Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.3: Clinton and Her Surrogates Speak Out, More Super Tuesday Analysis

Today’s Hillary News & Views features more post-Super Tuesday news and analysis, along with Clinton and her surrogates weighing in on major issues.

Let's start with Secretary Clinton herself, writing for Univision:
America’s immigration system is broken – but not beyond repair. I believe our immigration enforcement efforts can and should be humane and effective. Large-scale raids sow fear and division in communities around the country, and they are contrary to who we are as Americans.
People who fled violence and threats of death in their homelands should not be afraid to go to work, or to send their children to school, or to go to the grocery store in America. People fleeing persecution should always have the right to a full and fair hearing in this country.
We need a comprehensive approach to addressing the large numbers of Central American migrants who have come to the United States in recent years, especially the many unaccompanied children and teenagers, and to fix our immigration system.
First, we have to reform our asylum and refugee processes to ensure that everyone fleeing persecution has a fair and full opportunity to tell their story. In particular, every unaccompanied child who appears in immigration court should be granted access to government-funded counsel.
Seventy-three percent of unaccompanied children who have lawyers at their hearings are granted permission to stay in America, while just 15 percent of those who appear alone do. No child or teenager should have to face a judge and defend himself or herself without an attorney.
Just last week, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid introduced legislation to get this done, and I urge Congress to pass it swiftly. Surely we can all agree that children and teenagers, many of whom have already survived unspeakable violence and abuse in their home countries or on the way to the United States, deserve a fair hearing.
Second, we must also turn our attention to the serious problems on the ground in Central America. We need to work with regional partners to improve economic and security conditions in these countries, so no one is forced to put themselves and their children at risk by undertaking a dangerous journey north.
President Obama has requested $1 billion for assistance to Central American nations to help them crack down on criminal organizations, promote economic development, and strengthen the rule of law. Congress took a step in the right direction by partly funding this request, but that’s not good enough.
We need to fully fund the President’s request and do it now. We should also strengthen in-country processing, so that people can file for parole and refugee status from their home countries, rather than attempting a dangerous journey with smugglers.
Third, we need to continue the fight here at home for comprehensive immigration reform. I will lead this effort from the very first day of my Presidency. We will work to keep families together and stand up to those who demonize and disparage our immigrant communities. We must put an end to the political assumption in Washington that we can’t get comprehensive immigration reform done—that it’s just too hard. We can get it done, and we must.
As part of this process, we have to reduce backlogs in our immigration courts, add more translators and immigration judges to hear cases fairly and quickly, modernize our visa process, and reduce barriers for immigrants to adjust their legal status.
And while we fight for comprehensive reform, we also have to defend and build on President Obama’s executive actions protecting DREAMers and others, so that they can live without fear of deportation.
This is a challenge that evokes great passions on all sides. But the answer is not to build more walls or separate more families. We need to make smart investments that keep families together and protect the human rights and dignity of immigrant communities. Our immigration system is broken—but not beyond repair. It’s within our power to fix it.

Clinton was vocal on the campaign trail yesterday, drawing clear distinctions between herself and the GOP without putting the primary race completely in her rear view mirror.

