Friday, June 17, 2016

Hillary News & Views 6/17/16: Endorsements, Primary Factoids, Choice, and Advocacy

Guest post by violining247

Good morning, all! Lots of good Hillary stories today, so let’s dive right in.
Yesterday was a big day for endorsements. To start off, Oprah Winfrey is now officially #withher
Oprah Winfrey is throwing her support behind Hillary Clinton.
"I really believe that is going to happen," said Winfrey, 62. "It's about time that we make that decision."
"Regardless of your politics, it’s a seminal moment for women," she continued. "What this says is, there is no ceiling, that ceiling just went boom! It says anything is possible when you can be leader of the free world."
If you’ll recall, in ‘08, Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Obama was a pretty big deal. Hopefully she will be just as effective in helping to shore up support for Hillary this time around!
Another endorsement came from AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor union representing more than 12 million members. They held off endorsing during the primaries, but they are now prepared to put their forces to work on Clinton’s behalf during the general.
The leadership of the AFL-CIO voted on Thursday to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, according to a spokesman for the union federation.  
"Hillary Clinton is a proven leader who shares our values," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement after the vote. "Throughout the campaign, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to the issues that matter to working people, and our members have taken notice. The activism of working people has already been a major force in this election and is now poised to elect Hillary Clinton and move America forward."
The endorsement from the more than 12 million member organization is a boon for Clinton, who after clinching the Democratic nomination for president will face Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump in November.
According to the AFL-CIO, the endorsement means the organization will "put in motion its ground campaign to elect Hillary Clinton and union endorsed candidates across the country.
As the general election Unity Train leaves the station, with pretty much all of Team Blue on board, another one of Bernie’s superdelegates has flipped to Clinton. Rep. Raul Grijalva, who was the first congressperson to endorse Sanders, has now thrown his support behind the presumptive nominee.
Rep. Raul Grijalva, who was the first member of Congress to support Bernie Sanders, has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Grijalva was the first member of Congress to endorse Sen. Sanders. He was a top surrogate for the Sanders campaign and spoke often and passionately about Sen. Sanders’ presidential candidacy.
Grijalva’s full statement can be read here.
While the Orange Menace continues to alienate pretty much every demographic imaginable, Hillary has also picked up the support of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Machado is getting her U.S citizenship expressly to vote for Hillary in the general and had teamed up for an event with Dolores Huerta to kick off a big GOTV effort among the U.S. Latin@ community.
Alicia Machado, who won Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant in 1996, is just days or weeks away from becoming a U.S. citizen. The former Venezuelan beauty queen says the presumptive Republican nominee should not expect her vote this fall.
Machado alleged last month that Trump insulted her looks and language skills after she won the pageant, calling her “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight and “Miss Housekeeping” because she was not fully fluent in English.
On Wednesday, she joined two pro-immigrant advocacy groups in Arlington to encourage other Latinos to join her in registering to vote and casting their ballots for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The event was organized by People for the American Way and Casa in Action, which are launching a Spanish-language anti-Trump ad in eight states Thursday.
At the news conference, a coalition of speakers whose families came from Mexico, Venezuela and El Salvador urged Latinos to unite against Trump.
“During his journey, he has attacked everyone: Muslims, women, disabled people and immigrants,” said Dolores Huerta, 86, who is co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
“This person is very dangerous to the United States of America,” Huerta said. “I’ve never seen any candidate for president who has so overtly attacked people with such gusto . . . and a portion of the people who follow him are really unstable.”
She made a connection between Trump’s statements about undocumented immigrants and Latinos and the massacre of 49 people — including many gay Latinos — at an Orlando nightclub Sunday morning. Trump’s rhetoric, she speculated, could inflame other acts of violence.
For the cherry on top of the parade of endorsements, as the GOP continues to gloriously self-destruct, Hillary has picked up yet another endorsement from a Republican, this time Richard Armitage.
Armitage told Politico that he will vote for Clinton in the general election if Trump is the GOP nominee because he is not sure that Trump actually is a Republican.
“If Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton,” Armitage told the publication. “He doesn't appear to be to be a Republican, he doesn't appear to want to learn about issues. So I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.”
Hey, I’ll take it. Sensible Republicans are always welcome here in Camp Clinton.
In other news, early yesterday morning, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy ended his filibuster to force a vote on new gun safety rules. Hillary, the only presidential candidate unafraid to stand up to the gun lobby, tweeted her personal thanks to Sen. Murphy.

Thanks Chris, for showing what leadership looks like. I hope GOP senators take note. Looking forward to the vote. - H 

Some fun tidbits of information about the primary vote breakdown came out yesterday as well. For instance, where exactly Hillary’s 4 million vote margin came from.

