Raising incomes is the only way forward in a 70% consumption economy. As Clinton said, you can’t have a sustainable recovery in a country in which consumer spending is two-thirds of the pie when people haven’t gotten a raise in real terms since the early 1990s. Clinton presented a multi-pronged view on how to do this, from strengthening unions to backing portable benefits to making sure that scheduling software doesn’t wreak havoc with people’s lives. It’s smart to get in front of these sharing economy challenges, which will only grow more pressing for more people in the coming years.
Expand Social Security – it’s the only part of the retirement system that’s working well right now. It’s the reason we didn’t have vastly higher numbers of older people falling into poverty during the Great Recession. Particularly in an era in which asset returns are likely to be lower (and thus 401(k)s not as fat), it makes huge economic sense to expand this safety net.
Connect the dots between race, class and economic opportunity.By talking about things like immigration reform and the fact that the unemployment rate for African Americans is still double what it is for whites in our “recovery,” Clinton underscored that race, class, and economic sustainability issues are very much interconnected. I think that making that connection — and also underscoring the fact that structural shifts in the economy make it almost certain that more people will face the same challenges that immigrants and minorities have faced for years (stagnant wages, no safety net, less secure employment) unless something changes, she starts to move the Democratic Party away from divisive, 1990s-style identity politics and towards more economic unity. That is, to my mind, the first step in a bigger, deeper, broader labor movement that could move the needle on the wealth share for workers.
Although it’s not exactly a surprise to those of us who have been following her, some commentators seem to have trouble wrapping their heads around the fact that yes, Clinton really is an economic progressive, not a werebeast who morphs into the Wolf of Wall Street during the full moon general election. Alez Seitz-Wald writes:
Her speech Wednesday, the second in back-to-back remarks on the economy this week, was notable for how little new ground it broke. While many candidates pivot to the ideological center after a primary campaign, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee gave no indication she's backing off the relatively liberal agenda she embraced when Sanders was nipping at her heels.
...She repeatedly stressed the importance of doing away with college debt and expanding Social Security benefits — two issues brought to the fore by progressive activists in recent years — and reiterated her opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which is opposed by unions and many on the left. Clinton also vowed to address corporate tax dodging and crack down on Wall Street and corporate abuses, borrowing a line from liberal economist Joseph Stiglitz' plan to "rewrite the rules" on corporate governance so more profits get shared more equitably with employees.
Earlier in the day, Clinton met behind closed doors with congressional Democrats on Capitol Hill, where she gave similar assurances. The former secretary of state told lawmakers that she believes sticking with a "bold, progressive agenda" gives the party its "best chance of winning together and creating change that improves people's lives," according to a Clinton aide.
Her campaign tweeted some serious economic reality:
The digital campaign will begin at 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday with a Facebook Live session with Marlon Marshall, Clinton's director of state campaigns, and Jess Morales-Rocketto, director of digital organizing, about the Clinton campaign's field and organizing strategy.
Campaign Manager Robby Mook — known for not using Twitter or Facebook in his personal life — will also take over Clinton's Instagramaccount Wednesday to provide a look at what his daily life looks like.
On Thursday, state digital directors will take over Clinton's Snapchat to show how the campaign is organizing in battleground states.
And now, let’s take a break for some Thursday Herstory!
Last week I introduced some amazing Republican women: Mary Church Terrell and Anna Julia Cooper (in “honor” of the Republican candidates who couldn’t think of women to put on American money). Today we’ll continue that trend with Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren, the first Hispanic woman to run for national office in the United States, and a tireless promoter of Hispanic culture.
In her younger years, Adelina seemed destined to follow a traditional path in life. Born in 1881 into two of the oldest settler families in New Mexico, the Luna and Otero families, she received her education at St. Vincent’s Academy in Albuquerque and Maryville College in St. Louis before returning home to work on the family ranch and help raise her many siblings. She married Army lieutenant Rawson D. Warren in 1908. But it was not a happy match. After two years, and discovering that he had a common-law wife and children in the Philippines, she left him.
She went with her brother to New York from 1912-1914, where she worked as a volunteer in Ann Morgan’s settlement house, organizing arts and crafts programs and becoming deeply infused with Progressive ideals. When Nina returned to Santa Fe she threw herself into New Mexico’s battle over woman suffrage. It was a hostile environment; in 1912, state librarian Lola Chavez de Armijo had to go to court to defend her job against a legal challenge from the new governor, who claimed that no woman could hold office in New Mexico. She won, but the objections to women’s political participation still existed. Against this backdrop, Otero-Warren parlayed her family’s prestige and political connections (her cousin, Manuel Antonio Otero, had been territorial governor of New Mexico) into serious pro-suffrage clout, working with Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage leader Ella St. Clair Thompson.