Politico reports:
The masses of union workers who were lined up for hours outside the venue — plastered with massive American flags and labor group paraphernalia — were happy to oblige. So were Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and much of the rest of New York City’s leadership, who made surprise appearances ahead of Clinton’s celebratory fundraising concert with Katy Perry and Elton John at Radio City Music Hall later in the night. The 5,400 gathered New Yorkers were primed for the moment, going so far as to interrupt the candidate with chants of “Hillary! Hillary!” at one point in her short speech.
“We set this event for the day after Super Tuesday, and boy am I glad it worked out so well,” said Clinton just one day after sweeping wins across the South and in strategically important Massachusetts. “Yesterday was one for the history books. Our campaign went nationwide.”
“The stakes in this election have never been higher and the rhetoric on the other side has never been lower, so we’ve got work to do, my friends,” she said, in her new counter-Trump refrain. “But not to make America great again. America never stopped being great. We have to make America whole.”
“There’s a lot of finger-pointing and insulting going on in their primary,” she later added. “They may think it’s entertaining. But let me tell you: This is serious.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro writes for Time:
Clinton truly cares about protecting Americans at home and abroad, and she has fought for national, personal and economic security during a career that spans decades.
To that end, a modern-day version of my grandmother’s story might start in Mexico. But it could also start in Syria, or Sudan, or any other country from which emigrants seek refuge. Clinton’s immigration proposal offers a path to citizenship for undocumented families, while embracing and vetting immigrants both needed and in need.
Once here, those immigrants and their children—as well as every American—should have the chance to attend, and afford, college. Clinton’s New College Compact would create no-cost community college and low-cost four-year college, and set a cap on student debt—for citizens and DREAMERs alike.
Clinton’s vision goes well beyond immigration and education; her message of inclusion applies to every person in this country. As she said last week to a crowd in Nevada, “Tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay, and dreams that won’t die, this is your campaign, and it is a campaign to break down every barrier that holds you back.”
Julián and I feel blessed with opportunity, and fundamentally believe we are living the American Dream. Ours is an immigrant story turned American story; it began with our grandmother and continues through our mother, ourselves and our children. With Clinton as president, I’m confident that citizens and aspiring citizens nationwide will fulfill their own Americans Dreams. That’s why Clinton, above all candidates, has earned my support.
Mayor Kasim Reed writes for CNN:
In the last seven years, Georgia has seen real changes: More people now have health care coverage that allows them to get preventive coverage, lowers prescription costs, and allows young adults to stay on their parents' plans. Our country has added millions of new jobs, stood strong against terrorism, and created a sweeping overhaul of our education system. We need a strong Democrat who can break down barriers for more people while building on Obama's legacy, which is why I'm supporting Hillary Clinton.
The truth is that Sanders' college plan would be a disaster for HBCUs, pulling students away and weakening these critically important institutions.
linton, in contrast, has made HBCUs a central focus of her campaign. She's visited campuses across the country, and listened to students and to representatives like Bobby Scott of Virginia, who has introduced legislation that benefits HBCUs. She saw the central role these institutions play in advancing the lives of nearly 300,000 African-Americans each year. Her resulting College Compact earmarks funding specifically to HBCUs.
The HBCU case points to a larger contrast between these candidates: Sanders assumes his single-issue platform will help everyone, but only Clinton's plans work from the ground up to identify and break down barriers unique to African-American families. For the single mother riding two buses to her second job, Sanders' one-issue platform just doesn't cut it. And for the poor child in Flint, Michigan, forced to drink tainted water from a government tap, Sanders' Wall Street-focused message doesn't carry weight.
Only Clinton sees the struggles facing people like these. As she recently told an audience in Harlem, "(M)ore than half a century after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind."
She's the right choice for Atlanta, for Georgia, and for our entire country.
Rep. John Conyers writes for The Huffington Post:
The hard truth we must realize is that we have a long way to go to make equal opportunity a reality in America - whether we're talking job creation, reforming our criminal justice system or even providing safe drinking water.
We need leaders who care about all communities, that have credible plans for progress, and who have experience fighting hard battles. Hillary Clinton exemplifies that kind of leadership, and that's why I am proud to support her for president.
Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton came to Flint and she didn't mince words. She told the country that what's happening in Flint is immoral. And she's right. Sadly, Flint is far from an outlier. From Baltimore, Maryland to Richmond, California, to Denmark, South Carolina, there are many other "Flints" where the local government failed to meet its basic obligation to protect its citizens. Turning a blind eye to crumbling infrastructure that exposes children to lead poisoning is just wrong in a country like the United States.
I support Hillary because of her leadership to improve our schools and educational system. She truly understands that every child should be guaranteed a high-quality education that will serve them well in their futures. From her early days at the Children's Defense fund to being the first lady of Arkansas, to her time as Senator of New York, Hillary has worked hard her entire career to reform public schools and level the playing field for America's children.
In too many urban school districts like Detroit, children and instructors must teach and learn in dilapidated buildings with unsafe, unsanitary, and unacceptable conditions. A child can't focus when he or she is cold, hungry or sick. Hillary knows that too, which is why her plan will create "Modernize Every School Bonds" to connect school districts with additional resources they need to build safe classrooms that are up to code.
The agenda Hillary has put forward is a blueprint for real advancement. She has been at the forefront of the fight for justice her entire career and understands what is at stake. In order to build upon President Obama's progress, we simply cannot afford to have someone in the White House who takes us backward. Hillary is the only candidate with comprehensive policy plans that will get help to the communities that need it most and has the practical experience to get the job done.
As she showed us when she came to Flint, Hillary is committed to fighting for justice for all Americans, not just the wealthy few. That's the kind of leader - the kind of president - we all need and deserve. That's why I'm With Her.
Portland Press Herald endorses:
The recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia shows how much impact a single person can have in our system of government. In an instant, a conservative majority on the Supreme Court evaporated, turning sure-thing decisions against unions, abortion access, immigration, gerrymandering, environmental protection and affirmative action into live issues up for debate.
A change just as momentous will take place next January, when President Obama leaves office after eight years.
Programs that are the bulwark of the American safety net, like Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, are at risk, and so are the nation’s relations with its allies and adversaries abroad. Obama’s replacement may not only pick Scalia’s successor on the Supreme Court, but could also name replacements for two or three other justices who are well beyond retirement age, setting the court’s course for a generation.
With so much at stake in November, Maine Democrats have one clear choice for their party’s presidential nomination: It’s Hillary Clinton.
Post-Super Tuesday, there have been many think pieces about the Obama coalition and its implications for the Democratic nomination race.

