Hillary News & Views 5.20.16: CNN Interview, Hillary's Homecoming, and Disability Rights
Guest post by violining247
Good morning, Citizens of BusVille! violining247 here with the Friday Hillary News & Views. Off we go!
Yesterday, Hillary’s campaign trail travels took her back to her childhood stomping grounds of Park Ridge, IL. Her first stop was the public library, where she delivered a fiery interview with Chris Cuomo, declaring (as we have known since, oh, March 15?) herself the Democratic nominee.
I’m sure a thousand heads exploded on Twitter at THE NERVE!!!! But, it’s true. It’s over, and mathematically, it’s been over for two months. Chris Cilliza of the WaPo wrote of Hillary’s message to Bernie in the CNN interview:
Hillary Clinton has been waiting (relatively) patiently for Bernie Sanders to recognize the mathematical and political realities of his current situation and either end his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination or heavily scale back the rhetoric he has been using against her.
I went all the way to the end against then-Senator Obama. I won nine out of the last 12 contests back in ’08. I won Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia. So I know the intense feelings that arise, particularly among your supporters as you go toward the end. But we both were following the same rules just as both Senator Sanders and I are following the same rules, and I’m 3 million votes ahead of him and I have an insurmountable lead in pledge delegates and I’m confident that just as I did with Senator Obama, where I said, you know what? It was really close. Much closer. Much closer than it is between me and Senator Sanders right now.
The not-so-subtle message? Look, man, I’ve walked in your shoes. It sucks. But I did the right thing for the party. Time for you to do the same.
Hillary, however, reserved most of her ire for Donald Trump. After shredding the Great Orange Menace for recent comments he made in regards to foreign policy, Cuomo asked point-blank if Hillary thought he was qualified for the presidency. Her unequivocal answer: “No, I do not.”
Following the interview, Hillary headed across the street to the historic Pick Restaurant (one of her childhood favorites) and Pickwick Theatre for a packed fundraiser. I was actually lucky enough to go, as they had ludicrously cheap general admission tickets available and a friend of mine was able to drive. (Never thought I would ever manage to see Hillary once, let alone twice in one week!) No selfies this time, but I’ve included some pictures from the event for your enjoyment.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton, seeking a governing coalition if she wins the White House, is pumping millions of dollars into key battleground states at the heart of her presidential map and Democrats' quest to regain control of the Senate.
The Democratic National Committee and state parties are spending about $2 million initially to build coordinated campaigns in eight battleground states with competitive Senate races. The money is being raised by Clinton's campaign through her Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that allows Clinton to raise large checks of more than $350,000 from wealthy donors.
The DNC is using the Clinton fund to build up state organizations in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Six of the eight states have Republican Senate incumbents and all of the states will be targets for Clinton against Republican Donald Trump. The states also were the key battlegrounds of the 2012 campaign between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but in all of our excitement for Hillary, don't forget to donate to and work for your down-ballot races!
Meanwhile in the Democratic primary, the fallout from the NV state convention and the Sanders campaign response continues. Yesterday, Wonkette and a few other outlets ended up endorsing Clinton as a result of the whole incident, and more and more former Bernie supporters are beginning to cross over to Hillary (If that describes you, welcome! We are thrilled to have you aboard!!!). One of the most meaningful pieces that I think I’ve come across in the last few days actually deals with how a former Bernie-or-Bust-er came to support Hillary because of her stances on disability rights.
Last fall, a fellow disability activist and close friend of mine introduced me to Bernie Sanders. From the moment I first heard his platform, I was hooked. After living abroad several years in a country with socialized medicine and heavily subsidized education, I was thrilled an American politician was proposing these policies here. Due to my own disabilities, the cost of healthcare has become exorbitant and becoming chronically ill forced me to leave my career in public service litigation to collect meager social security benefits. So, Bernie’s message resonated strongly with my own personal experience of being in the 99%.
I was so moved by his message that I began volunteering for the campaign, be it through phonebanking, texting or simply bringing his message to everyone I knew. I believed so strongly in the change he could effect that I even donated more money than I could otherwise afford to help his campaign succeed. And I quickly became part of the Bernie or Bust movement, believing his campaign’s message that Clinton didn’t care about anyone other than her special interest donors.
But I often struggled with his rhetoric on and lack of inclusion for people with disabilities in his stump speeches, acceptance speeches, debate performances, advertisements and campaign literature. Despite discussing issues that affect our daily lives like healthcare, income inequality, social security and criminal justice, he almost never mentioned the disabled population, which makes up 20% of the American electorate. He harped daily on how the Donald Trumps of the world try to divide us up based on our minority status but never even included disability as one of those dividing factors.
Meanwhile, I became more frustrated because Hillary Clinton was including us in every speech, ad campaign, debate performance and even intersectionality graphics of disabled people of color in her literature. She issued press releases supporting the Disability Integration Act, which requires Obamacare plans to cover long-term care for people with disabilities, and talked about sub-minimum wage, a construct by which employers can legally pay the disabled less than minimum wage. Bernie either never did this or lagged behind, as if he was only doing it because Hillary was. I sincerely felt as though Hillary was just paying lip service to us and that Bernie was simply uninformed.
The thought of considering Clinton felt hypocritical of me. I told myself, “How can I support someone who probably cares more about Wall Street than me?” But I certainly couldn’t consider Donald Trump, who mocks disabled people and assumes we’re stupid enough to think that’s not what he was doing. So, begrudgingly, I told a Hillary supporter with a disability that I was now considering supporting Hillary. He immediately introduced me via email to a blind Clinton staffer. Within literally minutes, she emailed me at 9 p.m. saying she would like to speak to me about the campaign. I was so encouraged by how quickly they responded, after the months I was ignored by Bernie.
She didn’t treat me like a nuisance like the Bernie campaign did but rather an asset. She wanted to know my legal and advocacy opinion on disability policy. She explained in detail how Hillary planned to initiate change for us with sophisticated, legal political strategy. And, then she asked me to come on board and help the campaign best meet the needs of the disability community through, inter alia, writing for the campaign after they were able to officially vet my credentials. I soon realized that the Clinton campaign didn’t just care about the disability community; they hired us and treated us like the intelligent people we are.
I know there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the last few days in regards to what might happen in Philadelphia or down the road if Bernie refuses to endorse or if there’s trouble at the convention, but to that I say, deep breaths. Stay calm, stay the course, organize, and follow Hillary’s lead. She knows she’s got this, and soon, I have faith that we will all be fighting Team Orange together.
P.S. Heading off to the airport shortly for a weekend trip. Wish me luck with the TSA lines...I’m looking forward to your commentary to keep me entertained if the line is out the wazoo!