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Today’s Hillary News & Views is the end of the beginning. After almost a year of covering the primary election, we have now moved on to the general election. Here are some articles about the significance of our victory, how it came together, and where we go from here.
Washington Post reports:
Minutes before her address declaring victory as the Democratic presidential nominee Tuesday evening, Hillary Clinton was worried she might not make it through her prepared remarks without crying.
“I was overwhelmed,” Clinton said in an interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday.
“It just was a sense of momentous historic experience — that I was part of it and it really was hard to actually, you know, make sense of it,” Clinton said, marvelling a day later at the sight of thousands of supporters crowded into a Brooklyn warehouse to celebrate.
“I was worried that if, when I went out to speak, just the emotion of the moment would be so intense that I might have trouble getting through the speech itself. So I did have to collect myself and try to get prepared.”
She said Wednesday that she had to work especially hard to keep her composure during a long passage crediting her late mother, Dorothy, with setting an example of hard work and kindness.
“I practiced the part about my mother several times, because I teared up every time I practiced it. And I tried to get myself so that I could be, you know, a little more used to saying it. And it still was for me personally one of the most extraordinary and meaningful public experiences I’ve ever had.”Here’s newly released video from right before Tuesday night’s speech:
This is truly incredible. Pass it on https://t.co/qAYANOumQI— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) June 8, 2016
Los Angeles Times reports on how Clinton won California:
Hillary Clinton won a commanding victory over Bernie Sanders in the California primary because she meticulously targeted voters, ventured outside of traditional Democratic strongholds, and sharpened her focus on the stakes of a Donald Trump presidency.
Clinton’s California campaign used that time to aggressively target people likely to vote by mail, who already skew toward Clinton because they tend to be older and frequent voters. Clinton banked a large lead among these voters before polls showed a tightening race in California.
“There was a massive effort starting weeks before people even received their ballots, a really sophisticated vote chase where we had gone through and figured out who were our voters and we really relentlessly pursued them,” said Ace Smith, a senior advisor to Clinton’s California effort. “We had a list and we checked it twice. Actually way more than twice.”
The campaign also aggressively focused on demographics that have traditionally supported Clinton — minorities and women. They advertised and were able to call voters in six languages in addition to English. Women-to-women phone banks were held every Wednesday. In the final four days of the campaign, volunteers made more than 2 million calls to voters.
Of particular interest were African Americans, who have a long relationship with Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, but who had abandoned her to support then-Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 primary. Elected officials, faith leaders and celebrities such as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar campaigned on Clinton’s behalf in places like South Los Angeles.
“The focus on the early vote and the focus on diversity I think is really a big piece of how and why we won,” said Buffy Wicks, Clinton’s state director.Vox reports on the radicalism of Clinton’s pre-speech video:
You can tell at a glance that the video's diverse, but you can't immediately see that it's (in some ways) intersectional — attuned not just to women's rights but to women fighting for the rights of other marginalized groups.
The video may quote Gloria Steinem (who's fallen out of favor among some younger feminists for her at times tone-deaf support of Clinton), but it quotes her giving a 1971 speech in which she called for a feminism that addressed race and class as well.
The teen girl identifying herself as a "new suffragist" in voiceover is Madison Kimrey, who briefly became internet famous in 2013 when she gave a passionate speech attacking North Carolina's voter ID laws. The video features black trans* activists Blossom Brown and Cherno Biko; it also features Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, who's become involved in racial justice efforts after the death of her son.
Since none of the women in the video are identified by name or role, most viewers probably won't recognize all of them. They're basically Easter eggs for the politically aware. But that's significant in its own right: As she pivots to the general election, Hillary Clinton is making a point of featuring some of the core Democratic and progressive constituencies and issues that have gotten her here.
Even viewers who don't recognize many (or any) of the women in the video will notice something striking: Clinton is, time and again, celebrating activists. The images and videos are overwhelmingly from rallies and protests. And not just protests that are far enough in the past to be politically safe, like civil rights marches, but footage from racial justice protests of the past few years (which are often considered disruptive at best and associated with riots at worst).
No one in Clinton's video is a "normal" person, a civilian, just trying to live her life. They're all holding signs and making noise. They're all fighting the status quo, hard.
