Hillary News & Views 6/3/16: A Foreign Policy Address for the Ages
Guest post by violining247
What a day to have the privilege of doing the HNV roundup! Hands down yesterday’s biggest news story was Hillary’s foreign policy address in San Diego, where she absolutely eviscerated, shredded, stomped on, and then lit fire to Donald Trump and his candidacy. Remember the game-changer that was the Benghazi hearing in October (come on, how could you not)? Yesterday was pretty much a repeat of that, from Hillary’s pwn-age of the event itself to the glowing coverage afterwards.
First of all, here’s a video of the full speech. Treat yourself and watch the whole thing, if you’re able.
(P.S. Notice who was wearing orange yesterday?)
Some excerpts featured below.
As Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady, I had the honor of representing America abroad and helping shape our foreign policy at home. As a candidate for President, there’s nothing I take more seriously than our national security. I’ve offered clear strategies for how to defeat ISIS, strengthen our alliances, and make sure Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. And I’m going to keep America’s security at the heart of my campaign.
Because as you know so well, Americans aren’t just electing a President in November. We’re choosing our next commander-in-chief – the person we count on to decide questions of war and peace, life and death.
And like many across our country and around the world, I believe the person the Republicans have nominated for President cannot do the job.
Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different – they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas – just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.
He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.
This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes – because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.
He believes we can treat the U.S. economy like one of his casinos and default on our debts to the rest of the world, which would cause an economic catastrophe far worse than anything we experienced in 2008.
He has said that he would order our military to carry out torture and the murder of civilians who are related to suspected terrorists – even though those are war crimes.
He says he doesn’t have to listen to our generals or our admirals, our ambassadors and other high officials, because he has – quote – “a very good brain.”
He also said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.” You know what? I don’t believe him.
Unlike him, I have some experience with the tough calls and the hard work of statecraft. I wrestled with the Chinese over a climate deal in Copenhagen, brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, negotiated the reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia, twisted arms to bring the world together in global sanctions against Iran, and stood up for the rights of women, religious minorities and LGBT people around the world.
And I have, I have sat in the Situation Room and advised the President on some of the toughest choices he faced.
So I’m not new to this work. And I’m proud to run on my record, because I think the choice before the American people in this election is clear.
I believe in strong alliances; clarity in dealing with our rivals; and a rock-solid commitment to the values that have always made America great. And I believe with all my heart that America is an exceptional country – that we’re still, in Lincoln’s words, the last, best hope of earth. We are not a country that cowers behind walls. We lead with purpose, and we prevail.
And if America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum – and that will either cause chaos, or other countries will rush in to fill the void. Then they’ll be the ones making the decisions about your lives and jobs and safety – and trust me, the choices they make will not be to our benefit.
That is not an outcome we can live with.
[T]here is no question that the world and the United States, we are safer now than we were before [the Iran] agreement. And we accomplished it without firing a single shot, dropping a single bomb or putting a single American soldier in harm’s way.
Donald Trump says we shouldn’t have done the deal. We should have walked away. But that would have meant no more global sanctions, and Iran resuming their nuclear program and the world blaming us. So then what? War? Telling the world, good luck, you deal with Iran?
Of course Trump doesn’t have answers to those questions. Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program. Ask him. It’ll become very clear, very quickly.
There’s no risk of people losing their lives if you blow up a golf-course deal.
So the stakes in global statecraft are infinitely higher and more complex than in the world of luxury hotels. We all know the tools Donald Trump brings to the table – bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets – I’m willing to bet he’s writing a few right now.
I have to say, I don’t understand Donald’s bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America. He praised China for the Tiananmen Square massacre; he said it showed strength. He said, “You’ve got to give Kim Jong Un credit” for taking over North Korea – something he did by murdering everyone he saw as a threat, including his own uncle, which Donald described gleefully, like he was recapping an action movie. And he said if he were grading Vladimir Putin as a leader, he’d give him an A.
Now, I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.
I just wonder how anyone could be so wrong about who America’s real friends are. Because it matters. If you don’t know exactly who you’re dealing with, men like Putin will eat your lunch.
And through all his loose talk, there’s one constant theme: demonizing Muslims and playing right into the hands of ISIS’. His proposal to ban 1.5 billion Muslims from even coming to our country doesn’t just violate the religious freedom our country was founded on. It’s also a huge propaganda victory for ISIS. And it alienates the very countries we need to actually help us in this fight.
A Trump Presidency would embolden ISIS. We cannot take that risk.
This isn’t reality television – this is actual reality.
I remember being in the Situation Room with President Obama, debating the potential Bin Laden operation. The President’s advisors were divided. The intelligence was compelling but far from definitive. The risks of failure were daunting. The stakes were significant for our battle against al Qaeda and our relationship with Pakistan. Most of all, the lives of those brave SEALs and helicopter pilots hung in the balance.
It was a decision only the President could make. And when he did, it was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve ever seen.
Now imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room, making life-or-death decisions on behalf of the United States. Imagine him deciding whether to send your spouses or children into battle. Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.
Do we want him making those calls – someone thin-skinned and quick to anger, who lashes out at the smallest criticism? Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?
This election is a choice between two very different visions of America.
One that’s angry, afraid, and based on the idea that America is fundamentally weak and in decline.
The other is hopeful, generous, and confident in the knowledge that America is great – just like we always have been.
A full transcript is available on Time’s website, which you should definitely go read if you can’t watch the video. Excerpting doesn’t do it justice! It was pitch-perfect in every way...she simultaneously mocked the Donald while conveying the very serious threat he would pose to the country and the world. In doing so, she showed her sense of humor, intelligence, and preparedness, contrasting herself markedly with her general election opponent. Expect more of this strategy from her, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama (!!!) when the Dream Team hits the ground running starting...probably next Wednesday!
As for reactions, predictably, the Orange One got in a Twitter snit right around the part of Hillary’s speech where she suggested he might be composing nasty tweets about her:
Yeah...it was a great day in terms of coverage for Hillary (how often do we get to say that?!). The speech’s reception has been pretty well-diaried on DailyKos, so for more reactions across the press and blogosphere, see floridageorge’s diary from yesterday, which is a great roundup of both press coverage, DKos diaries, and other sources.
Barring something truly extraordinary, Hillary Clinton will be declared the presumptive nominee for president by the news media, probably on Tuesday after the results in New Jersey. It will happen even if she loses every remaining contest, and it will probably happen before the polls even close in California (no doubt igniting the fury of some Bernie Sanders supporters).
HOW IS SHE GOING TO CLINCH?
Mrs. Clinton has 2,310 delegates, according to The Associated Press, putting her just 73 short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination.
She will cover at least half the distance this weekend, when Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands hold caucuses worth a combined 79 delegates.
She would then go over the top with New Jersey, not long after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, as Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight has pointed out. The state is worth 142 delegates, and Mrs. Clinton will be awarded many of them when the polls close.
Basically, math. I don’t know about you all, but I will be tuned in to CNN and refreshing Twitter like a maniac when 8 p.m. EST rolls around next Tuesday, and have definite plans to go out and drink some champagne not long after!
Speaking of end-of-the-primary enthusiasm, U.S. News had a lovely article about how the neverending talk of Hillary’s “enthusiasm gap” silences the political voices of women and minorities, a theme that has been pointed in Hillary circles for quite some time now.
Hillary Clinton is on the cusp of securing the Democratic nomination, making her the first woman ever to be nominated to run for president by any major political party in the United States. Despite a formidable challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton is significantly ahead in delegates, and has more votes than any other candidate in the race from any party – more than 13 million votes in all. Why, then, do journalists and pundits persist in asserting a lack of enthusiasm for Clinton, claiming that she does not inspire?
It would be one thing if the data actually supported this narrative. But polling data belies this enthusiasm gap. For example, a Gallup poll conducted in late March found that 54 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners are enthusiastic about Clinton, compared to 44 percent for Bernie Sanders. There are numerous other examples as well, from young girls awed by Secretary Clinton, to older women hoping to see a woman president in their lifetime, to bereaved mothers, to former staffers telling stories that illustrate why they admire her, to critics explaining how she won them over, to Democratic fathers of young daughters who support her candidacy.
But why did this disconnect emerge in the first place? Part of it is the different ways of measuring enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for Sanders is evidenced by enormous rallies and his fervent supporters, which do not always translate into wins at the ballot box. Clinton's support comes largely from women and people of color, especially women of color. Women are generally less inclined to attend large rallies, and are less vocal in their support of Clinton on social media. Given that public advocates for Clinton are often harassed, it is no small wonder that many Clinton supporters feel compelled to do so in secret. This may in part explain differences in very public expressions of enthusiasm for Sanders compared to higher enthusiasm for Clinton in polls like Gallup.
More generally, as research by political scientists Christopher Karpowitz and Tali Mendelberg demonstrates, women's voices are often less amplified in public political discussions. And of course, when women do raise their voices they are frequently accused of shouting.
The choice of which metrics are highlighted by the media in spinning this narrative is particularly troubling given the lack of representation of women of all races and men of color in the news media both as journalists and as commentators. As feminist blogger Melissa McEwan argues, enthusiastic support for Clinton "just so happens to be concentrated among populations who are not well-represented among the media influencers primarily responsible for driving this narrative."
It is further important to note that existing indicators of enthusiasm that are part of the narrative may not capture the ways in which voters may be enthusiastic about and inspired by Clinton. For example, Clinton explicitly mainstreams "women's issues" by centering them in discussions of heath care, economic policy and gun violence. Women may therefore be inspired and enthusiastic not just because they see Clinton as a role model, but because they hear their lives and experiences being talked about in a meaningful way. All the more reason, then, not to discount that enthusiasm.
Finally, for those of you in California, keep an eye on Hillary’s schedule over the next few days. She and Bill are making a big GOTV push across the state, so if you’re able to get to an event, you should absolutely go! For the rest of us who are not in California, why not hit the phones? Polling is all over the place and it looks like things could be tight, so let’s give our awesome, ass-kicking candidate the boost that she deserves in the last big contest of the primary and end this thing on a high note!