Hillary News & Views 06.15.16: The primary is over (*except for CA vote-counting)
Clinton speaking in Pittsburgh, PA, June 14, 2016
Guest post by rugbymom
Today’s HN&V begins, of course (because it’s Wednesday) with last night’s primary results, the final installment. (California is still tallying votes; as of 6:30 pm PDT Tuesday night, the official count stood at 55.1-44.0%, with the popular vote lead about 473,000.) Thanks to El Mito for once again hosting the primary-night festivities (complete with discrete ball-spiking), although the events in Orlando cast a long shadow. As expected, Clinton won the District of Columbia closed primary by wide margins. The race was called early; the final tally came in at 78.7 – 21.0%, with a probably delegate split (per Green Papers) of 16-4. By my spreadsheet (but YMMV), this gives Clinton pledged delegates of 2,215, a lead of 383 (but AP says 386). According to Green Papers her total delegate count stands at 2,761 (vs. 1,881 for Sanders). Well done, Madam Secretary and team, and all the volunteers and donors and everyone!
There were also down-ticket primaries in NV, ND, VA, ME, and SC, which are covered by the Daily Kos Elections team. Clinton and several staffers met with Bernie and Jane Sanders in Washington last evening, but Sanders left without speaking to the media, according to a LA Times reporter covering the contest.
Both candidates released statements to the press, as reported in this morning’s NBCnews.com:
Afterwards, both candidates released nearly identical statements calling the meeting "positive" and saying they had agreed to work together to defeat Donald Trump.
"The two discussed a variety of progressive issues where they share common goals like raising wages for working families, eliminating undisclosed money in politics and reducing the cost of college for students and their families," a Clinton official said, echoing the same policy items listed in Sanders' statement.
Sanders has scheduled a livestream with his supporters on Thursday afternoon. and it’s unclear whether he will issue a statement or speak to the press before that.
Clinton spoke Tuesday in Pittsburgh, using the opportunity to once again slam Trump as “unfit and totally unqualified” to be President. Her words echoed what President Obama had said shortly before; it looks likely that they are coordinating their messaging. Here’s the full video:
The Orlando incident, in all its horror, hit hard two of the Democrats' – and Clinton's – core constituencies, Latinos and the LGBT community, and that in an important swing state. Clinton’s staff at the highest levels includes a number of Latino and LGBT folks, so I can imagine it’s a very difficult time at Brooklyn headquarters. Her National Latino Outreach Director tweeted yesterday,
Hillary's immediate response and her continued comments have been both compassionate – what we expect from a consoler-in-chief – and politically savvy. Not surprisingly, people have noticed. From Tuesday's editorial in the Tampa Bay Times, entitled “Clinton's substance over Trump's bombast on terrorism”:
Even as the names of those killed in the Orlando massacre continued to be released Monday, the political debate resumed over how to fight terrorism and hatred. Hillary Clinton provided somber steadiness and a thoughtful way forward. Donald Trump resorted to bombastic demagoguery, profiling and reckless political attacks. The contrast could not be starker nor the stakes higher for the nation's future.
* * * * *
This renewed debate about terrorism, gun control and the security of all Americans will play out over months of campaigning. Clinton offers nuanced public policy proposals and a world view based on inclusion and cooperation. Trump continues to engage in dangerous rhetoric and simplistic declarations — and he shows no sign of changing.
Here’s Hillary’s email yesterday to her supporters, reinforcing the message from her speeches:
_________, after this weekend’s horrific shooting in Orlando, Donald Trump showed us exactly what kind of president he would be.
First, he went on Twitter to congratulate himself for calling the shooting an act of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Second, he implied that President Obama secretly sympathizes with terrorists.
Third, he doubled down on his proposal to ban all Muslim people from entering the United States.
And last night, he stripped press credentials from the Washington Postso that their reporters will no longer be allowed to cover his campaign events.
Trump’s behavior in the past 48 hours is a direct preview of what he would do if he's elected.
And right now, there’s only one thing standing between Trump and the White House: all of us.
In a sign of the party unifying around its presumptive nominee, the President of the Communications Workers of America, which had endorsed Sanders in the primary, has now called for unity behind Clinton:
In a speech to union members in D.C. on Tuesday, Chris Shelton . . . said that while Clinton is not a “perfect candidate,” she is the candidate the union needs to get behind immediately.
“[W]hatever you think of Secretary Clinton — I happen to think she was a damn good senator from New York and that a lot of the hostility against her is attributable to out-and-out sexism and to the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ — she is the candidate who is running against Donald Trump. And brothers and sisters, we must stop Donald Trump from becoming president.”
* * * * *
Shelton’s speech was just the sort of reconciliation that Clinton backers want from a pro-Sanders union after an often-bruising primary. Democrats rely heavily on unions for their electoral ground game, and the Clinton campaign would hope to see a united front from labor in the general election.
Shelton told The Huffington Post that CWA would actively support Clinton both financially and by devoting union resources to her get-out-the-vote campaign.TobyRocksSoHard has a diary with more on the CWA endorsement.
Some years there is a break between the primary season and the general election. But not this year. The Clinton team is already hiring staff and building out ground operations in key states, and needs our support. This weekend, June 18-19, will feature kick-off events in a number of states (perhaps even all 50+DC), so check the campaign website for events near you. And keep donating as your bank account permits (but don’t give away the rent money, please!).
Many of us are, of course, waiting to see how Sanders will manage the end of his campaign. I encourage people to refrain from commenting on that, however. As those who supported Clinton in 2008 know, this can’t be an easy time for him or his core supporters. Give them the space to grieve and regroup. (And as usual we welcome any Sanders voters to join us here, as long as you come to move forward together, not to argue.) It will end, and we have a general election to win, not only for Hillary but also throughout the country and all the way down the ticket.