They're intended to be inspiring. They may be polarizing.Fortune reports on the women who came before Clinton:
There always has to be a first. Though she just became the first woman to clinch the nomination of either major U.S. political party, Hillary Clinton wasn’t by any stretch the first woman to run for President. Her success, as she noted in her victory speech Tuesday night in New York City, comes as she stands on the shoulders of generations of American women.
“Thanks to you, we’ve reached a milestone: the first time in our nation’s history that a woman will be a major party’s nominee,” she said. “Tonight it really is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible.”
At least 35 women have run for President since Victoria Woodhull announced her groundbreaking candidacy in a letter to the New YorkHerald on April 2, 1870.
Considering this was 50 years before women won the right to vote, her bid was pretty astonishing. Never mind that 33-year-old Woodhull wasn’t legally old enough to become President, she won the Equal Right’s Party nomination and selected as her running mate Frederick Douglass, the renowned former slave and abolitionist leader. Woodhull, whose open marriage was the talk of New York, traveled the county promoting her platform of suffrage, “free love” and birth control. She once declared marriage to be nothing more than “legalized prostitution.”
“There is no escaping the fact that the principle by which the male citizens of these United States assume to rule the female citizens is not that of self-government, but that of despotism,” she declared in an 1871 speech. “King George III and his Parliament denied our forefathers the right to make their own laws; they rebelled, and being successful, inaugurated this government. But men do not seem to comprehend that they are now pursuing toward women the same despotic course that King George pursued toward the American colonies.” Woodhull’s revolution would be another 145 years in the making.CNN reports on the historic nature of Clinton’s victory:
Ninety-six years after women won the right to vote, a woman stands a chance of winning the White House.
Hillary Clinton -- former first lady, former U.S. senator, and former secretary of state -- has become the first woman to capture a major-party nomination for president, taking another step in a journey that once seemed impossible, but over the last eight years has seemed inevitable.
On Tuesday, after victories in California and New Jersey, she was embracing the historic nature of her accomplishment.
"This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings, no limits on any of us and this is our moment to come together," she said in a nod to her 2008 concession speech, in which she said that campaign had put cracks in the "highest, hardest glass ceiling."
Clinton's close primary loss to Barack Obama in 2008 was itself historic, setting up the nomination of Sarah Palin as a running mate on the Republican side, and the sense that a woman in the White House was an eventuality.
Eight years later, Clinton has a shot at making that sense a reality.
New York Times reports that President Obama is coming off the sidelines:"This is the most historic moment for women in politics that we've seen in contemporary times,"said Jennifer Lawless, co-author of "Women on the Run" and director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. "If you look back to the '18 million cracks' speech, that seemed monumental and that was a loss. Symbolically it's a big deal, and substantively, it means that the country is willing to move forward with a female president."
President Obama will use an Oval Office meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Thursday morning to delicately nudge the losing Democratic presidential hopeful toward a full embrace of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and a unified party effort to defeat Donald J. Trump in the fall, according to administration aides.
The conversation, the fifth that Mr. Obama will have had with Mr. Sanders since the primaries began, is to be part of a choreographed series of moves Mr. Obama set in motion this week that are designed to quickly bridge the divide between the two Democratic presidential candidates laid bare in the last few months. The strategy will culminate with the president’s formal endorsement of Mrs. Clinton in the coming days, followed by an appearance with her on the campaign trail soon after.
Mr. Obama’s message is intended to be unmistakable: The time has come for Mr. Sanders to harness his formidable constituency in support of his onetime rival even as he continues to press for the progressive policies that animated his base. But it is also clear to the White House that Mr. Obama must broker this particular intraparty peace treaty with patience and respect, or risk angering Mr. Sanders and his millions of supporters.
To that end, the president will delay any endorsement of Mrs. Clinton until after the meeting with Mr. Sanders. And a joint appearance is unlikely until after the Democratic primary in the District of Columbia on Tuesday. Mr. Obama will not pressure Mr. Sanders to make a concession before that contest, the final one in the long primary season, advisers said.
In a taped appearance on “The Tonight Show” that is to be broadcast Thursday night, Mr. Obama praised Mr. Sanders, saying he brought “enormous energy” and “new ideas” to the campaign. The president said Mr. Sanders pushed his rival, making her a better candidate.