The New Republic reports:
It could be argued that both Sanders and Clinton are regional candidates, with Sanders dominating the Northeast and Clinton the South. But there is another way to slice the numbers—one that presents a problem for Sanders not just in terms of winning the primary but also in terms of the logic and legitimacy of his movement.
Clinton is winning a multiracial coalition that includes large numbers of whites, African-Americans, and Latinos. Sanders by contrast is winning largely in states which are overwhelmingly white: Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Oklahoma.
o see Sanders’s ongoing diversity problem, consider Texas, where Clinton won narrowly on Tuesday among whites (51 percent to 47 percent) but overwhelmingly among both blacks (80-18) and Latinos (67-33), according to exit polls.
These numbers show that Clinton’s support much more closely mirrors the Democratic Party’s base than Sanders’s does. One of the key divisions in American politics is that the Republicans are an overwhelmingly white party, while the Democrats are a multiracial one. In 2012, the Obama coalition consisted of 56 percent white, 24 percent black, 14 percent Latino, and 4 percent Asian. By contrast, Mitt Romney’s electorate was 89 percent white, 2 percent black, 6 percent Latino, and 2 percent Asian. Clinton’s coalition, in both Texas and elsewhere, looks like Obama’s; Sanders’s looks like Romney’s. 
FiveThirtyEight reports:
To borrow a phrase from Dan Rather, Hillary Clinton swept through the South like a big wheel through a Delta cotton field on Super Tuesday. She won seven states total, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia in the South. She also won Massachusetts and American Samoa. Bernie Sanders emerged victorious in four states (Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Vermont), but his victories tended to come by smaller margins and in smaller states. The end result is that Clinton has a clear path to winning the nomination, and Sanders’s only hope to derail her is for something very unusual to happen.
We’ve now seen 15 states vote in the Democratic contest, and it’s clear that Clinton’s coalition is wider than Sanders’s. Sanders has won only in relatively small states where black voters make up less than 10 percent of the population. That’s not going to work this year when black voters are likely to make up more than 20 percent of Democratic primary voters nationwide.
On Tuesday, we saw why. As she did in Nevada and South Carolina, Clinton won huge margins of black voters. Her worst performance was in Oklahoma, where 71 percent of black voters in the Democratic primary chose her. In Alabama, she won 93 percent of black voters on her way to winning 78 percent of Democrats overall. Clinton took no less than 64 percent of the overall vote in the Southern states she won.
It wasn’t just black voters, either: Clinton dominated with Hispanics in Texas. There had been some questions about how Hispanics voted in Nevada, but there was little doubt in Texas. The exit poll showed Clinton with a 42 percentage point win among Hispanics, about the margin she won in counties such as Hidalgo, where Hispanics make up 91 percent of the population. Those results bode well for Clinton in states such as Arizona, California, Florida and New Mexico.
This lead is pretty much insurmountable. Democrats award delegates proportionally, which means Sanders would need to win by big margins in the remaining states to catch up. He hasn’t seen those kinds of wins outside of his home state of Vermont and next-door New Hampshire. Consider the case of Massachusetts: My colleague Nate Silver’s model had Sanders winning the state by 11 percentage points if the race were tied nationally and by 3 points based on the FiveThirtyEight polling average last week. Instead, Sanders lost by nearly 2 percentage points.
Sanders, perhaps not surprisingly, has indicated that he’ll continue to fight for votes across the country. But for every win he may get in mostly white states, Clinton will be marching toward the nomination with likely victories in states such as Michigan and Florida. The math indicates that Clinton eventually will win the nomination with relative ease.
Politics USA reports:
It’s easy to get distracted by the number of states won, but the results that truly matter are delegate counts. Bernie Sanders demonstrates this perfectly: he came first in four Super Tuesday states, three more than he was expected to. But what Sanders really needed to remain a viable candidate was to win just over half of the Democratic delegates that were available last night. He didn’t.
Delegate counts are still being calculated, but at the time of writing Sanders had won an extra 260 delegates on Super Tuesday, while Clinton added 436 to her running total. As a result, the latest totals show the candidates finishing the night with 325 and 527 delegates, respectively.
The explanation for all this lies in delegate math. Democrats assign delegates in proportion to votes won; the delegates essentially act as middlemen, representing the preferences of voters at the national convention. Though Sanders came first in Colorado, Minnesota and Oklahoma, his margin of victory was less than 20 percentage points in every case (only his home state of Vermont was a landslide for him), meaning that he didn’t vastly increase his delegate total or make significant inroads into Clinton’s delegate lead. The Vermont senator also failed to win more than a third of the vote in Texas and Georgia – states that had a high number of delegates up for grabs.
New York Times reports:
The Clinton campaign said Wednesday that it raised $30 million for her primary campaign in February, compared to the more than $42 million Mr. Sanders said he raised in the same period.
Mrs. Clinton raised an additional $4.4 million for the Democratic National Committee and state parties in January and ended February with $31 million on hand to be used in the coming contests against Mr. Sanders. On Wednesday night, the Clinton campaign has a fund-raiser in New York City featuring an Elton John and Katy Perry concert that will strictly raise money for the primaries.
But Mrs. Clinton’s string of victories on Tuesday put her ahead of Mr. Sanders where it matters.
“By virtue of Secretary Clinton’s eight wins on ‘Super Tuesday’ — most of which were by significant margins — we now have a lead of more than 180 pledged delegates over Senator Sanders,” the campaign manager, Robby Mook, wrote in a memo on Wednesday, including his candidate’s victory in American Samoa, along with the seven states, in the Tuesday win total. “This lead is larger than any lead Senator Obama had at any point in the 2008 primary.”
The Sanders camp vowed to continue to fight and noted his victories Tuesday in Colorado, Oklahoma, Vermont and Minnesota as evidence that “the political revolution has begun.”
But the political revolution has not come cheap, and despite its small-dollar fund-raising prowess, the Sanders campaign has spent more cash than Mrs. Clinton. His campaign did not disclose its cash on hand, but Federal Election Commission disclosures filed this month showed that at the end of January, Mr. Sanders had $15 million cash on hand, less than half what Mrs. Clinton had.
On Wednesday, the Clinton campaign said it had $31 million cash on hand to use in the primary.
“We anticipate building on this lead even further, making it increasingly difficult and eventually mathematically impossible for Senator Sanders to catch up,” Mr. Mook wrote.

