Hillary News & Views 08.17.16: Philadelphia, Working Families Endorsement, Health
Guest post by rugbymom
The campaign trail seems relatively quiet, as befits late August. But Hillary doesn't seem to take much time off, with a steady schedule of both public events and fundraisers. She does admit to watching a lot of the Olympics, and tweeting about it in ways that echo her campaign themes:
Tuesday Clinton was at West Philadelphia (PA) High School for what was billed as a voter registration event, pushing people to register before Pennsylvania’s October 11 deadline. This is part of her “Three Million Stronger” Initiative, to register and commit three million Americans to vote this November. She also stressed her economic plans, contrasting them with her opponent’s large tax breaks for his own family and others at the very top. (The full transcript is available here.)
. . .As you heard, we want you all to register to vote. We have places to register because we don’t want you on the sidelines come November. This is the most consequential election. The stakes could not be higher. And we want everybody in Philadelphia, everybody across Pennsylvania to be part of a great victory in November and then the future that we’re going to build together.
She then tied the election to the Olympics:
Have any of you been watching the Olympics? Well, I’ve got to tell you I am a big Olympics fan, those athletes, what they give up, the sacrifice, the work. I understand that Philadelphia’s own Nia Ali just made the first round heat in the 100 Meter Hurdles today, but Team USA is showing the world what this country stands for. I am proud of our team there, and I am proud of the incredible teamwork that they show. I was thinking the other day when Donald Trump speaks, he speaks about fear. He speaks about such negativity and such pessimism. And then I watch the Olympics, and it’s exactly the opposite. You have young people going out, doing their best every day to get prepared to compete. And that’s what we’re going to do in America. There is nothing we can’t do if we put our minds to it.
People say to me all the time, I mean, ‘How do you do it?’ They see me on TV. I’m in one state. Then I’m in another state. Then I’m in another state. And I’m lucky. I can sleep on planes and in cars. So that helps. But what it’s really all about is getting up every day and being motivated to make sure that every person in this crowd and every person in this commonwealth and every person in this country has the same chance to live up to your dreams, the same opportunities that previous generations of Americans enjoyed. And that’s why we’re going to keep talking about what kind of jobs we’re going to create.
She ended up (in good preaching fashion) with the call to her audience to commit to registering, voting, and volunteering:
So I’m excited about what we can do, but first we’ve got to get there. So let me thank you for being out here on a hot August afternoon at this beautiful high school. And let me ask you to be sure to register to canvas, to be part of this campaign. Because I’m not trying to just win an election. I’m trying to build a base of voters who understand that we’ve got to stand up for these rights, we have to work for these causes, we have to be committed to these goals, who will get up with me after the election and work to make sure that we actually deliver the results that we all know we need. So my friends, let’s go to work, and let’s build the future that America deserves.
After the West Philadelphia rally, the Philadelphia hip-hop artist Freeway is slated to take part in a neighborhood canvass to register voters. The rapper will also appear with Councilwoman Janie Blackwell at the opening of a new campaign office in West Philadelphia.
In Florida, 12% of Republicans say they’ll vote for Clinton (Politico)
In Virginia, where the military presence is large (and normally reliably Republican), Clinton is +8 with military voters (Washington Post poll)
Clinton has just received the endorsement of the Working Families Party, a New York-based minor party with a presence in at least ten states plus DC, that frequently cross-endorses progressive Democrats. (WFP endorsed Obama in 2008; in this year’s primary, it endorsed Bernie Sanders after a lopsided poll of its membership. The endorsement of Clinton, backed by 68% of the membership plus the governing board, is yet another sign of Sanders supporters following his lead in supporting Clinton.) WFP’s statement explained why the progressive organization supports Clinton:
WFP was an early, enthusiastic supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign. He demonstrated the deep hunger of millions of Americans for a “political revolution” — a radical restoration of democracy and participation, an end to the oligarchic power of a wealthy elite, and a new era of economic, racial and climate justice.
But elections are about choices. And when we wake up on November 9th, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will have been elected President. We choose Secretary Clinton, as Bernie did. We make this announcement knowing we’ll need to work to hold her accountable to her campaign’s promises. But we need to elect her first. Here’s why:
First, because we need to not merely defeat Trump — we need to repudiate him and everything he represents. . . .A Trump victory would not only put an unqualified, know-nothing, narcissistic, authoritarian jerk in the White House, it would empower the most malignant tendencies in American society. He offers up a phony, racist populism. He mocks the disabled. He stokes fear and incites hatred of immigrants, Muslims, and women. His rhetoric has generated violence.
We believe that a multi-racial, progressive and genuinely game-changing populism can win back some of his voters over time, especially independents, and that’s a task for the next decade. The task of the next 84 days is to sweep Trump — and Trumpism — off the stage once and for all.