“She is whip smart, she is tough and she deeply cares about working people and putting kids through school,” Mr. Obama said, citing some of Mr. Sanders’s main concerns about Mrs. Clinton. “My hope is over the next couple weeks, we’re able to pull things together.”
The Atlantic reports on Clinton’s remarkable political comeback:
In retrospect, it seems obvious that Hillary Clinton emerged from her 2008 defeat to become the front-runner in 2016. But at the time, it wasn’t obvious at all. Once a generational succession takes place in presidential politics, as happened when Obama beat Clinton, the older generation generally fades away. “Are the lights finally going out on the Clinton era?” asked The Guardian after Clinton conceded defeat. Gawker declared, “The Clinton era has ended.” Noting that Ted Kennedy, after losing to Jimmy Carter in 1980, committed himself to the Senate and never sought the presidency again, The Washington Post in May 2008 reported, “Many Democrats are now pointing to the Kennedy model as a path for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.” When Clinton accepted the job as Obama’s secretary of state, a former aide told The New York Times: “There’s a very small chance that she could run again. You’re not going to be the president, so you want to make sure your next few years, which may be your last in public life, really make a mark.”
We may never know exactly when Clinton decided to take another shot. But in so doing, despite her advanced age and despite the humiliation of her 2008 defeat, she displayed a resilience surpassed only by Nixon. It’s a quality she has had all along. In his biography, A Woman in Charge, Carl Bernstein noted that when Hillary, then 14 years old, was being bullied by a bigger girl at school, her mother told her to punch her tormenter. “There’s no room in this house,” she declared, “for cowards.” Elizabeth Drew wrote that after Bill Clinton’s disastrous 1988 nominating speech for Michael Dukakis, Hillary “literally picked him up, got him out of bed and made him face people.” And in March 2008, when Hillary won the Ohio primary despite being far behind Obama in the delegate count, she dedicated her victory to “everyone here in Ohio and across America, who’s ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out and for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up. This one is for you.”
Over the past 30 years, no American political figure has absorbed as many blows as Clinton. And none has responded with more tenacity and grit. Trump talks endlessly about strength. Clinton embodies it.From the Los Angeles Times editorial board, a nudge to Bernie Sanders and his supporters:
Despite Sanders’ pledge Tuesday night to “continue the fight,” the contest for the Democratic nomination is effectively over — and not because the system was rigged in Clinton’s favor or because she was given a free pass by the “corporate media.”
With only next week’s District of Columbia primary remaining on the schedule, Clinton has outperformed Sanders in the total number of votes cast, states won and pledged delegates earned. On Tuesday she won in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, leaving Sanders to claim North Dakota and Montana. True, she won’t actually be the nominee until a vote at the Democratic National Convention. But even Sanders can’t honestly believe that so-called superdelegates — prominent party members who overwhelmingly support Clinton — will transfer their allegiance to him.
As for Clinton, she is now in sight of a political personal best that would have huge historical significance. As we said in endorsing her, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State has demonstrated a mastery of foreign and domestic policy that would position her well, even if she were facing a similarly knowledgeable and well-prepared Republican opponent.
That she instead will be opposed by Trump, an intemperate, intolerant and ill-informed businessman and television reality star, ought to be a source of optimism for her and her party. But Trump’s improbable success in capturing the Republican nomination counsels against complacency.
Clinton is on notice that, even with such problematic competition, she must show that she not only is competent but capable of articulating a vision of prosperity and national renewal. Sanders can provide valuable assistance in that undertaking, and he should start doing so now.The Pride LA reports on the LGBT victories embedded in Clinton’s primary victory:
Drink this in: on Tuesday night, June 7, 2016, Hillary Clinton shattered America’s 240-year old glass ceiling, becoming the first woman nominated by a major political party to be their candidate for President of the United States. Even before Clinton won California by 56% of the vote, she had secured enough pledged delegates to declare victory over rival democratic socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary. But what many do not realize is that Clinton was lead to that milestone by Robby Mook, the first openly gay campaign manager of a major presidential campaign in U.S. history. And not only did Clinton nod to the LGBT community in her speech, she included two transgender women in her victory video, watched by millions before she came onstage.