In 1917, she took over as head of the state Congressional Union Party, at the request of Alice Paul. While national woman suffrage passed in 1920, it still required a special election in 1921 to affirm that women were eligible officeholders in New Mexico.Nina Otero Warren decided to run for office. In 1922, she became the Republican candidate for New Mexico’s lone seat in Congress, making her the first Hispanic woman in the United States to run for federal office. She won the Republican nomination against an incumbent, the first woman in national politics to do so.
According to an October 11 article in the Louisville Courier-Journal (behind a paywall at Newspapers.com), she was one of only four women running on Republican Congressional tickets that year; 15 women ran in total. She was seen as a good candidate, who impressed with her poise and bilingualism. Rather than using a translator, as one October 2 story in the El Paso Herald reported, she gave her speeches first in English, and then repeated them in Spanish. In an October 22 column in the El Paso Herald, journalist Guthrie Smith opined:
Any unwillingness to vote for Mrs. Warren is due entirely to the prejudice against a woman holding such an exalted position, and does not grow out of any objection to the candidate.
However, he campaign was sabotaged by her own cousin, the former governor, who revealed in speeches that Otero-Warren was not a widow, as she had been claiming for many years, but in fact a divorcee. He even helpfully provided to address of her ex-husband, who had remarried and was living in Washington D.C. It was a shocking admission, particularly for a woman. Otero-Warren lost the race by less than nine percent. Historian Elizabeth Salas notes that Soledad Chavez de Chacon, who won the office of New Mexico’s Secretary of State in that same year, had carefully cultivated an image as a domestic housewife who put her family first. Otero-Warren, by contrast, was branded an immoral, brazen hussy. It was a stunning blow.
Still, it was not the end of her interest in public service. Otero-Warren had been appointed Superintendent of Public Schools in Santa Fe County in 1917, and was elected to the post in 1918. She continued to serve in that capacity until 1929. She also served as Inspector of Indian Schools from 1923 onward. She gained a reputation for hard work. In an October 19, 1922 story in theAlamagordo News, her work was described thus:
Today the state has no better total schools than those in Santa Fe county. Warrants are paid promptly. School credit is restored. School buildings are model and in repair. County high schools are flourishing. Only first grade teachers are employed. They are adequately paid. There is a budget balance of $7,000 and the people of every district display interest and pride in their schools. This is the result of less than 4 years of work by a woman who—having ample means to permit a life of leisure and social amusement, has chosen to lead the life of a worker in that field of New Mexico where sympathetic understanding and wisely directed effort are most needed.
Otero-Warren strongly opposed the then dominant practice of separating Native American children from their families and sending them to federal boarding schools in order to “de-Indianize” them. Rather, she emphasized bringing Native American mothers into the schools and forging a closer bond between schools and families. Otero-Warren accepted that knowledge of the English language and dominant anglocentric culture were necessary tools for the children’s future, but she also promoted the idea that Native American children should also learn positive histories about their own people, and should learn traditional skills and crafts alongside their “American”-style lessons. While this may seem like a very small amount of multiculturalism, it must be balanced against the predominant attitude, which sought nothing but the total elimination of allegedly “primitive” Native American culture.
She took a similar approach when pushing back against the “Americanization” of Mexican-Americans. While English remained the language of instruction, Spanish was also taught as a subject in Santa Fe schools, and the arts and music curriculum emphasized traditional Hispanic culture. It was very unlike other schools in New Mexico, where Hispanic culture was ignored or derided, and children speaking Spanish had their mouths washed out with soap or were even spanked.
Eventually, she wrote a book to serve as a resource for the topic: Old Spain in Our Southwest, published in 1936. It is a collection of folklore, traditional customs, and short narratives about life in Hispanic villages and ranches, drawn from Otero-Warren’s own childhood. Her view of Hispanic culture was decidedly Eurocentric; it was “Spanish,” not Mexican, culture that she celebrated. While pushing back against American imperialism, Warren herself celebrated the Spanish colonial mission. The book has also drawn criticism for romanticizing the often harsh realities of rural life in New Mexico, for glossing over the class divides in Mexican-American communities, and for ignoring the mixed racial heritage of many Hispanic peoples in favor of painting them as purely Spanish, and therefore European.
