedicated and enthusiastic (sorry, corporate media) coalition of voters.
And because there is no better way to close out a day and a week with Melissa McEwan, here she is writing for Shakesville, excoriating Chris Matthews for saying that if Hillary Clinton is smart, she’ll pick John Kasich (!) as her running mate:
If Hillary Clinton were smart. That is a thing that noted smart person Chris Matthews just said.
Because clearly, Hillary Clinton isn't smart. And the only way to prove she's smart is to choose as her running mate a Republican man. A man who just defunded Planned Parenthood in his state. Who, since taking office in 2011, has "quietly led his state to an almost unprecedented number of abortion clinic closures," forcing residents of Ohio to travel in droves to Michigan for abortions. Who doesn't believe maternity leave should be law. Who talks about women "leaving their kitchens" to support him. Who has a long history of saying problematic things to and about women.

Yes, if Clinton were smart, she'd put this fucking guy on her ticket and, as the saying goes, one heartbeat away from the presidency. If she were smart.

Now, I'm just a woman with a brain irreparably compromised by female hormones like Hillary Clinton, not a noted smart person like Chris Matthews, but it seems to me that if there are "many, many, tens of millions of Republicans" who won't vote for Trump, under any circumstances, then the person running against Trump doesn't actually need to provide them with a coddling alternative, but can just feel satisfied with the fact that these voters will stay home on Election Day and behold their roosting chickens.
And, obviously, math is hard, especially for women, but maybe Hillary Clinton has calculated that putting a rank misogynist on her ticket might actually cost her a few votes with liberal women. And liberal men who aren't fans of misogyny. Maybe she has concluded that alienating her base in an absurd bid to appeal to a base that notoriously hates her isn't actually a wise strategy.


  1. Love it! Each state where Hillary draws farther ahead will make it harder for Bernie to continue with the really attacks on Hillary. At some point it will be perceived by almost everyone as being a poor loser.

  2. "the really pointed attacks" I meant to say.