And when Clinton said “with liberty and justice for all,” and emphasized “all” – she backed her words up with action—highlighting visuals of black transgender activistCherno Biko, www.nbcnews.com/... with a voice over from another transgender activist, Blossom Brown, an HRC Christian volunteer from Mississippi www.hrc.org/... in a video that shows a young Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmer Workers movement and Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress and the first woman to run for president.
“I want to help give back. I’ve met so many other transgender people–their voices haven’t always been heard but I’ve told them, ‘Our time is coming. We’re going to change the world together,” says Brown in the video.Brian Dickerson writes for Detroit Free Press:
My wife still bristles when she recalls the day the boys in the Oak Park neighborhood she grew up in grudgingly admitted her 13-year-old self to their all-male poker game.
A shrewd card player all her life, she proceeded to win the pot. But her churlish tablemates refused to pay up.
“We don’t pay girls,” she recalls one of them saying, explicitly delineating the message that her victory was somehow counterfeit.
Bernie Sanders styles himself as the most progressive candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign. But he revealed a similarly Neanderthal sensibility Tuesday night when he refused to concede the Democratic nomination to a female opponent who had just won it fair and square.
Could it be that Sanders, a visionary in so many ways, is no more evolved than the teenagers who robbed my wife of her legitimate poker winnings?
It’s possible, I suppose, that the septuagenarian senator from Vermont was displaying only the extra helping of narcissism that is allotted to every candidate for national office. When you’ve been all-me-all-the-time for the better part of a year, it’s hard to make the transition to selfless magnanimity.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Sanders dissing the first black man to win a major party’s presidential nomination the way he ignored the first woman. Even a 74-year-old white guy from Vermont knows better than that.
But some reflexes — and some character deficits — are harder to overcome. And in the fading twilight of this year’s Democratic primary campaign, Sanders is looking less like an elder statesmen and more like a surly teenager who just got his ass kicked by a girl.Politico reports on the importance of the Obama coalition:
Minority voters are more likely than white Democratic voters to giddily give Obama credit for an economic recovery that has shaved the unemployment rate in half, produced the lowest level of jobless claims since the ‘70s, and an unprecedented monthly job creation streak that has lasted more than six years, all coming on the heels of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. And he got Osama bin Laden, saved the domestic auto industry, ushered through the largest economic stimulus in history—one derisively dismissed as too small by many liberals—and the first significant Wall Street reform in a generation, while advancing gay rights like no president before him despite the initial reluctance by his numerous religious black voters to embrace same sex marriage.
Why? Because many white Democratic voters missed the sentiment shared among black Obama voters in 2008 that, once again, the “first black” was being handed a seemingly impossible task—two ground wars, a collapsing economy, a record deficit—and if he wasn’t able to perform a miracle, it would not only be his failure, but that of black people in general. To downplay what he has been able to achieve despite the obstacles, which also included an unprecedented level of obstruction from the GOP, confirms a fear shared by many people of color—Democratic or otherwise—that no matter what they achieve, it will never be enough. Sanders and Susan Sarandon may sincerely believe things are so awful only a revolution can heal the country’s ills. But their overwrought rhetoric, and no more than lukewarm support of Obama’s accomplishments, taps into that deeply-held frustration among minorities.
That’s why, despite what looks like intractable problems to white Democrats, minority voters are more optimistic about the future than their white counterparts. That Obama was able to become president and get stuff done is an enormous source of not only pride, but hope. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than half of young black and Latinos believe their lives will be better than their parents, compared with less than a third of young white people. On many measures, black people have seen much worse days—the black unemployment rate neared 17 percent at the height of the Great Recession and is less than half that now—even as they continue fighting decades-long struggles. Things aren’t perfect, but the progress that has occurred during the Obama era isn’t something they want ignored or downplayed. Given that reality, why would they believe in the need for a revolution?
That’s why Clinton’s full embrace of Obama during the campaign and her promise to improve, not dismantle, his policies was political brilliance in a Democratic primary in which a candidate can’t expect to win without a large share of the minority vote. The only way so many talented writers and political observers could miss the racial divide within the Democratic Party this election cycle is to either ignore the overwhelming data, or to forget (or pretend) that young, minority Democratic voters don’t exist.