Yet at the same time, it documents a rich trove of information about Mexican culture in the Southwest. It is also remarkable for its unrelenting positivity about Hispanic culture at a time when anglo-American society portrayed Latinos as lazy, uncultured, and immoral, and when the “black legend” highly colored most portrayals of Spanish history in the Americas. Old Spain in the Southwest portrays Hispanic people as highly cultured and deeply ethical. Otero wrote that doors dis not need to be locked in Hispanic New Mexico, for no-one would enter another’s house without permission. Parents were honored, religion respected, and hard work encouraged. The book is also a treasure trove of interesting tidbits about music, traditional stories, farming, and food. Her description of the menu for feast days is mouth-watering:
The menu was always the same: caldo blanco—clear soup, pollo con arroz—chicken with rice, asados—roast meat, carne de olla—boiled meat, albondigas con asafran—meatballs seasoned with an herb; such vegetables as the garden produced, or in winter, pumpkins, chili, and whatever vegetables had been dried. Canned goods were avoided as dangerous until Americans experimented with this kind of food, bringing it with them from “the States.” For dessert, there was a milk custard called natillas, and arroze con leche, rice cooked in sweetened milk.
In 1937, she accepted an appointment as director for literacy education for the Civilian Conservation Corps. She later served as a director of the WPA in Rio Piedras in Puerto Rico, tackling literacy and issues of multiculturalism in education.
The great love of Nina Otero-Warren’s life was Mamie Meadors, a Texas native who had come to New Mexico seeking a cure for tuberculosis. The women were political, business, and personal partners from the early 1920s until Mamie’s death in 1951. They lived together on the ranch they called Las Dos. (You can see photographs of the house today here.) Long after retirement, Nina remained a visible part of Santa Fe politics and society, promoting Mexican-American arts, culture, and history through festivals and other events. She died on January 3, 1965. In her memory, St.John’s College of Santa Fe set up the Nina Otero-Warren scholarship for students of Hispanic descent, certainly a fitting tribute. In 2013, a Santa Fe elementary school was named for her. In Albuquerque, she is portrayed in a mural called “Frutos de la Expresion,” which honors voting rights. She is portrayed next to Miguel Trujillo, champion of Native American voting rights.
Somehow, I don’t think she’d be voting for Donald Trump.
Louden’s absurd claim that “the Clinton Foundation hangs onto more than 80 percent of the money that is raised” is fact-checked by CNN’s Carol Costello, who easily finds it to be false: “The bulk of the Clinton Foundation’s charitable work is actually performed in house. And last year, one independent watchdog did an analysis of the foundation’s funding and found that 89 percent of its funding went to charity, earning it an ‘A’ rating.”
By contrast, Trump University was a for-profit institution accused of bilking people out of their money by fraudulent claims—and Donaldlined his pockets: “The records indicate, for example, that Trump University collected approximately $40 million from its students–who included veterans, retired police officers and teachers–and that Trump personally received approximately $5 million of it, despite his claim, repeated in our interview, that he started Trump University as a charitable venture.”
...If Donald really wants to take Trump University toe-to-toe with the Clinton Foundation, good luck to him. I’m sure he’ll have just as much luck as he will going toe-to-toe with Hillary.
There is even an entire book devoted to Clinton’s faith, “God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life.” The author, Paul Kengor, executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at the conservative Grove City College, writes in the preface that “some things regarding Hillary Clinton and her faith are clear: Although no one can profess to know any individual’s heart and soul, there seems no question that Hillary is a sincere, committed Christian and has been since childhood.”
In an interview with Christianity Today, Kengor said that Clinton has often butted heads with conservative evangelical Christians on issues such as abortion, and that Clinton “walks step by step with the Methodist leadership into a very liberal Christianity. She is with them lockstep on almost all issues.”
“We do, in fact, know about Hillary’s religion,” Kengor wrote to us in an email. “In fact, we know enough about Hillary’s faith that I was able to write a 334-page book titled God and Hillary Clinton way back in 2007, and I’ve written dozens of articles and given numerous interviews on the subject since—and I’m not the only one. I think that what Donald Trump was telling us is that he knows nothing about Hillary’s faith. For me as a conservative, that doesn’t surprise me one bit, as I’ve noticed painfully and repeatedly that Donald Trump also knows nothing about conservatism.”
The campaign Twitter account also mocked Donald’s campaign slogan, “I’m with you”:
BabyCenter analyzed the roughly 115,000 baby names registered on the site and found that the name Hillary increased 142 percent in popularity since this time last year. The names Bill, Chelsea and Charlotte rose 113 percent, 18 percent and 17 percent respectively.
...Since last June, the name Hamilton has increased almost 60 percent in popularity. Meanwhile Jefferson is up 171 percent, James rose 25 percent, George increased by 21 percent and Maria is up almost 22 percent.
“The combination of ‘Hamilton’s’ success and the election year has parents feeling patriotic,” Murray explained, adding, “When parents reach into history to select a leader’s name for their child, it’s usually because they feel inspired by that person’s values and legacy. The Broadway show’s multi-ethnic, cross-culture story speaks to millennial parents. Hamilton is the new Lincoln or Madison.”