Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hillary News & Views 7.21.16: VP News, HCC Endorsement, Evangelical Women, and Captain America

From the Clinton campaign

Guest post by aphra behn

In today’s HNV, I want to start by giving the GOP Convention all of the the Very Serious Commentary it deserves:
… And now that’s done with, on with the positive Hillary Clinton coverage!
Clinton is set to make her VP announcement in Florida this weekend. According to CNN, there are two favorites:
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have emerged as leading contenders after a rigorous vetting process, Democrats close to the selection believe, but they are not the only two prospects still in contention."The conventional wisdom in this case seems likely to be right," one Democrat close to Clinton told CNN, believing Kaine has the upper hand but cautioning that Clinton could still deliver a surprise.
The deliberations, led by campaign chairman John Podesta, have been extraordinarily private -- a striking contrast to those of Donald Trump. But Democrats say former President Bill Clinton also has been involved in discussions and is impressed by Kaine, who has the support of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton ally.
"He gets a say, but doesn't have a vote on this," one Clinton friend said of the former president.
Other sources suggest that Tom Perez is also a top contender:
Kaine has been considered a leading contender for weeks based on his broad experience in Virginia, a presidential battleground state, as governor, senator and mayor of Richmond. He also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as a lawyer working on fair housing and civil rights issues.
Vilsack, the longest-serving member of Obama's Cabinet, has known Clinton for many years -- his late brother-in-law worked with her in the early 1970s -- and she was among his most prominent surrogates in his come-from-behind gubernatorial victory in 1998.
Perez, meanwhile, is highly regarded by the White House for his policy chops and could potentially galvanize Latinos who have been turned off by Trump's harsh rhetoric about Latinos. The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Perez played a behind-the-scenes role as a federal prosecutor, a top aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and the head of the Justice Department's civil rights division.
I am sure there are many opinions on these choices. While having at it in comments, let’s remember to respect and listen to each other, following the great example set by our candidate. 
And however you feel about her pick—it’s going to be an exciting rally! She’s schedulingsomething big for Florida International University on Saturday. You can sign up for tickets here.
I love the way Clinton’s campaign keeps tweaking the Donald. From Fortune:
On Tuesday afternoon, a team of Hillary Clinton campaign staffers took to Facebook Live with a simple goal: “We think Donald J. Trump‘s been involved in more than 5,500 lawsuits,” the campaign posted on the social media site. “We’re going to try to read them all in under four hours.”
Surrounded by whiteboards and file boxes in a crowded campaign office, several members of Clinton’s opposition research team—Lauren Dillon, Tyson Brody, and an unnamed assistant—explained the logic of their stunt. (If you have four hours to kill, you can watch their efforts here.) “Trump has really made his business record a key centerpoint of his campaign. But there’s one thing that we know: He made millions off of ripping people off,” Dillon said.
Americans may never know the exact number of lawsuits that Trump has been a party to or involved in. As Clinton’s opposition research team came to the end of their four hours of allotted Facebook Live time, they had only made it a little past 3,150. “We failed,” Brody exclaimed. “I still have so many papers!” Dillon added. And other staffers crowded in, tossing confetti.
Then there’s this:
And this: Clinton Trolls Christie by Posting Video of Them Laughing and Hugging
In more serious news, the campaign also released a statement on condolence on the passing of Congressman Mark Takai.  Clinton also Tweeted a personally signed response to the big news on voting rights:
In other news, Clinton received the endorsement of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It is the first presidential endorsement in their 38 year history. (They had endorsed Clinton and Kasich in the primaries, but normally do not make an endorsement in the GE.)
Javier Palomarez, chamber president and CEO, told NBC News Latino in an exclusive interview that the chamber chose the Democrats' presumptive nominee Clinton over Donald Trump, who officially became the GOP nominee at the party's convention Tuesday night.
He said the chamber broke its 38-year tradition of neutrality in the elections because "these are extraordinary times."
He said the decision to break with history and back one of the candidates "is an unprecedented step for our organization and not one we took lightly." The chamber's board leans Republican, and debate over endorsing Clinton was "lively, robust." The board also is 50 percent men and 50 percent women.
"We believe they call for extraordinary measures," Palomarez said. "We believed Hillary Clinton was the right person for this job."
"They were all viable candidates at time and the only one who unscripted, unprompted said of her own accord that she wanted to be America's small business president was Hillary Clinton," Palomarez told NBC Latino.
