Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hillary News & Views 10.20.16: Debate, Female Leaders, Warming to Clinton, Black Women, Le Tigre

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Guest post by aphra behn

Hello fellow Hillary-heads! It’s great to be with you. This morning we are all sorting through debate coverage. I hope you will be indulgent with me if I am not as thorough as usual; not only is there much late-breaking analysis, I’m super-busy because I am getting married this Saturday. :)  Please bear with me! And feel free to leave more commentary in comments.
First, the debate by the numbers from Bloomberg.
Clinton came away with better ratings in reputable post-debate polls. Fifty-two percent of registered voters who watched the debate said she won it compared to 39 percent for Trump, according to CNN’s survey. Clinton’s share was down from her 62 percent and 57 percent in the first and second debates, respectively. In YouGov’s poll after the final debate, 49 percent said Clinton won and 39 percent said Trump did.
In Germany, Christoph von Marschall writes in Berlin's Tagesspiegelthat "We are used to such things... from states with authoritarian governments. But not from western democracies!"
He is in no doubt over who emerged as the winner of the debate: "Trump is not an equal partner when it comes to objective argument. He can only curse and rant - and dole out insults."
The UAE's Al-Bayan daily says that "Clinton surpasses Trump", while the Libyan news website Al-Mostakbal declares: "Clinton ahead of Trump three weeks before elections".
Boaz Bismuth writes in the Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom: "There is no doubt that the road to the White House today seems easier for Hillary Clinton."
From that vantage, Clinton did the Democrats a huge favour by putting up her best in Wednesday’s debate and easily trouncing Trump.
This tight control worked well for Clinton; Trump could not strut around the stage, mock and point fingers at Clinton and generally draw attention to himself as he did in the second debate. This format allowed Clinton to hold forth on policy matters, her area of strength. Of course, she went into the debate with the confidence of being ahead in the polls and did most things right: She was more emphatic about her claims, she stood by Barack Obama’s record and did not shy away from sharp retorts.
She articulated her positions clearly; she would pick a Supreme Court nominee who would protect women’s rights, she stoutly defended the Roe v Wade decision on abortion, pledged to increase minimum wage, tax the rich, create 10 million jobs and said Trump’s trickle-down economics don’t work.
Clinton sought to claim the moral high ground by recounting Trump’s recent mockery of the women’s appearances and physiques on the campaign trail.
“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” Clinton said. “He goes after their dignity, their self worth, and I don’t think there’s a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like. We now know what Donald thinks, what he says and how he acts toward women. That’s who Donald is. I think it’s up to all of us to demonstrate who we are.”
Trump’s retort: “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”
In the debate hall, the audience laughed, prompting moderator Chris Wallace, of Fox News Channel, to admonish them. “Please, everybody,” he said.
Hillary Clinton won the final presidential debate, topping Donald Trump by a 13-point margin according to a CNN/ORC poll of debate watchers, giving Clinton a clean sweep across all three of this year's presidential debates
Overall, 52% who watched tonight's matchup thought Clinton did the best job, to the 39% that thought Trump did. That's a tighter margin than in the first two debates. After the first debate, 62% of those who watched said Clinton won, 27% Trump, followed by a 57% Clinton to 34% Trump margin for the town hall debate held October 9.
Voters who watched were divided on who would better handle the economy (50% said Clinton, 48% Trump), immigration (50% Trump to 48% Clinton), or nominations to the Supreme Court (49% said Trump, 48% Clinton). Clinton held a narrow edge on handling the federal budget (50% to 46%) while she held a wide advantage as better able to handle foreign policy (55% to 41%)
And now for some non-debate related analysis:
I’m definitely not a fan of Kim Campbell, the progressive Conservative politician who was Canada’s first female Minister of Justice and first (and only, thus far) female Prime Minister. However, she has some interesting observations on gender and leadership in this piece for Ozy, wherein she notes that even something seemingly trivial—like the acceptance of pantsuits— can mark a change between the 1990s and now:
…the interesting thing about Merkel is on the one hand she isn’t a frilly, feminine woman, although she has lots of interesting strengths. Again, we talk about the confluence of circumstances — the fact that she was from East Germany, which gave her a different approach, and that she has a nice husband but doesn’t have children. And she always wears pants and a jacket. She has actually helped to expand the sense of what a woman leader might look like.
As first lady, Clinton helped mainstream the pantsuit, which is a very great thing. I never wore pants when I was prime minister, unless it was an athletic event or something, so this is a great liberation for women. Clinton is a non-prototypical leader, but she has now been around so long that we’re used to her, and it’s almost like she ceases to be seen as “the woman.” She is Hillary. Yes, she’s a woman, and in many ways a very important woman because right from the early days in her career, she was prepared to champion issues relating to women and children, which often used to be marginalized. I admired the fact that she, even from the very beginning, was prepared to address those issues — even at a time when it could be used to try and marginalize her.
From Salamishah Tillet at Elle, a thoughtful, critical, insightful and honest piece called“For Years, the Way Hillary Talked About Race Bothered Me. Here’s How I Made My Peace”:
Today, Clinton can rightfully boast of the gender and racial diversity of her campaign staff. Long-term associate Cheryl Mills is an informal adviser to the campaign, and she's been joined by influential newcomers such as Maya Harris, a senior policy adviser focusing on immigration and criminal justice issues, and LaDavia Drane, the campaign's congressional liaison. Clinton's most effective surrogates, however, are probably the African American mothers whose children have been killed by police or gangs. Gathered onstage at the DNC to share their grief and demand an end to gun and racial violence, they made Clinton's "Stronger Together" slogan achingly real.
Aside from her noxious opponent, the main reason I've warmed to Hillary, however, is that she's embraced an important philosophy of black feminism: intersectionality. Coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, the term describes how different forms of discrimination can interact and overlap—and it has taken on new urgency, often as a critique against a mainstream feminism that tends to address the needs of relatively privileged middle-class white women over those also oppressed by race, sexuality, nationality, religion, et cetera. Clinton even used the word in a speech in Harlem last February: "We face a complex set of economic, social, and political challenges. They are intersectional, they are reinforcing, and we've got to take them all on."
Mere words? I've come to trust that she's putting her money where her mouth is. Her platform includes policies specifically targeted toward African American women, such as increased access to capital for black female–owned businesses, as well as more general proposals that would significantly improve black women's lot, like paid family leave and an increased minimum wage. She's also pledged to reverse some of the harms of the crime bill by, for instance, reducing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.
In related perspectives, Ashley Weatherford has a piece noting Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Has More Black Women Than Any Other Presidential Candidate In History:
There are more African-American women working on Hillary Clinton’s campaign than any other presidential campaign in history. Thirty-eight, in fact, are stationed at her headquarters. More than both of President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012, and certainly more than her current Republican opponent. The black women’s roles spread across all layers and tiers of the campaign. They are designers, accountants, and senior policy advisers. They are campaign veterans and political neophytes. Summarily, they have all strapped themselves to the Hillary train and are willing it forward through the recalcitrant tracks of America.
...A member of that group is Brynne Craig, who serves as the national deputy director of state campaigns and political engagement. If you ask her what it means, she’ll tell you it means she does a little bit of everything, including overseeing individual state campaigns and Hillary for America’s political shop. It’s not her first campaign — she worked for Clinton during her 2008 run — but this one feels much different to her. “Black women are in all departments,” says Craig. “Sometimes on campaigns you only see the black people working on the political side, but we’re everywhere here, from design to finance. We’re in every facet of the campaign which is remarkable.”
For Craig, the campaign’s diversity also strikes a match to the beacon of hope for future elections. “Being in the room with many women who look like you and have a shared experience — it’s something that doesn’t often happen, but it’s very rewarding and gratifying,” she says, adding, “for a lot of people here, this is their first campaign. Hopefully they see this as normal.”
This is such a great piece profiling so many interesting and amazing Black women. Do try to read the whole thing!
And if you need more inspiration, check out what happened when Peter Daou of ShareBlue asked for people to explain what the first woman president would mean to them:
 There’s more, much more, at the link.
Finally, for something fun, iconic electroclash group Le Tigre have  reunited for a pro-Hillary project… and here it is, an amazing song titled, “I’m With Her”:
(originally posted at Daily Kos)

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