I’m seeing a lot of comments in our threads saying “Way too quiet, when is the Clinton campaign going to get moving?” Let’s not fall into the fallacy that the only time a candidate is “working” is when they’re making a huuuuge speech at a huuuuuuuuge public rally that’s livecast on national TV. That’s like thinking that public school teachers are only “working” when they’re actually in the classroom with students.
Some of the behind-the-scenes activity Clinton and her campaign staff have been up to in the past couple of days:
Continuing to promote her new mental health parity plan, which has gotten far less media attention than her opponent’s latest nonsense tweets;
Criticizing Mike Pence’s (remember him?) extreme anti-abortion and anti-reproductive health policies as governor of Indiana:
Publicly prodding Trump to release some real medical information, while detailing the problems with the letter allegedly from his doctor — and getting coverage on it from Politico, USAToday, and elsewhere;
Preparing for the upcoming debates, “devouring briefing book after briefing book about Donald Trump's policy positions, personality and politics. She's watching highlight reels, taking notes and studying his style -- particularly when he's in attack mode.”
Adding to her transition team, including Rohit Chopra, an early hire of Elizabeth Warren’s at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as the “student loan ombudsperson” who battled for-profit colleges and loan servicers.
Fundraising, fundraising, and more fundraising — a total of 37 events that she personally headlined during August, raising a total of about $70 million, according to CNN, presumably divided between the campaign and the unified Victory Fund. Yesterday and Monday she did multiple events in private homes in the Hamptons (Long Island).
Responding quickly to the late-night report that Trump (copying another candidate?) is interrupting his already-busy campaign schedule today to fly to Mexico City for a private meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (who had issued similar invitations to both candidates):
Tim Kaine is continuing his multi-state whirlwind tour, taking advantage of the Senate recess. Yesterday and today he’s in crucial Pennsylvania, where Hillary’s poll numbers are looking quite good (+8, per Monmouth’s latest) and Katie McGinty’s Senate numbers OK but could be stronger. (stuhunter3 has a full diary on the Monmouth poll, here. The spread among voters of color: 90-5.)
The first event of the day (at which McGinty also spoke) was in Erie, PA. It was livestreamed on NBCNews.com, and got full (and positive) coverage by NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate. A local outlet wrote in the advance notice of the visit,
"Kaine is a people person. He is a person who is interested in working people," said Bill Cole, Erie County Democratic Party Chairman. "He is more interested in Main Street than Wall Street, that is something we feel will resonate with the citizens of Erie."
Kaine may be Mr. Nice Guy — everyone’s favorite My Friend’s Cool Dad — but he is not holding back on criticizing Donald Trump. Per NBC:
Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine offered a systematic takedown of Donald Trump's business dealings and campaign claims Tuesday, arguing the Republican nominee's presidential campaign amounts to nothing more than "Trump's next big con."
Kaine also used the “controversy” over Clinton’s health to again hit Trump:
On the issue of the candidates' health, Kaine pointed to recent news reports questioning the validity of the medical report written by Trump's doctor. Kaine said Trump is trading in fringe conspiracy theories by questioning whether Clinton is in poor health.
"Hillary Clinton is one tough and one healthy person," he said.
In the evening Tim spoke at the Boys & Girls Club in Lancaster, PA, a more conservative and Republican-leaning area in the center of the state. It too got good local coverage:
LANCASTER — Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine delivered an energetic speech to hundreds gathered in the gymnasium of the Boys and Girls Club in Lancaster.
Kaine spoke for about 30 minutes attacking Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on a range of campaign issues including Trump's finances, health and ties to foreign governments. The Virginia senator pulled no punches in going after Trump and urging the relatively diverse crowd to support the Clinton/Kaine ticket with voting, volunteering and advocating for the Democratic nominees.
Right out of the gate, Kaine railed against Trump's economic proposals and the negative impact said policies would have on the U.S. economy. . . . We can't afford to get this wrong," Kaine emphatically said.
Among those ideas to create opportunities are investments in manufacturing, infrastructure, schools and increasing the minimum wage, Kaine said.
"Everyone has got to see a ladder that they can climb to success," Kaine said, pointing to the opportunities Clinton would provide if elected.
I love the way this campaign puts events in places that ordinary people know well, such as high schools, community and technical colleges, and community centers. You learn a lot just by being there, and it doesn’t require voters to go way outside their comfort zone or their normal routines. It also gets loads of local coverage that may be more influential than a 15-second clip on the national news. It’s probably a bit harder on the Secret Service than events at a restricted-access arena that can be sealed off and scoured ahead of time, but well worth it and much better optics. Today Tim will be in the Lehigh Valley area of PA.
Anne Holton was also in PA yesterday, speaking to the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, a natural fit for her experience as Virginia’s Secretary of Education. (The national American Federation of Teachers endorsed Hillary in both the primary and the general election). Like Hillary and Tim, Anne emphasized listening: “I'm here to listen and take your advice right back to the next President and Vice President of the United States.”
Anne also spoke on a panel about CHIP, the children’s health initiative that Hillary spearheaded in 1994, with a hospital administrator, a nurse, two CHIP moms, and a CHIP child.
Among high-profile Clinton surrogates, Meg Whitman, prominent Republican, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO, and unsuccessful 2010 candidate for governor of California, headlined her first public event for Clinton, in Denver, CO. The event was billed as a breakfast meeting with business leaders “to discuss Clinton’s job-creation plan, as well as investments in tech and small businesses, according to a release from Clinton’s campaign.” She was introduced by Governor John Hickenlooper. Per theDenver Post:
The Hewlett-Packard executive and former California gubernatorial candidate declared she is “all in” for Clinton. And she made clear in her remarks at Union Station that she doesn’t think Trump is qualified to be president, repeatedly mentioning “temperament” as an important factor.
“If you are a lifelong Republican, it’s hard to come across (the partisan divide),” she said. “But I decided that this year it was clear to me that Secretary Clinton’s temperament, leadership experience and commitment to America’s foundational values make her the far better choice for president.”
Finally, as Hillary and Tim keep saying, this campaign is ultimately about each of us pitching in. Here’s a reminder from the campaign’s Pennsylvania State Director (cute baby alert):