Dana Milbank writes for The Washington Post:
Sanders continues his campaign after his Super Tuesday losses, but he has no real chance of wresting the Democratic presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton. The socialist insurgent went further than most thought possible, drawing huge crowds, amassing vast sums and forcing Clinton to adopt more populist positions.
But the Sanders challenge was doomed by a fatal flaw: Democrats aren’t as unhappy as he needed them to be.
Sanders would likely have fared better this year if there were an incumbent Republican administration. But as a protest candidate, he’s campaigning against the existing order — and much of that order is a two-term Democratic president who is very popular among the Democrats Sanders needed to win.
Sanders called Obama “dead wrong” on trade and “not strong enough” on other issues. He said he would give the country a “course correction” from Obama’s leadership. A blurb he wrote appeared on the cover of a book called “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down.” The Sanders campaign posted a piece by a Sanders adviser arguing that Clinton’s policies were “more of the same” Obama policies, part of a Democratic establishment “addicted to the political contributions from financial high rollers.” Another Sanders surrogate, Cornel West, had famously called Obama a “black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”
“You know Hillary Clinton now is trying to embrace the president as closely as she possibly can,” a frustrated Sanders told BET in February. “Everything the president does is wonderful. . . . And we know what that’s about. That’s trying to win support from the African American community where the president is enormously popular.”
But Obama isn’t just popular among black Democrats. He’s popular among all Democrats — and contentment with the guy in charge is a weak basis for a revolution.
Melissa McEwan writes for Shakesville:
I have read so many pieces recently by people who have worked with Hillary Clinton, talking about what a lovely person she is. Three this week alone:

Former Governor of Vermont Madeleine Kunin: "I've known Hillary and worked with her. She can be serious and funny. She inspires fervent camaraderie in her staff. She is the most intelligent woman I have ever met."

Breaking Down Barriers Mother Sybrina Fulton: "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."

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau: "I had the chance to serve in the Obama administration with someone who was far different than the caricature I had helped perpetuate. The most famous woman in the world would walk through the White House with no entourage, casually chatting up junior staffers along the way. She was by far the most prepared, impressive person at every Cabinet meeting. She worked harder and logged more miles than anyone in the administration, including the president. And she'd spend large amounts of time and energy on things that offered no discernible benefit to her political future—saving elephants from ivory poachers, listening to the plight of female coffee farmers in Timor-Leste, defending LGBT rights in places like Uganda. Most of all—and you hear this all the time from people who've worked for her—Hillary Clinton is uncommonly warm and thoughtful. She surprises with birthday cakes. She calls when a grandparent passes away. She once rearranged her entire campaign schedule so a staffer could attend her daughter's preschool graduation. Her husband charms by talking to you; Hillary does it by listening to you—not in a head-nodding, politician way; in a real person way."

I have read pieces like these for years. Long before this election, there were pieces written by folks about how great it was to work with and/or for her at State, and before that in the Senate.

And I'm sure there are people who haven't enjoyed working with her. But there are an incredible number of people who have. And say so. Publicly.

While, on the other hand, there are precious few horror stories of working with someone who's supposed to be History's Greatest Monster.

Members of the media who discuss her "likeability" ad nauseam know that these stories exist as well as I do. If they cared about doing their jobs, they'd explore why it is there exists this vast cavern of "likeability" between the people who work with her and the people with the choice to vote for her.
Of course, that would require some uncomfortable self-reflection, since they're the ones busily creating the caricature of The Monster in the first place.

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