Here's how Clinton's 4 million vote margin in the primary popular vote breaks down
There was also the ironic factoid that as it turned out, Hillary won the states with the highest income inequality
Earlier this year, we noticed a pattern in which states were voting for Hillary Clinton and which were voting for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contests. Sanders tended to win the states that had the highest income equality (as measured by the Gini index, a widely used measure of inequality), and Clinton tended to win states that were the most unequal.
Now that the primaries are over, we decided to look again. The trend held relatively well, as it turns out: With her win in the District of Columbia primary on Tuesday, Clinton won the most-unequal place in the nation, according to the Gini index. Sanders, meanwhile, tended to dominate among the more-equal states.
It may be that those factors that are related to high Gini figures also tend to be factors that contribute to a person voting for Clinton. To briefly recap our last post (see a more extensive explanation here), we highlighted two ways the phenomena might be connected, albeit indirectly.
One is race. The Southern states are a good place to look at this. Clinton was enormously successful in Southern states, thanks to heavy support from African-Americans in that region. The South is also the highest-poverty region in the United States, which contributes to that region's high inequality scores. And, of course, there are many complicated links between poverty and race in America, helping to push the black poverty rate well above the white rate.
Another is rural- or urban-ness. Clinton by far did better in cities than Sanders did, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Sanders, meanwhile, did well in rural white counties. In fact, Clinton did far worse in rural white counties this year than she did in 2008, as the Journal found.
[I]t makes sense for rural areas to have lower inequality than urban areas, as urban areas both tend to attract more skilled (and therefore higher-paid) workers, as well as poorer households, in part due to public transit access, as the World Economic Forum's Kristian Behrens and Frédéric Robert-Nicoud wrote in 2014.
Huh. Go figure!
But, no use dwelling on the primary. Getting into issues of the upcoming general election, one of my big reasons for going all in for Hillary is her staunch support for reproductive freedom at a time when states are doing everything they can to roll back reproductive rights and Roe v. Wade is hanging on by a mere thread. Just how crucial this issue is can be seen in an article I came across yesterday from Jo Malley Dillon, who reflects on choice, its role in her recent miscarriage, and the broader implications for this election.
Last week, Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominee for President of a major political party and I had a miscarriage. These things have absolutely nothing to do with the other, and yet I can’t help think about the connections they raise in my life and the lives of so many women.
I’ve always tried to be the operative who stays behind the spotlight — so telling this story doesn’t come easily or naturally. Why now? I guess the answer is pretty simple.
I’m telling you this because one of the things that helped me through this ordeal was hearing about other women’s stories like mine and the choices they made.
The other reason I’m telling you this is because my story, just like yours, is deeply connected to this presidential contest. It is not the abstract of policy but the truth of our own unique experiences, hardships, and choices that will be impacted by who wins in November. Whether we are talking about banning assault weapons to prevent another act of terror and hate, like the devastation we are seeing in Orlando, or we are protecting reproductive freedom for women to make their own decisions about their own bodies. We are on a dangerous precipice with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee and we all have to do something about it.
Four days before the California primary, with some upcoming campaign meetings on my mind and Donald Trump blaring his racist attacks on a judge over the waiting room TV, I said a little prayer and had my second sonogram.
The sonogram showed the baby had stopped growing, that it wouldn’t grow any more. The doctor was sympathetic though removed — he’d done this before. Said it wasn’t my fault, it just happens sometimes — in as many as 40% of women.
It was technically a “missed” miscarriage. Unfortunately, my body didn’t know yet that it was over. I was pregnant. I felt pregnant — the nausea, the irritability, the sore breasts. I had it all, just not a viable baby.
He told me the options: his recommendation to let it run its course and end naturally (which could take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks), or I could consider painful medicine or surgery. Just having options, and the resources to support the effects of those options, was a blessing — one that I know so many aren’t as fortunate to have.
But on top of already sad news, just waiting — with no control — was about the worst plan for someone like me. I lasted a weekend before I knew my mental health was not going to last. I wanted — no, needed — it over with, to get closure and move on. None of the options were great on their own — but each was a choice over my body and my pregnancy that I could make.
Three days after Hillary Clinton made history, I took medicine to induce the end of my miscarriage. Four sad, painful days later, it was done. One door opened wide, one door closed completely. Unrelated for anyone else, but for me, always linked together.
Throughout this slow-motion loss, even as it’s been hard to concentrate on anything, my thoughts have returned to Donald Trump. What would my choices have been like with a President who has breezily said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have an abortion? Would I have any choices at all when his party already tries to criminalize the very procedures women may well need in miscarriages?
And beyond the choices, in an America led by a President who has called pregnant working mothers an “inconvenience,” and mothers breastfeeding in the workplace “disgusting” — would I or other grieving mothers feel comfortable talking about this at all? In an atmosphere led by Trump’s proud misogyny, would I somehow be tainted because I had failed at pregnancy?
To be honest, though I’ve fought to defend women’s choices my entire political career, I’ve never been more fearful of the direction we could be heading as a country as I am today. But I know now without a doubt that the answer to my questions above would very likely be no with Donald Trump but would be absolutely yes with Hillary Clinton as our President.
Finally, if you need any more reason to feel good about Hillary’s candidacy today, check out her new general election ad highlighting her lifelong advocacy for children. It is a truly lovely one-minute overview of all that she has accomplished.

With that, I turn the discussion over to all of you. Enjoy, and Happy Friday! :-)

(originally posted at Daily Kos)


  1. That's a touching and relevant story about the woman with the miscarriage. Thanks for sharing.

    1. yes, once a pregnancy starts there will be an outcome, good or bad, and sometimes a lethal outcome. Having to carry a non-viable fetus to term knowing that it's not going to live and will likely die in pain is Ireland, even when the woman will likely lose her own life. I used to joke that the end was deliverance, but it isn't really funny. Being forced to carry an unwanted fetus to term is economic slavery, but there are other reasons all women need the right to make our own reproductive choices.

    2. Yep, I am very glad violining included this story.