Second, because Secretary Clinton has announced good policies on many issues that are deeply important to the lives and fortunes of the middle-class, working-class and poor:
Public Financing of Elections and Voting Rights. Clinton calls not just for tossing Citizens United but also for the creation of publicly financed elections. Not just restoration of the Voting Rights Act, but also automatic voter registration. There’s no chance of saving our democracy without these reforms.
Tuition-Free Higher Education. Clinton has adopted the bulk of Sanders’ free college proposal, and that’s something to be enthusiastic about. This will surely be a huge fight for the next two years.
Jobs and Infrastructure. Clinton has called for enormous (and overdue) investment in public spending on clean energy and infrastructure. Trump favors tax cuts for the rich and the fraud known as trickle down.
Mass Incarceration. Clinton calls for ending private prisons. For alternatives to incarceration (mostly drug treatment). For reducing mandatory minimums.
But it’s not just the policy proposals. It’s the enormous power of appointments, and not merely the Supreme Court.
The National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor can make it harder or easier for workers to form unions, and for gig economy workers to obtain rights in the workplace. The EPA makes critical choices about how clean our water should be, and whether we will fight climate change for real. People facing foreclosure need advocates at HUD. 401(k) account holders need serious regulators atTreasury and the SEC.
This is not to say that Hillary Clinton is perfect. She’s not. No candidate is. The truth is, if she becomes President Clinton, she will only be as good as we — social movements, unions, progressive activists and organizations — make her. . . . It’s up to us to set the stage for the future we want to see.
Although the WFP indicated it remains heavily critical of the Democratic Party and committed to organizing outside it, it did respond to those of its members who wanted it to endorse Dr. Jill Stein, who it described as “an implausible protest candidacy”:
Stein’s policy platform has many points to be admired, but her strategy is fatally flawed. You can’t build a new party under our current system by asking voters to cast a vote that is at best meaningless and at worst destructive of progressive possibility.
I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Working Families Party.
Working families are the engine behind our economy, the heart of our democracy, and the core of what makes America great. But today, it’s too hard for working people to get ahead and stay ahead.
That’s why the Working Families Party is so important. For almost two decades, they have fought to make our economy fairer and our country stronger. They’ve fought to raise the minimum wage in states and cities across the country; combat climate change and create new, good-paying jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency; and train and elect trailblazing progressive leaders.
As President, I’ll stand with working families like I have my entire career. We’ll build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, and finally make the minimum wage a living wage. We’ll overturn Citizens United and protect every American’s right to vote, not every corporation’s right to buy elections. We’ll end the era of mass incarceration and replace the school-to-prison pipeline with a cradle-to-college and career pipeline. We’ll make sure every American can afford a college education and tackle our country’s student debt crisis. And we’ll finally enact policies that support how families actually live and work today—with paid family leave, affordable childcare, and equal pay for women.
Together, we’ll fight every day for working families—because we know when families are strong, America is strong.
The Clinton campaign has grappled with how to respond to the utter nonsense and conspiracy-salesmanship coming out of the Trump campaign and its media amplifiers. Do you honor these with a substantive response, risking giving them more weight than they deserve (and increased media attention)? Or do you ignore them, which allows them to fester unchallenged? The latest have been some bizarre theories about Hillary's health issues, supported by what purported to be documents leaked from her physician’s office. In order to cut off (or at least minimize) the speculation, the campaign released a statement pushing back against Trump’s “deranged” rhetoric. They included the following from Hillary’s internist, Dr. Lisa Bardack:
As Secretary Clinton’s long time physician, I released a medical statement during the campaign indicating that she is in excellent health. I have recently been made aware of allegedly ‘leaked’ medical documents regarding Secretary Clinton with my name on them. These documents are false, were not written by me and are not based on any medical facts. To reiterate what I said in my previous statement, Secretary Clinton is in excellent health and fit to serve as President of the United States.
We have the same challenge, and I encourage you to chat more about our candidates than about our erratic opponent.
Today, Hillary will be in Cleveland (swing state!), for a “Tax Fairness Event” at John Marshall High School. (Think she might hit Trump again for not releasing his tax returns?) Tim will be at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA (another swing state!). No word on whether he’ll have his harmonica at the ready.
Let me end by repeating what Hillary said to West Philadelphia:
So I’m excited about what we can do, but first we’ve got to get there. . . . And let me ask you to be sure to register to canvas, to be part of this campaign. Because I’m not trying to just win an election. I’m trying to build a base of voters who understand that we’ve got to stand up for these rights, we have to work for these causes, we have to be committed to these goals, who will get up with me after the election and work to make sure that we actually deliver the results that we all know we need. So my friends, let’s go to work, and let’s build the future that America deserves.