When I was pregnant with my daughter Chelsea, I asked about the maternity leave policy at the law firm where I worked. I was surprised to find out that we didn’t have one. I soon learned why: No woman who worked in our office had ever come back to work full-time after having a baby. Well, I wanted to come back. I loved what I did. And it was important to me to contribute to my family’s finances, especially now that we were having a baby.
We still have a long way to go. Our policies just haven’t kept up with the challenges women and families face today.
In April, I met a mom in Newton, Iowa, who held her four-and-a-half-month-old in her arms. She said to me, “I’m counting on you to know what it’s like to be a working mother. Please help us working mothers and fathers have more time with our babies.”
I’m not going to let her down.
Let’s finally join every other advanced economy in the world and guarantee paid leave. I’m proposing 12 weeks of paid medical leave to recover from a serious illness, and 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or a sick relative. After all, moms and dads both deserve to spend time with their babies.
Let’s encourage employers to adopt family-friendly work policies, like flexible and fair scheduling and tele-work, so parents can both work and be there for their families.
Let’s raise the minimum wage. No one who works full-time should be forced to raise their kids in poverty.
Yesterday, Clinton and a number of her best surrogates campaigned across the country. First, President Obama laid out a strong case for Clinton in a Wednesday morning appearance on the Steve Harvey show. Kurtis Lee reports at the LA Times:
"If you don’t vote, that’s a vote for Trump,” said Obama, who has become Hillary Clinton's chief surrogate in appealing to African American voters.
“If you vote for a third-party candidate who’s got no chance to win, that’s a vote for Trump. So the notion somehow that, ‘Well, you know, I’m not as inspired because Barack and Michelle, they’re not on the ballot this time, and, you know, maybe we kind of take it easy’ — my legacy’s on the ballot. You know, all the work we’ve done over the last eight years is on the ballot.”
...In the interview, which was recorded Tuesday, Obama praised Clinton's performance in the first debate a night earlier, saying she showed that she "is capable, tough, does her homework, cares about the same things I care about."
Hitting the campaign trail again for Clinton in Philadelphia, Michelle Obama once again gave Americans a roadmap for avoiding that low road and putting this election in its proper perspective and significance.
“Let me take a moment,” she braced students at La Salle University, before she launched into a detailed criticism of Donald Trump, including his role in the birther movement, his mainstreaming of misogyny, and his erratic temperament and dearth of qualifications.
The presidency, she explained, “doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.”
If a candidate is erratic and threatening; if a candidate traffics in prejudice, fear and lies on the campaign trail; if a candidate thinks that not paying taxes makes you smart or that it’s good business when people lose their homes; if a candidate regularly and flippantly makes cruel and insulting comments about women, about how we look, how we act; well, sadly, that’s who that candidate really is. That is the kind of president they will be. And trust me, a candidate is not going to suddenly change once they’re in office. Just the opposite…at that point, it’s too late. They are the leader of the world’s largest economy, commander-in-chief of the most powerful military force on earth. With every word they utter, they can start wars, crash markets, fundamentally change the course of this planet. So who in this election is truly ready for that job?
There is video of her speech at the link. She is, as usual, amazing. The Clinton campaign has also released a new video featuring the First Lady and it’s terrific:
The Arizona Republic has been publishing since 1890, and for that 126-year span, the newspaper’s editorial board would like you to know that they didn’t fuck around with any Democrats. That changed Tuesday, when they endorsed Hillary Clinton, in an editorial explaining that while they’re conservative, they’re not stupid.
The Republic is the latest in a round of right-leaning newspapers to break decades of tradition to endorse Clinton, because her opponent is a sniffling madman. The Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicleand the Cincinnati Enquirer, triple pillars of stodgy establishment politics, all wrote editorials explaining that the choice between Clinton and Trump is a choice between a candidate they view as flawed and the human equivalent of swine flu. (The New Hampshire Union Leadertook a different route, endorsing Gary Johnson by calling him and running mate Bill Weld “a bright light of hope and reason,” which is a stretch.)