Hey, do you want to read a nice story from her hometown paper about Tracey Lewis, one of Clinton’s top staffers and one of the most successful women of color in the Democratic party? Well, here it is!
"She is the best campaign operative that no one knows," said Nick Clemons, who hired Lewis to serve as field director in New Hampshire for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential primary campaign.
"She is a behind-the-scenes person to a fault," said Clemons, now district director for Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass. "I personally consider her to be one of the best campaign operatives in the country."
Those who have worked with Lewis on Democratic campaigns say she is a rare political organizer who is fiercely competitive yet compassionate, and focuses singularly on promoting candidates instead of her own career.

And now for some Thursday herstory! Since this edition is running between the nightmare of the GOP convention and our much-awaited Democratic convention, I thought it would be fun to focus on the two women who have come closest to being nominated by a major party in the United States before Hillary Clinton: Margaret Chase Smith(R) and Shirley Chisholm(D).
Margaret Chase Smith  was the first woman to be elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Born in 1897 in Skowhegan ME, she worked as a teacher, a telephone operator, journalist, and a mill manager before marrying Republican Clyde Smith, a politically ambitious newspaper owner, in 1930. When he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1936, Margaret served as his secretary, part-time speechwriter, and political partner. When he died in 1940, she won a special election to take his seat, and then was elected in her own right.
Margaret Chase Smith in the Senate
Serving during the Second World War, Smith was an important supporter of new wartime military opportunities for women, and maintained a keen interest in military issues throughout her career. As her biography at the National Museum of Women’s History states:
Just days after Pearl Harbor, Rep. Rogers introduced the bill that created the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), and when the Navy’s WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) began a few months later, Margaret Chase Smith was appropriately dubbed “mother of the WAVES.”  Again because her maritime expertise, she led the founding of the Coast Guard’s female unit, the SPARS, as well as the Women Marines.
She also sponsored the 1944 bill that finally allowed women in the naval branches to serve in Alaska, Hawaii and the Panama Canal Zone:  the WAC, in contrast had been on overseas fronts for two years, while both the Army Nurse Corps and the Navy Nurse Corps had served foreign duty for decades.  Their rank and pay never were equivalent to those of men, however, and Smith joined other congresswomen in improving that situation.  She personally inspected naval bases around the globe, and decades later, was a strong supporter of the space program.  NASA director said, “If it were not for a woman, Margaret Chase Smith, we never would have placed a man on the moon.”
In 1948, Smith won a Senate seat. When an opponent questioned whether women were suited to the Senate, Smith had a ready retort: “Women administer the home.They set the rules, enforce them, mete out justice for violations.  Thus, like Congress, they legislate; like the Executive, they administer; like the courts, they interpret the rules.  It is an ideal experience for politics.”
Smith would have a 24 year Senate career, during which she risked her own political future to stand up to McCarthyism. She drafted a "Declaration of Conscience" out of her dismay at the thinness of McCarthy’s evidence for his accusations. She had the support of just six fellow liberal Republicans:
As Smith headed to the Senate chamber on June 1, 1950, they encountered Senator McCarthy at the subway to the Capitol. "Margaret, you look very serious," he said, "are you going to make a speech?" "Yes, and you will not like it," Smith replied. "Remember Margaret, I control Wisconsin's twenty-seven convention votes!" he rebutted. Smith took this as an unsubtle threat that he would block her chances of receiving the Republican vice presidential nomination in 1952.
“I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear,” she began. She affirmed the threat of Communist infiltration, and criticized at length the “lack of effective leadership” from the Truman Administration in confronting its evils. She never mentioned McCarthy by name, but no one in attendance missed the real object of her criticism. “I speak as a Republican. I speak as a woman. I speak as a United States senator. I speak as an American,” she said. “Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism: the right to criticize; the right to hold unpopular beliefs; the right to protest; the right to independent thought. The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood.” …  Had a man delivered Smith’s Declaration of Conscience speech, [Bernard Baruch] was purported to have said, “he would be the next President of the United States.”
Smith and Eleanor Roosevelt appear jointly as the first women on “Face the Nation.”
A Gallup Poll ranked Smith as the fourth most admired woman in the word in 1954. By 1963, there were Republicans openly hoping she would run in 1964 against the charismatic John F Kennedy. In one of his last press conferences, Kennedy was asked about this possibility. Although reporters snickered at the idea, Kennedy gave a serious response:  “I think she is very formidable, if that is the appropriate word to use about a very fine lady. She is a very formidable political figure.”
In fact, Smith did run in 1964, using a  door to door approach. “I'm staying for the finish," she noted, "When people keep telling you, you can't do a thing, you kind of like to try." Although she won no primaries, she got 25 percent of the vote in Illinois, her best tally anywhere. She was the first woman to have her name put in for nomination at the GOP Convention. Unlike other candidate sin 1964, she did not release her delegates, and  came in second in the balloting: 883 for Goldwater, 26 for Smith.
Smith was by no means an unalloyed progressive; she chided Kennedy for not being wiling to use nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union and was a supporter of the Vietnam War. Yet she also supported Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, and public education. (And while never identifying as a feminist, she was instrumental in persuading the Senate to retain the language addressing sex-based discrimination in the Civil Right Act.)
It’s hard to imagine the GOP of today having any room for Margaret Chase Smith. But it’s hard to imagine the Democratic party of today without Shirley Chisholm, who paved the way for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In writing about her, I stand on the shoulders of giants. Regular HNV participant Denise Oliver-Velez has written, quite wonderfully, about Chisholm, in posts with lots of quotes, pictures, and outstanding detail. I won’t repeat her—do go have a look at her post! She writes:
In one dynamic package, Mrs. Chisholm combined many of the intersectional elements we have in front of us in today’s Democratic Party. She opened the campaign doors for African Americans and for women. She also took on the establishment, refusing to be bowed or cowed by the weight of the innumerable powerful interests that shape our political landscape. The essence of her campaign slogan—“Unbought and unbossed”—has been adopted by many who came after her.
Chisholm as a Congresswoman
Born in Brooklyn in 1924, Shirley spent part of her childhood in Barbados with her grandmother, an experience which helped shape her distinctive, faintly British, diction.   She later credited her rigorous Barbadian education for her success in life. A 1946 graduate of  Brooklyn College, she also earned a  master's degree in elementary education from Columbia University. After marrying Conrad Chisholm in 1949, she worked as a teacher and government consultant until her election to Congress in 1968. She was the first African-American woman in Congress, and only the second woman of color (joining Japanese-American Patsy Mink, Hawaii’s Congresswoman).
In Congress Chisholm quickly gained a reputation for being outspoken and determined. Her first floor speech protested the Vietnam War. Initially assigned to House Forestry Committee, she demanded reassignment to a committee relevant to her constituents. She  was reassigned to the  Veterans' Affairs Committee. (She is supposed to have quipped “There are a lot more veterans in my district than trees.” I could fill up this diary just with great quotes from Chisholm: "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." "Tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.")
In Congress, Chisholm  worked to improve immigrant rights, and helped design what became the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). She worked on consumer safety and national school lunches.She co-founded both the  Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 1971 and the Congressional Women's Caucus in 1977.
And when she wasn’t engaged in a deeply important struggle for women, children, and poor people, she ran for president! In announcing her 1972 campaign, she said:
I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States of America.
I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud.
I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that.
I am not the candidate of any political bosses or fat cats or special interests.
I stand here now without endorsements from many big name politicians or celebrities or any other kind of prop. I do not intend to offer to you the tired and glib cliches, which for too long have been an accepted part of our political life. I am the candidate of the people of America. And my presence before you now symbolizes a new era in American political history.
Her most notable victory came in New Jersey, where she won the non-binding June 6 primary with 67 percent. The media refused to take her seriously,  and she had to file a compliant with the FEC in order to participate in a televised debate. But it wasn’t just the media. Her campaign struggled for respect from fellow Dems:
She spoke of her bid in revolutionary terms—arguing, as a co-convener of the founding conference of the National Women’s Political Caucus, that “Women in this country must become revolutionaries. We must refuse to accept the old, the traditional roles and stereotypes.”That kind of talk, along with her refusal to reject the endorsement of the Black Panthers, scared the party establishment—including most prominent liberals—and Chisholm’s run was dismissed from the start as a marginal bid that would do nothing more than siphon votes off from better-known antiwar candidates such as McGovern and New York City Mayor John Lindsay.
Chisholm in 1965
Running an under-financed, grassroots campaign, proudly “Unbought and Unbossed,” Chisholm had little hope of winning. But she still gained  152 delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Florida—more than Ed Muskie or Hubert Humphrey. Of her campaign, she wrote in 1973:
I ran for the Presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo. The next time a woman runs, or a black, or a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is 'not ready' to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start....I ran because somebody had to do it first.
Chisholm went on to serve seven terms in the House before retiring to academia.
Margaret Chase Smith died in 1995. Read her obituary. She was honored with apostage stamp in 2008. Shirley Chisholm passed away in 2005. Read her obituary. She was honored with a postage stamp in 2014, largely thanks to the lobbying of Rep. Barbara Lee.

And now back to your regularly scheduled Clinton coverage! Katelyn Beaty at the Washington Post has a really interesting article with a terrible title, about young Evangelical Christian women who are drawn to Hillary Clinton. The title says “they just won’t vote for her,” but, uh, that’s not actually what the article says:
“Gender equality is rooted in my religious beliefs,” says [Karisa Johns] Smith, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Wheaton College, a prominent evangelical school in Illinois. “God created man and woman in his image, and gender inequality emerged post-Fall. So the movements of gender equality are works of God.”
If Clinton becomes president, says Smith, “I will probably cry. There’s finally somebody for my daughters — that you grow up believing you can be what you see.”
Liz Aleman, an attorney at the East Bay Children’s Law Offices in San Francisco, says it’s Clinton’s previous work with the Children’s Defense Fund that secures her vote as a Christian. Clinton worked for the Fund, founded by Marian Wright Edelman to advocate for poor and minority children’s education, after graduating from Yale Law School.
“Clinton could have gone straight and worked for a firm . . . but the fact that she started out wanting to help people right away tells me her character,” said Aleman, who attends City Church San Francisco. Aleman says she has “never seen a presidential candidate actually care that much [as Clinton] about families and women and children.”
In fact, every woman actually quoted in the article is voting for Clinton.
Writing terrible headlines about Hillary Clinton that don’t match the facts is pretty much par for the course for the WaPo and many other papers. Writing at Blue Nation Review, Melissa McEwan is tired of  the media’s demonization of Hillary Clinton, because it is, frankly, dangerous for our country:
The story opens thus: “If it weren’t for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton would be the most disliked major-party presidential nominee in recent American history.”
Sure. If it weren’t for Donald. It doesn’t have anything to do with a media who has for thirty years.
Let us never forget that, in the 1990s, Hillary was routinely demonized for being too liberal, too feminist, too liberal. And now she is demonized for not being enough of any of these things.
No candidate is perfect. But only Hillary gets subjected to endless stories framed by how not everyone “loves” her; how some of her supporters have criticisms of some of her policies (no kidding). As if these things are not entirely typical of every presidential candidate, but are instead an indicator that there’s something special and uniquely wrong about Hillary.
Whether Hillary is liked (she is) or popular (that, too) or garners enthusiasm (yep) isn’t actually even relevant to whether she can be a competent and effective president who champions policies that are in the nation’s best interests. It’s the only area of measurable assessment, however, where the media can compare Hillary and Donald under the auspices of making it a horserace.
They create mendacious narratives about Hillary, broadcast them, poll people on their views (which is really just polling to see if their false narratives have resonated), and then report that people are regurgitating their negative reporting. This is a demonstrable pattern. And then they juxtapose that information against the impossible standard of perfection.
I have a problem with this. Not just because it’s yet another iteration of how gender bias works against Hillary. Not just because it’s unfair in basic principle. Although those, too. But because my country’s future depends on Donald not getting elected.
I am deeply resentful of anyone who plays stupid Hillary-hating games when there is so much to lose by playing them.
And I am absolutely done with pulling my punches about how dangerous these games are becoming.
And since we’re tired of pulling our punches about media misrepresentation, here’s some good news to end with: according to the experts, Captain America would definitely be voting for Hillary Clinton:
Having studied the history of the character and the many changes in that character and in his stories, Stevens is pretty clear: “There’s really no version of Captain America in mainstream continuity that I can find that would back Donald Trump.”
Stevens points out that Captain America and many of his superhero friends are no stranger to being misrepresented and misunderstood by the media and by the public. There’s a chance that Captain America’s experience with the complicated politics of image might give him a degree of clarity or sympathy when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Stevens says he might feel as though she’s “getting a raw deal” herself.
“He’s been through many instances in his own career and with his friends where they’re misrepresented in the public eye,” says Stevens. “I mean, superheroes, that’s part of what they deal with.”
What can we say, but: Bam! Pow! Zowie! #CapsWithHer!
(originally posted at Daily Kos)

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