And this remains an under-reported reality of the primary that needs more attention:
We didn’t know where Hillary’s votes were coming from bc they didn’t feel it was safe to tell us in the first place. pic.twitter.com/pc4pKY1PiJ— Joanna Castle Miller (@jocastlemiller) June 8, 2016
Amanda Marcotte writes for Salon:
Melissa McEwan writes to Hillary Clinton for Blue Nation Review:
All election cycles get mired in the day-to-day churn, but 2016, with its contentious Democratic primary and the daily what-did-Donald-say horror story, is worse than most. So much so that the huge historical impact of Hillary Clinton securing the Democratic nomination — making her the first woman in history to be a major party presidential nominee — only seemed to hit supporters emotionally on Tuesday night, when her all-but-certain nomination became an indisputable mathematical fact.
For a brief, shining moment, everyone stopped talking about the latest stupid thing Donald Trump said or what byzantine argument about superdelegates Bernie Sanders is trotting out today. Instead, they soaked in the fact that we were really, truly witnessing history here.
Not only is a woman a major party nominee for president, but she is probably going to win. There have been queens and female world leaders before, many with immense power. But Clinton is making a play to be the most powerful woman ever elected to public office in the history of our country, arguably the most powerful woman elected to public office in history. For a moment, there was a pause as that fact sunk in.
The Clinton campaign, however, was quite aware of what this moment meant and built the rally around it, framing her win in terms so explicitly feminist that it was truly shocking. This was not the tepid Clinton campaign of ’08, where the candidate was fearful of even mentioning gender, lest people clue into the fact that she was a woman. This is a Clinton who is owning and embracing feminism, making her victory a symbol of how far women really have come.
As the 19th and 20th-century feminists that Clinton invoked during her rally could have told her, for women, victory never comes easily. Even though Clinton had smashing victories Tuesday — winning California in a blowout with 56% of the vote — that put her well over the top in both pledged and superdelegates, getting her victory acknowledged is still like pulling teeth.
But even if some in the mainstream media are cautious about admitting that Clinton won, the folks at the Clinton rally were not doubting for a moment that they were witnessing history. The words “history” or “historical” fell from the lips of nearly every person I spoke with and the air was positively buzzing with excitement.
At most rallies, the staff’s efforts go into keeping the crowd pumped, because energies can flag after hours of standing around waiting for the candidate to speak. But at this rally, the staff seemed to be dialing it down a little, turning off the TV screens so that people didn’t go hog wild at every minor primary victory. There were more than a few people on the verge of tears.
The New York Times headlines can say what they want, but the people in the room that night know the story they’ll always tell was they were there the night the first female president cinched the nomination.It is fitting for me to close out this final primary season edition of Hillary News & Views with my favorite writer, one who has been a staple of HNV since the beginning.
Melissa McEwan writes to Hillary Clinton for Blue Nation Review:
Thank you for being first to reach this summit, if not the first to walk the trail. Thank you for listening to the women who went before, for honoring them, for learning from them, for building on what they started, for giving them credit.
Thank you for bringing us along. For being a woman who uplifts other women; who never positions herself as superior to other women; who doesn’t audit other women’s expressions and experiences of womanhood...
Thank you for making history, though you will not get sufficient credit for the colossal amount of work you did to get here — to reach this moment.
It is a moment so overwhelming, I can barely put into words its enormity. I still can’t even say the words, “first female presidential nominee of a major party,” without tears spilling from my eyes.
I am so moved by what you have accomplished, what it has taken you to get here and the obstacles you’ve overcome, that I feel like my heart may burst right out of my chest.
And yet: The historical nature of your candidacy is treated as though it’s barely remarkable. A footnote. An aside. Inevitable.
Which ought to make me furious. But the fact that you have made shattering a 227-year-old glass ceiling look inevitable is testament to how thoroughly you have changed the landscape. You have taken centuries of acrimonious exclusion, and rendered them a relic.
In the strangest way – and most expected, for anyone who has paid attention to women who make history – the fact that you are greeted as just another boring old candidate, by people who aren’t inclined to appreciate the seismic shift of your achievement, is the most pointed evidence of its profundity.
Oh her. Yeah, all she had to do was be extraordinary.
I will be appreciating this familiar irony as I sip champagne tonight, to mark the history you’ve made. And my toast will be this: Thank you, Hillary Clinton. Here’s to you.
Then I will get back to work, doing whatever I can to make sure I have the chance to toast your making history again in November.
It’s the least I can do to show my thanks.
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