Well it's been crazy around here," said Phil Boas, director of the Arizona Republic's editorial page. "We're getting a lot of reaction both locally and national. I don't believe true readers of the editorial page are surprised by this at all, because over the past year we have been writing scathing, scalding articles about Donald Trump."
"The things he has done," he said, "making fun of disabled people and rolling back press freedoms. You know a guy who would do that and crush our freedoms in one area will do it in others as well
America Online co-founder Steve Case publicly endorsed the Democratic nominee in an op-ed published in the Washington Post on Wednesday, writing that she "represents the best choice for the United States — and our best hope to remain the most innovative and entrepreneurial nation in the world."
Citing the economy, immigration, technological advancement, and deficit control, Case — a lifelong entrepreneur and innovator — described Clinton as the clear choice over Trump to put American on a continued path toward economic and technological advancement.
"I think she’d be better for our economy, especially with respect to innovative technology and start-ups," he wrote. "Donald Trump knows business, but his campaign has been backward-looking on the economy and oddly absent of ideas to spur creation of the jobs of the future. Clinton understands what we need to help start businesses and will invest in education, advanced manufacturing and basic research."
Bernie Sanders campaigned with Hillary Clinton yesterday at the University of New Hampshire. Annie Karn reports:
We have to focus on what we want to do,” Clinton said, revisiting the kind of policy rollout discussions that drove her primary fight before she entered the Trump-bashing phase of her campaign. “We're going to put a moratorium so you don't have to pay your student debt back for a couple of years while you try and get your business started. We're also going to provide loan forgiveness for people who want to go into public service or national service.”
But it was Sanders, who inspired millions of millennial and independent voters during the primary to get involved in politics and join a movement, who was there to help drive the positive message home for Clinton. “Is anyone here ready to transform America?” he asked the crowd, hinting there was nothing un-revolutionary about Clinton’s more incremental plans for change. “You've come to the right place.”
On Wednesday, any chill between the two former rivals seemed to have thawed. Sanders opened his arms to embrace Clinton in a big hug (two months ago, he extended his hand for a stiff shake instead). They spent time together privately before their joint panel discussion on debt-free college, and then seemed to finish each other’s stories about the crippling financial burdens of student debt. Clinton nodded vigorously when Sanders recounted a story of meeting a supporter who was not only helping to pay off a child’s student debt, but still making payments on her own.
When Hillary Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee, I was distraught. Months before I had written about her on Huffington Post, explaining that I despised her not for her gender — as some of her supporters accused — but for her hawkishness, her center-left policies, her husband’s crime bill that incarcerated so many people of color, her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and her inability to get progressive on climate change policy.
I’ve spent almost every waking hour of every day following this election, reading about Hillary, Donald Trump, both parties’ platforms, and the under-qualified Libertarian and Green Party candidates running. During these months of obsessing over my choice, I’ve watched my position slowly shift. I’ve felt myself start advocating for Hillary more than advocating a vote against Trump, culminating in last night’s debate when she finally, totally, completely won me over.
Saul recounts learning about Hillary’s many accomplishments about which he had known little or nothing, including her work for 9/11 first responders, S-CHIP, he role in promoting women’s rights on the world stage, and many others. He concludes:
All this work, and what did Clinton get? She got an actual smug, young journalist named Isaac Saul writing about how I despised her, when I hardly knew the depth of her accomplishments, when I was clinging to the pipe dream of a Bernie Sanders presidency that may have never been in the cards, when my own father got ignored while he tried his best to talk some sense into me.
Secretary Clinton, I’m sorry. And I retract my previous position of hatred and angst towards you. You have made mistakes, some of them grave, and some of them unforgivable. Unfortunately, that comes with decades of life in the public eye, pressure and microphones in your face. But you have also accomplished far more in your life as a public servant than just about anyone that’s run for this office, and certainly far more than I ever will. When November rolls around, you’ll have my vote
And you’ll get it enthusiastically.
And now, without treading on Michael Holman's Sunday Euro-roundup, here are a few world perspectives on Monday's debate I found interesting. The LA Times has a roundup of reactions from Mexico, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, and several other countries; I found the discussion in China especially interesting:
Before the debates, the official Xinhua News agency offered this brief preview: “The American voters are going to watch a drama of hurting each other.”
China’s state broadcasters did not air the U.S. presidential debate. But more than 118,000 people watched a live stream of the debate on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, making it the 18th most popular topic on the site. Many of their more than 2,500 comments focused on Clinton's appearance and Trump's penchant for falsehoods. “Hillary’s lipstick fits her suit well,” one person wrote. “Trump’s mouth is full of bull,” wrote another.
“China should elect its president this way,” somebody posted in a not-so-subtle dig at communism. Some took the opportunity to speculate on what each candidate would mean for China. “If Trump is elected, he will be like the president of the Philippines, who has a big mouth,” one wrote. “The world will become as thrilling as a roller coaster."
"If Hillary is elected, she will continue her tough foreign policy towards China, but her husband will help to improve the economy,” wrote another. “So our economy will be better too!”
“People are ready to accept Trump’s bad behaviour, but would they accept the same from Hillary?” asked Roshni, a student of MOP Vaishnav College for Women, referring to Trump’s unrelenting goading of his opponent through the duration of the debate.
... the pattern as it were in this room seemed to be not one, but a number of young women stepping up in defense of their own. Making reference to Trump’s constant dismissal of Hillary’s bad temperament and lack of stamina for the job, one woman in the audience went so far as to call it ‘bullying’.
“I watched the debate this morning and once again now, and what I love about it is that it can be used in teaching any Women’s Studies or Political Science class to show how a woman far more educated than the man in this case, and in such an esteemed position can be talked down to this way in the public eye,” said Vasundhara Sirnate-Drennan of the Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy.
It was the experienced Clinton, not the novice Trump, who would be the recipient of a deluge of unsolicited advice in the weeks, days and hours before the big event. Don’t cough. Train your eyes straight ahead lest those rumours of neurological problem persist. Don’t be a policy wonk. Don’t over-prepare. Avoid prepackaged zingers. Smile. Don’t lecture. “To beat Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential debates, Hillary Clinton must make him angry,” the Telegraph proclaimed. “66 things I am worried will go wrong for Hillary Clinton in the debates,”Slate fretted. “What can Hillary do to beat Trump?,” New York magazine asked. And then there was the august New Yorker: “Twelve debate questions that Hillary Clinton should be ready for.
What no one appeared to grasp is how the presidential debate format would, by definition, make Trump—defiantly neither a politician nor a policy wonk—angry. It was clearly a no-man’s land for him. There was no roaring approval from the crowd (although the edict was ignored at a few points). Clinton was the boss from the get-go. She came out of the gate talking gender—playing the grandmother card (it was her granddaughter’s birthday, she revealed) before launching into a discussion of the need for pay-equity and work-life balance. She spoke to people where they lived. She instructed Lester Holt to “turn back the clock” when Trump jumped in on her time. She mocked the fact that Trump had not done his homework: “And you know what else I prepared for?” she told him. “I prepared to be president, and I think that’s a good thing.” At another point Clinton said that “words matter”—even if this election cycle has proven that to be less true than ever before.
But spectacle does matter, more than ever. And on Monday, that spectacle saw Hillary Clinton smile and Donald Trump scowl. It’s a first, if not final, step in upending an instruction used for centuries to ensure women never had power. Who would have ever thought it could be so subversive?
Finally, Sia released a 33 second promo clip on Twitter yesterday for her new single, “The Greatest,” that manages to be a Hillary endorsement, a Trump troll, and a great little pro-Hillary ad all at once: