"Clinton formally begins her second bid for presidency; Takes populist theme; brings a buzz in 2 parties" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff April 12, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton leapt into the 2016 White House contest Sunday, immediately assuming front-runner status for the Democratic nomination as she makes a second bid to become America’s first female president.
“I’m running for president,” Clinton said in a short video her campaign released Sunday afternoon. “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”
Clinton, 67, struck a populist tone in her brief message to supporters, channeling Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, and the progressive wing of the party.
Related: Warrenting the 2016 Democratic Nomination For President
“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times,” Clinton said. “But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.”
A former first lady, US senator from New York, and secretary of state, Clinton has one of the best-known names in American politics. It is also one of the most divisive, the result of nearly a quarter-century of political battles. They have included substantive ones about health care and foreign policy and the salacious scandal about an extramarital affair that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had while in office.
Ah, the memories.
Hillary Clinton’s video focused firmly on the future, highlighting people from demographic categories that make up the Democratic coalition: blue-collar workers, a gay couple, a Hispanic mother, an African-American couple. All expressed excitement about the next phase of their lives. Clinton’s face and voice did not appear until more than halfway through the roughly two-minute video.
Shortly after announcing, Clinton boarded a van and embarked on a road trip to Iowa. She tweeted a photo of herself from the voyage. “Met a great family when we stopped this afternoon,” she wrote.
I'm wondering what is the carbon footprint on the caravan.
Clinton’s trip excited one target audience: Iowa’s early primary and caucus state activists, who will play a critical role in getting the Democratic base fired up about another Clinton candidacy.
“It was phenomenal,” gushed Kevin Geiken, a Democratic strategist who stepped out of a fund-raiser in Mason City, Iowa, to watch the announcement on his phone. “You feel like you are represented in the video. It showed that she really understood what is happening here.”
Is this a flier for the campaign or.... ???
Clinton’s decision to run for president in 2016 had been predicted for years. Since she left her job as the country’s top diplomat in 2013, she has made speeches for money while seeking to reintroduce herself to the American public as a grandmother who remembers her middle-class and suburban Chicago roots.
I'm going to reserve comment on the staged and scripted reintroduction until later.
Moreover, the overwhelming losses Democrats suffered in the 2014 midterms left party leaders with little appetite for a drawn-out nomination flight.
The lopsided dynamic provides Clinton with a built-in advantage: She can spend time introducing herself and reserve cash while candidates in the Republican field bloody one another.
I will likely be voting in that field, and will be voting for the only women on that side (I like sticking it up that party's ass).
“History is pretty clear that the candidate with the easier path to the nomination is the candidate best positioned to win in the fall,” said Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist.
Clinton, he said, can use this time talking about the central issue of her candidacy — which she has signaled will be bolstering the middle class, which has seen years of wage stagnation. After she develops the message, Lehane said, she will have the advantage of months to “burn it in with voters.”
Where have they been all these decades as they enabled jobs to be shipped out of this country, and why do they only discover you every two years?
There is a downside to her front-runner status.
Clinton must avoid self-inflicted errors, for example. The national tour for her book “Hard Choices” last year was marred by gaffs that left Democratic insiders nervous she could “implode.”
With no one to fill the spot given my recent series of Democratic candidates below.
They included an interview in which she said she was “dead broke” after leaving the White House even though the family bought two homes with seven-figure price tags.
She has also been dogged by questions about her family’s network of charities, which raised money from foreign governments and US companies with interests before the State Department while she was secretary of state. Sunday, Clinton Foundation officials confirmed she is leaving the board of the organization.
Leaving now doesn't erase the $tench of ab$olute corruption surrounding it all.
"The untold story behind the story is one that involves not just the Russian president but also a former US president and a woman who would like to be the next one. At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of President Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed, and eventually sold to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One. Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States.
Is the Kazakh leader an ally or enemy?
Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of US government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. The New York Times’s examination of the Uranium One deal is based on dozens of interviews, as well as a review of public records and securities filings in Canada, Russia, and the United States. Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to the Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting. Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer US foreign policy as secretary of state."
Apparently there is some question regarding the veracity of the NYT source, and there are plenty of places where you can find out about all the dirty deeds of the Clintons. The inherent conflict of interest here as well as the disingenuousness of the political image and illusion being sold should disqualify here as a candidate for president.
If that's not enough, how about the lies, sorry, mistakes. Of course, refiling some taxes should make it all go away and shut off the connections to the Keystone pipeline.
Have you seen the donor's list?
Separately, she has drawn flak from some in her own party for a robust paid speaking schedule from which she commanded $200,000 fees to address public universities, nonprofits, and trade associations.
Most recently, Clinton disclosed that she exclusively used a private e-mail address connected to a server located in her New York home while she was secretary of state. She deleted 30,000 of those messages. She turned over the rest, about 30,000, to the State Department, which plans to post them online after a review.
"Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become secretary of state, will deliver the commencement address at Tufts University on May 17. Albright, 77, is set to receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the Sunday morning ceremony at Tufts’ Somerville campus. She already has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in public law and government from Columbia University. Starting in 1997, as the secretary of state, nominated by former president Bill Clinton, Albright campaigned for human rights and against nuclear proliferation. After her time in office, she wrote five New York Times bestsellers; launched a private investment fund, Albright Capital Management; and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2012."
I wonder on what servers she saved her e-mail. The price of 500,000 Iraqi kids, btw, was worth it.
The timing of the campaign announcement, just at the beginning of the year’s second quarter, gives supporters nearly three months to raise money before reporting dollar totals. This presidential election will be the first time both parties fully embraced big money politics for an open seat, and it is expected to exceed the $2.3 billion spent by both sides in the last one.
Clinton’s front-runner status gives the Republican Party a clear target for attacks. Jeb Bush, the Republican poll leader, offered a “pre-buttal” video hours before Clinton released hers....
If it's Bush versus Clinton I'm writing in Nader again.
Let's look over some of those e-mails on the way to Iowa:
"As secretary of state, Clinton exclusively used personal e-mail" by Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times March 03, 2015
WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.
It's a breaking of the law, but not a big deal. The issue is minimized even as its covered.
Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.
That's odd. What could Clinton have to hide?
It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.
Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.
“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its Cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.
A spokesman for Clinton, Nick Merrill, defended her use of the personal email account and said she has been complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”
Meaning the law was technically broken, but those above the law are always in letter and spirit obeying it no matter how ‘inconvenient.’ Talk about arrogance!
Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.
Clinton is not the first government official — or first secretary of state — to use a personal email account on which to conduct official business.
But her exclusive use of her private email, for all of her work, appears unusual, Baron said....
No may have about it. Should disqualify her from being president, especially after using private e-mail to thwart record requests. It likely connected to the Benghazi probe and Libya, and the State Department pledges a review after being pressed. Once complete they found no records because the servers had been wiped clean -- another indication of ‘‘faulty records management and retrieval’’at the State Department. Can you say cover up?
Next stop Iowa -- even if it doesn't mean as much anymore.
"As Clinton heads to Iowa, voters focus on possible challengers" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff April 14, 2015
MASON CITY, Iowa – Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy loomed over Jim Webb’s event Sunday night, just as it does the entire Democratic nomination process, Iowans looked at alternatives.
He's already angling for the job.
The state is full of Democrats who thrive on tweaking conventional wisdom. Expectations for Clinton cannot be any higher at this point, making it all the easier for a challenger to gain attention and momentum with a strong second-place finish.
Iowans participating in the Democratic caucus have a solid history of picking the party’s nominee.
“Iowa’s role is to be the great leveler, as we say,” said Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist who worked on Barack Obama’s successful 2008 campaign. “I think that is something that Hillary Clinton understands, and so does Martin O’Malley,” she said, referring to the former Maryland governor who is considering a White House bid.
So it’s no accident that Clinton’s first priority for her new campaign is to shower attention on the Hawkeye State, a place that hasn’t traditionally embraced her family. When Bill Clinton first ran in 1992, he skipped the Iowa caucuses — competing that year seemed hopeless because Tom Harkin, then one of the state’s US senators, was running.
The state in 2008 delivered Hillary Clinton a heartbreaking loss. It was the first place where her campaign that was supposed to be inevitable took on water. Seventy percent of Democratic Iowa caucus-goers voted against Clinton, leaving her with a third-place finish. She didn’t return for six years, coming last year for Harkin’s annual picnic where she awkwardly announced, “I’m back.”
You hurt her feelings.
Her relationship with New Hampshire, and its first-in-the-nation primary, is far warmer. Bill Clinton earned the nickname “the Comeback Kid” for his second-place finish there amid scandal in 1992, and Hillary Clinton took first prize there in 2008.
We will be getting there shortly, and New Hampshire is notorious for rigged votes to try and set things right. That's what we have seen the last few election cycles.
Clinton’s campaign staff already started downplaying expectations for her in Iowa.
Clinton is portraying herself as humble in the early days of her 2016 run. After announcing her candidacy Sunday, she piled into a van to drive halfway across the country to Iowa. She tweeted out a photo of herself with a family along the way. Surveillance footage of her buying food at a Chipotle in Ohio circulated online.
The voyage couldn’t be more different from her travel to Iowa seven months ago. The tab for the charter plane to deposit Bill and Hillary Clinton at the Harkin Steak Fry in September ran $50,000, according to federal campaign disclosure papers. A motorcade including silver SUVs and security personnel ferried the former first couple to the grassy field where the barbecue was held.
Such trappings don’t help a candidate forge a relationship with the voters. And because that relationship trumps the frills here, Democratic strategists said, Iowa is one of the few places where a national campaign can be launched with millions of dollars, not tens of millions.
“It’s face-to-face campaigning in people’s living rooms and backyards,” Dunn said. “It’s a place where candidates can make up with their personal time what they don’t have in funding.”
On Sunday, that was Webb’s card to play....
"So far, the latest Clinton approach seems to be working."
What approach would that be?
"Hillary Clinton descends with press pack on small Iowa town for first ground-level campaign swing" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff April 14, 2015
MONTICELLO, Iowa — Hillary Clinton said she would support a constitutional amendment to ban “unaccountable money” in political campaigns at a campaign stop in Iowa Tuesday that featured a large contingent of journalists, but few actual Iowans, what is shaping up to be a populist campaign message. She earned instant praise.
Clinton and a constellation of super-PACs supporting her are expected to raise more than a billion dollars for her campaign.
However, in the primary phase, the campaign set the relatively modest goal of raising $100 million. Super-PACs, which can accept unlimited sums from individuals, are required to disclose the identity of contributors. In her remarks, Clinton was targeting a different type of political entity, the non-profit corporations that spend vast sums and are not required to disclose funding sources.
Republicans immediately used the issue to remind voters about the former First Family’s network of charities which failed to disclose some donors while Clinton was secretary of state. Charities aren’t required to make contributors public, but Clinton agreed to do so when she helmed the State Department.
Clinton also expressed dismay about tax rates for the wealthy, echoing a position she highlighted in her 2008 campaign.
She wants them lower?
“There is something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the trucker I saw on I-80 as I was driving here in the last few days,” Clinton said. Democrats have long pushed for the profits received by private equity and hedge-fund managers to be taxed as ordinary income instead of as capital gains.
I expect nothing will be done.
Campaign staff characterized this early phase of the Clinton’s bid as a listening tour where she will meet with “every day Americans” and project a warm and approachable vibe.
Her surprise voyage from her Brooklyn, N.Y. campaign headquarters to Iowa, aboard a black vehicle dubbed the “Scooby van,’’ caused a frenzy of attention typically reserved for A-list celebrities or fugitives.
I do consider her a war criminal, yes.
On Monday, a New York Times reporter acting on a tip, tracked down a Chipotle fast food restaurant in Ohio where Clinton had reportedly stopped and obtained surveillance video of the candidate ordering food.
They really dig out the important stories, huh? Did the campaign approve of the story?
Journalists arrived to this town of less than 4,000 hours prior to Clinton’s appearance. Satellite trucks crowded into the school’s parking lot. Networks set up tents where anchors gave minute-to-minute updates on Clinton’s movements.
“The most media I’ve ever seen before was a single photographer,” said Andrew Lorimer, 18, who spoke on the panel with Clinton.
In contrast, only a handful of Iowans camped out early to catch a glimpse of her. Dan Saunders, 64, was surprised by the lack of a crowd even though the event was held during the work day. “There are a lot of older people who I thought would come out,” he said. He blamed the scant interest from the local population on the Republican tilt of the county.
So what happened in Washington D.C. then?
Two students came early as well – to protest Clinton’s candidacy on the grounds that she’s too close to banks to make real improvement for the middle class.
“Wall $treet Banks 4 Hillary” was hand written on one sign. A lone conservative protester stood with a sign opposing same sex marriage.
When Clinton surfaced as scheduled at Kirkwood, reporters outside the event chased after Clinton’s van. Footage of the scene was carried by MSNBC and mocked by Republican news outlets.
The stop, billed as a chance for Clinton to have an intimate conversation with Iowans, felt more like an event created for a sitting president.
Because IT WAS!
The hand-selected students said they were “nervous” before the event, perplexed about why they’d been picked and unclear if they’d be able to even ask Clinton a question.
Oh, the CAMPAIGN is a STAGED and SCRIPTED SHOW, huh?
“I was told that I have a chance to meet Hillary Clinton and walk her through our C and C shop,” said Colton Halder, 20, a student at Kirkwood, referring to the college’s computer laboratory. “I think that has changed now.”
Clinton took only a couple of questions from reporters before departing from the school. She boarded the black van. It drove in convoy with two black SUVs and a white vehicle.
Someone has a different view on what happened at the restaurant:
"The voices Hillary Clinton didn’t hear" by Thomas Farragher Globe Columnist April 17, 2015
MAUMEE, Ohio — The lady in the dark Jackie Onassis glasses, the star of this week’s worthy-of-Hollywood video in which she improbably cast herself as the champion of everyday Americans, really blew it when she walked out of the Chipotle here Monday.
Incredibly, there happened to be an everyday American right there, right behind the counter when Hillary Rodham Clinton collected her chicken burrito bowl and iced tea, then jumped back on Interstate 80 bound for Iowa and some stunning stagecraft.
“If that was me and I was running for president, I’d be out there talking to people,” Charles Wright told me after his staff served me a delicious lunch at that Chipotle on Wednesday. “I would assume she would not be running around incognito. I’d like to know her plan to get the economy firmly back on track. I mean, what is it?
“I would like her to be honest with me.”
But Hillary had no time for Wright. She didn’t know the 29-year-old was born in California, moved here in 1999, took classes at the University of Toledo, works 50 hours a week, and now manages more than 30 people for a restaurant chain. He will gladly talk your ear off.
So just hours after slipping her presidential announcement over the digital transom Sunday night — the Hallmark-card-like ad filled with cute kids, new parents, and hopeful retirees — the previously high-flying Clinton who promised to fight for the common folk left the Chipotle in Maumee without a word.
“She wasn’t very polite,” Wright said.
Near as I can tell, her trip across the Midwest was interrupted at a gas-station pit stop where she posed for some pictures. Oh, and I think she must have waved from the back seat of her shiny black van to some trucker driving an 18-wheeler somewhere because she casually mentioned that when she finally reached Iowa.
So I decided to do what Hillary didn’t — stop along the way, get off I-80 here and there, and listen. I wanted to learn what she would have if her first effort to connect with voters had not been first vetted by her staff, not pre-screened, not a stage prop for the massive billion-dollar electoral apparatus that formally whirred to life this week.
People love Hillary. People hate, I mean really hate, Hillary. The economy is better, but troublesome economic cracks remain. The gap between the super-rich — say people who write books for seven-figure advances and give speeches for $200,000 a pop — and the working poor is growing bigger. The worry is real. And it’s everywhere.
The Clinton's are in that super group, as are the rest of the candidates on both sides! And they are going to be the ones that fix the problem?
College costs are obscenely high. And the corrosive and poisonous brand of politics practiced in Washington has spawned disgust and cynicism that runs broad and deep.
Actually, the logjam has broken.
“People talk politics and I run the other way,” said Justin Fredenburg, 36, who works for a local utility company in Indiana.
I talked with Fredenburg on Wednesday in tiny New Carlisle, Ind. — “A nice place to visit, a great place to live” — where Doug Selner at the downtown True Value Hardware helped him load lumber into the bed of a truck.
Indiana is a reliably red state. When Barack Obama narrowly carried it in 2008, he was the first Democrat to do so since 1964. And the more Selner talked, the more I could perhaps understand why Clinton breezed by without so much as a word.
“If she’s after regular folks, she should come to the small towns and talk to us about how to fix our economy,” said Selner, the 51-year-old True Value manager. “It’s all a political show for her. She goes after the money and forgets the little people. We need more jobs. We’re spending too much money. We need to take care of our own first. Hillary sets my teeth on edge.”
I think everyone has come to recognize that now, whatever their political persuasion.
After hours and miles through undulant farmland, rolling corn fields, and to-the-horizon vistas dotted with smokestacks, silos, and weather-beaten barns, I stopped in Ottawa, Ill. It’s the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate, where in August 1858, 10,000 people heard the two candidates make their cases for a seat in the US Senate.
A block away from the town green, where statues of the 19th-century candidates have been erected, Mike Gazaferi stands by the grill of the Bee Hive coffee shop he’s owned for 28 years. A single customer nurses a cup of coffee at the seven-stool pink Formica counter. Gazaferi’s stack of home fries sits uncooked. Early morning traffic outside is light. There are more than a few adjacent vacant storefronts along the block.
“What we need is Bill Clinton back,” Gazaferi tells me. “He was good for business. That’s what we need.” And Hillary? “Turn off your tape recorder,” he says — and then waves me away.
Around the corner, Barbara File is slipping an insurance payment through the mail slot of her agent’s office before heading back toward I-80 where the 63-year-old works at a gas station.
File voted for Hillary Clinton over Obama in the 2008 presidential primary. But she follows politics closely and says Clinton has to re-earn her vote this time. Government spending is out of control, she said. File thinks the country is on the wrong track. She’s sick of the “backstabbing and the garbage” of our political discourse. And, like Gazaferi, she likes the idea of Clinton’s access to a key adviser: her husband, Bill.
“When her husband was president, we had fantastic times,” File said.
They certainly look that way now even though he carried through all the corporate trade deals that have led to this debacle of an economy.
Moments later, Nympha White is emerging from morning Mass at St. Columba Catholic Church and seems poised to cancel out any vote File might cast for Clinton.
“People from around the world are not looking up to us the way they used to,” said White, who was born in the Philippines and is now a religious education teacher and a member of a diocesan council. “Taxes are increasing, and a lot of our businesses are going outside of the country. We need to invest in businesses that hire local so people have jobs. You can look at the downtown. There are a lot of empty places.”
Next door, at the local visitor’s center, Dennis Bute, 69, knows about those jobs. He ran a small office-supply business with 14 employees and paid them above minimum wage. And his take on our national discourse serves as the connective tissue, the common thread of the voices I heard along I-80 this week.
“I honestly think the country is broken and I’m worried about it, to be honest with you,” Bute, a Clinton supporter, told me. “It is very dispiriting. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. There are a lot of people at McDonalds and Walmart trying to support a family on not a lot of money.”
For $ome it is working ju$t fine.
That was part of Clinton’s message this week. “The deck is stacked in favor of those at the top,” she said, delivering the message in Iowa to three people in a coffee shop at one stop, seven community college students at another.
Clinton has been first lady of the United States. She served in the US Senate and as secretary of state. By now, she’s certainly more Oscar de la Renta than Oscar Mayer. To cast herself now as the homespun champion of the little people has more than the whiff of inauthenticity.
You $mell it, too?
Eventually, she’ll have to pull off the highway, where she’ll meet real people with real questions that haven’t been screened and pre-selected. People like Lisa Depies.
Depies is the editor of her hometown weekly newspaper, the Geneseo Republic, which bills itself as the municipality’s oldest business, where the two-person editorial staff operates out of Spartan offices just off Main Street in western Illinois near the Iowa line.
She’s ready with questions about those 30,000 e-mails that Clinton sent from a private server, e-mails now under State Department review. And she wants to know who Clinton might have in mind for secretary of agriculture. John Deere’s world headquarters is nearby. And so are a few gun manufacturing firms, so she’d like to ask Clinton about gun control. And then there are questions about trade with China and ethanol subsidies.
In other words, real questions. Real concerns.
Yeah, but where did she stop for lunch.
“I want public officials to be forthcoming,” Depies told me. “It’s always important for politicians to see the small towns.”
Hillary Clinton did that this week in Iowa. But long-time Iowans can see through the I’m-one-of-you message. They’ve seen it before. Eventually, the crucible of the campaign will have its revealing effects.
There will not be a crucible during the primary.
“A first lady and secretary of state isn’t going anywhere except in a caravan,” said Nancy Pardun, who was born in Clarion and grew up in Des Moines. “She can’t meet the little people. It’s kind of fluff. ‘Oh, look at me. I’m just like you!’ No, she isn’t. And she doesn’t want to be.”
I met Pardun on the doorsteps of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa, where the 31st president of the United States was born in a 14-by-20-foot cottage in 1874 and where he was laid to rest in 1964.
Eight months after Hoover took office, Wall Street laid its famous egg, sparking the Great Depression.
No master of stagecraft would be caught dead there, and I’m sure Hillary Clinton didn’t even wave when she whizzed by on I-80 the other day.
Also see: Roosevelts still have message for Democrats
They are even deader than my guy.
And now it is ON to New Hampshire!
"Familiar setting, new challenge for Clinton; N.H. may test her as front-runner, not the underdog" by Jim O’Sullivan Globe Staff April 11, 2015
CONCORD, N.H. — Twice, this state has resurrected the Clintons’ political fortunes. But when Hillary Rodham Clinton returns as a candidate, she will sweep in as a Democratic front-runner almost without historical precedent — not an underdog in dire need of redemption.
In 1992, then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton defied weeks of battering over his extramarital activities and avoidance of military service in Vietnam to wrangle a second-place primary finish.
Bill likes a big booty in tight jeans.
It was strong enough for Clinton, his beaming wife beside him onstage at the since-shuttered Best Western in Merrimack, to pronounce himself “the Comeback Kid.”
Sixteen years later, Hillary Clinton did him one better, winning the state after a brutal loss in the Iowa caucuses, prolonging the 2008 Democratic primary for months.
Now, as Hillary Clinton embarks on her second presidential campaign, one unanswered question is what New Hampshire will mean for her in 2016. She has no announced challengers at this point, but if they emerge, are expectations so high that she needs to run up an overwhelming victory to qualify, among political handicappers, as the winner?
In 1992 and 2008, the Clintons’ performances were considered triumphs as much for confounding expectations as for their numerical value; both showed they could, in political euphemism, “take a punch.” They were both comeback stories.
Longtime New Hampshire Democrats, including those who have not rallied to Clinton’s cause this year, say they expect her to make a show of force here, most likely solidifying her front-runner position. But short of a historic tumble in the campaign’s early stages, or the emergence of a formidable challenger, New Hampshire appears unlikely to serve as the dramatic turnaround venue it has provided the family in the past.
Clinton is expected to formally announce her candidacy Sunday, but she had long ago begun courting party activists, drawing on decades of family ties to the state. For example, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook huddled last week with a small group of insiders at the Concord home of Mike Vlacich, US Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s former campaign manager and Clinton’s Granite State campaign manager.
Shaheen aides to head up Clinton efforts in N.H.
Vlacich faces next challenge as Clinton’s N.H. campaign manager
Globe is really birddogging the stereotypes.
And two days before last November’s election, after she addressed a rally for Shaheen and Governor Maggie Hassan in Nashua, Clinton spent about an hour at a private party in Portsmouth. That event, which drew about 80 people to raise money for Hassan, took place in the colonial era home of Irja Cilluffo.
“She was very engaging, very personable, extremely knowledgeable,” said Cilluffo, a Portsmouth philanthropist.
But, Cilluffo remains undecided about 2016.
“We have to see who is going to announce, and once we know who is announcing, we can make up our own minds,’’ she said. “Until then, we’re waiting.”
Cilluffo’s reluctance points to Clinton’s challenge in New Hampshire. Her showing in the nation’s first primary state will be scrutinized for any fissures in the Clinton coalition or signs of rust on the candidate.
And, as the Democratic Party begins to define its character in the post-Obama era, the state will offer an early proving ground, said state Senator Martha Fuller Clark, a Portsmouth Democrat.
“I think an important role that the Democratic primary can play in this state is to forcefully articulate what we stand for as a party,” said Clark, who said that she also is undecided.
“There is a core of people here who would really like to see a competitive Democratic primary,” said Clark, whose State House office is adorned with a plastic donkey, her party’s mascot, and an apparently equal number of photos of her with Presidents Clinton and Obama.
Veteran New Hampshire politicos trace two distinct lineages within the Democratic Party.
In 2000, the bloc of party regulars lined up behind Vice President Al Gore, while many issues-motivated Democrats sided with former US senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, who lost by 4 percentage points.
That pattern recurred eight years later, when Clinton drew the regulars and Barack Obama pulled in more left-leaning voters; Clinton won by less than 3 points.
This time around, Clinton has already faced some measure of disaffection from elements within the party – not just in New Hampshire, but nationally – who are hoping for a more openly liberal candidate. To date, that unrest has not coalesced around any single alternative, though there has been extensive pining for US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has said she will not run.
Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who has been the most active potential Clinton challenger, has visited New Hampshire seven times since the start of 2013, according to US News & World Report . US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has made eight trips to the state during that span. Vice President Joe Biden has been here three times, while former US senator Jim Webb from Virginia has been once.
Former Rhode Island governor and US senator Lincoln Chafee has also formed an exploratory committee.
Some New Hampshire Democrats have worried Clinton’s slow-walking toward a formal announcement has put the party at a disadvantage, particularly in a state still considered a battleground despite landing in the Democratic column in five of the last six presidential elections.
I was told above it was an advantage.
That delay has handed months of news cycles to Republican candidates visiting the state. Between them, US Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky, Governor Chris Christie from New Jersey, and US Senator Ted Cruz from Texas have made a total of 19 New Hampshire trips since the start of 2013.
I will be getting to them next.
There are also concerns that the premium the state’s primary voters place on retail politics — the practice of touring coffee shops and living rooms soliciting support — may not fit neatly with Clinton’s image.
As Judy Reardon, a former top Shaheen aide who has met with O’Malley, put it, Clinton’s lifestyle has resulted in “not having a lot of contact with real people the last couple of years.”
I call it elitism.
“I know the life she’s been able to lead for the last 25 years is very isolating, but from what I know of her, she still thinks of herself as a middle-class kid who grew up in a suburb of Chicago,” Reardon said.
The delusion scares me.
In 2008, Clinton’s seminal New Hampshire moment came when she teared up at a Portsmouth appearance, shortly before the primary.
This time, to humanize herself, after a globe-trotting stint as secretary of state and reports of her highly paid private speeches, Clinton is expected to interact directly with voters more often. And her campaign hires in early states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, have emphasized the staffers’ local ties and work on behalf of popular area Democrats.
Still, there are practical hurdles placed by a candidate who will soak up a crushing amount of media coverage; picture swarming reporters and cameras wedging into a middle-class living room.
“I certainly think she has the personality and skills to do really well in smaller events,” said Reardon, who is unaffiliated in 2016 but has campaigned with Clinton in the past. “I don’t think the challenge is Hillary, it’s the logistics of running this kind of effort in this cycle.”
To smooth out those logistics, a small but growing group of likely Clinton staffers has been active on the ground for months. They tried to avoid obvious meeting places such as coffee shops, instead working out of supporters’ homes.
Ready for Hillary, the Super PAC that set the groundwork for a Clinton run, has had a heavy New Hampshire presence.
But, Clinton veteran Terry Shumaker, who was on hand for Bill’s “Comeback Kid” speech and calls Hillary’s 2008 primary celebration “truly the most exciting moment I’ve experienced in politics,” sounded a warning about the state’s historical tendencies.
“Funny things happen in New Hampshire, and New Hampshire has a deep affection for the Clintons,” Shumaker said. “But New Hampshire is also dangerous territory for front-runners.”
"Hillary Clinton courts liberals in N.H.; Seeks to combat criticism of ties to Wall Street" by Annie Linskey and James Pindell Globe Staff April 21, 2015
KEENE, N.H. — On her first trip to New Hampshire as a 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton courted liberals Monday and sought to dispel suspicion among them that she is too close to Wall Street.
Clinton built on the kind of populist themes she voiced in her Iowa debut last week, where she made it clear that she was out to win the hearts and minds of the left — taking the same message to the backyard of two high-profile liberals, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
During a stop at Whitney Brothers, a furniture company in Keene, she laid out a tax reform philosophy that would differentiate between businesses like that one and those that “are just playing back and forth in the global marketplace to get one tenth of one percent of advantage” and were “at the root of some of the economic problems that we all remember from 2008.”
She also cast herself as a defender of Social Security and tried to demonstrate that she shares common cause with factory workers struggling to get by.
“There has been a lot of loose talk about Social Security,” Clinton said, speaking to a group of about three dozen Whitney Brothers employees. “What do we do to be sure it is there and we don’t mess with it and we don’t pretend it is a luxury?”
At a house party in Claremont Monday she repeated that theme. “We need to rebuild that opportunity society and make it available for everybody,” she said to fewer than 50 people who gathered to hear her.
Clinton’s focus at these early events in her new campaign has been consistent: Talk in small settings about how the “deck is stacked” in favor of those at the top and offer ladders of opportunity for businesses and workers to succeed. The language and ideas are designed to shore up the left-leaning wing of the party that has shown little enthusiasm for her candidacy.
Despite Clinton’s huge advantages in name recognition, organization, and fund-raising, a crucial challenge for her as she enters the race for the Democratic nomination is convincing liberal activists — including Warren’s ardent fans — that she is prepared to challenge big banks and shares a commitment to closing America’s yawning income gap.
“The majority of Americans understand that of course the deck is stacked,” said Sanders, the socialist independent who is mulling a challenge of Clinton in the Democratic primary. “You have to get beyond rhetoric and generalities.”
Sanders wants Clinton to take a clear stand on a set of issues, including building the Keystone XL pipeline; a possible trans-Pacific trade pact; and breaking up some of the largest financial institutions.
“Some of us have been talking about these issues for years,” he said. “The devil will be in the details.”
Warren has adamantly denied interest in running for president. She nonetheless has a huge national following that will be a crucial constituency in the Democratic primary and the general election. In another nod from Clinton to the Warren wing of the party, word leaked last week that Gary Gensler, an advocate for tighter rules on Wall Street, would be the chief financial officer of Clinton’s campaign. Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is the rare financial regulator who had support from both Clinton’s and Warren’s worlds.
Clinton also gushed over Warren last week, writing in Time magazine that “she never hesitates to hold powerful people’s feet to the fire.”
The message that Clinton, too, is willing to challenge the rich seems to be resonating, in New Hampshire at least.
Clinton’s Wall Street supporters cautioned not to read too much into the rhetoric....
I haven't. In one ear out the other.
Clinton also made a veiled criticism at President Obama’s track record on small businesses. “We’ve stalled out,” Clinton said, saying she’s been hearing repeatedly from small business owners who cite regulatory barriers to growth.
Clinton on Monday also visited Kristin’s Bakery and Cafe, a coffee shop here, where she cooed over a baby girl, ordered black tea with milk, and mostly stayed out of earshot from a pack of reporters following her around. She arrived in New Hampshire after a four-hour drive from her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., in her so-called Scooby van, a black Chevrolet with tinted windows.
What's the carbon footprint on all the campaigning?
Clinton’s campaign is trying to focus her candidacy on “everyday Americans” by holding a series of small and tightly controlled events.
She’s been a disciplined messenger so far, taking only a handful of questions from the media and offering little reaction to news of the day. Clinton was pressed Monday about a new book due out next month that raises questions about foreign and corporate donors to the vast network of Clinton charities.
The NYT report.
The Globe reported last week that a Boston-based arm of the Clinton Foundation doubled its intake of grants from foreign governments while Clinton was secretary of state.
And then they didn't tell anybody.
“We’re back into the political season and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks and I’m ready for that,” Clinton said, batting away the question. “It is worth noting that the Republicans are talking only about me.”
"Even in loyal New Hampshire, Clinton runs her most careful campaign" by James Pindell and Annie Linskey Globe Staff April 22, 2015
CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire has historically been welcome ground for Clinton, who came back to win the primary here in 2008. But even in her beloved Granite State, Clinton’s campaign has so far run a closely guarded schedule, marked by minimal and small events during her first trip as a candidate in the 2016 election.
Clinton’s only publicized events were two round-tables totaling 90 minutes over a two-day trip. On Tuesday, she visited the New Hampshire Technical Institute, Concord’s community college, where she made brief remarks before moderating a conversation among students and administrators. Not one of them asked her a question.
Probably wasn't scripted.
The rest of her second-day schedule remained unannounced until her self-described “Scooby Van” arrived on location. Clinton visited two small house parties, conversed with Mary Louise Hancock, the 94-year-old doyenne of state Democratic politics, stopped at a bakery, and huddled with elected officials.
Related: At 94, Democratic doyenne is still the go-to person in N.H.
It’s not an unusual schedule for a presidential candidate in the first-in-the-nation primary state — except compared to Clinton’s 2007 rollout in New Hampshire. In that campaign, she aimed to shock and awe with large crowds, and intimate retail politicking was an afterthought.
I can't take the self-internalized war values and terminology and framing of issues anymore but the divisive, war-promoting paper. Sorry.
Back then, on a cold February morning, the national political press corps rose in Berlin to see hundreds pack into a town hall meeting to hear Clinton answer questions about her controversial 2002 vote on the Iraq war.
Chafee going to hold her feet to the fire.
She ended her day addressing roughly 1,500 people at Concord High School, where she took questions on a variety of subjects for more than an hour.
But on Monday, Clinton posed the questions to a handful of round-table participants. Later at an afternoon house party in Claremont, she talked one-on-one with nearly every guest, supporters from her last bid.
Another difference for Clinton this time in New Hampshire: She doesn’t have as much to prove in the primary.
But she better win big.
In 2008, she faced Barack Obama, then a US senator, in an audience arms race. Obama’s first trip to New Hampshire drew thousands. Two months later, Clinton’s campaign wanted to demonstrate she could draw similar crowds on her first trip.
One does wonder how Obama lost New Hampshire.
In the 2016 campaign, the Democrats exploring a run for president are not threatening Clinton with crowds of thousands. Potential opponents like former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley or US Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont usually summon an audience of dozens. The exception so far is Sanders’ first event in the state last year, which drew nearly 400 people.
Recent polling confirms Clinton’s dominant lead among likely Democratic primary voters.
What’s more, a recent Globe tally showed Clinton has hired 19 staffers in the Granite State. Most Republican candidates have just two or three....
To accommodate Clinton’s go-small game plan, a pool system has been established for local and national media. Journalists from participating news organization rotate access to the candidate, sharing basic reporting over an e-mail list. The White House Press Corps use a similar system to cover the president, but candidates don’t typically use a pool until the general election.
At Clinton’s events, all journalists must be credentialed by the campaign in advance. In New Hampshire, Clinton’s staffers wrote their initials or drew a blue star on journalists’ right hand to show that a press person was allowed inside.
OMG! Are they Stars of David?
Otherwise, round-tables and house parties are commonplace in New Hampshire politics, even for Clinton....
But it's all about her.
So where does she stand on crime?
"As unrest and arrests grow, Clinton evolves on crime" by Lisa Lerer Associated Press April 30, 2015
NEW YORK — Hillary Rodham Clinton issued an impassioned call for overhauling an ‘‘out of balance’’ criminal justice system Tuesday, using her first major public policy address as a presidential candidate to reflect on the recent unrest in Baltimore and push for an end to ‘‘the era of mass incarceration.’’
What, after her husband started the ball rolling in the 1990s?
Speaking at an urban policy forum at Columbia University, Clinton recounted the recent killings of unarmed black men by white police officers, saying the chaos and rioting sparked by their deaths should prompt a national reckoning with longstanding and profound economic and racial inequalities.
‘‘The patterns have become unmistakable and undeniable,’’ she said. ‘‘We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America.’’
Who is "we?"
Clinton spoke in the days after violence and protests have swept through the streets of Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a spinal-cord injury while in police custody. With her remarks, she joined a bipartisan group of politicians who are rejecting the tough-on-crime policies of the 1980s and 1990s — including those trumpeted as a major achievement by the administration of her husband, Bill.
Hey, that was then, this is now.
Nicholas Turner, president of the Vera Institute, a nonprofit focused on crime policy, said the belief in those years that longer sentences would mean more safety is being set aside. ‘‘What Clinton talks about today reflects a repudiation of that thinking,’’ he said. ‘‘Everyone has evolved.’’
The emerging presidential field has been tested by the startling wave of rage that swept the streets of Baltimore. With smoke still rising from the city’s burnt buildings, many struggle to calibrate their political response....
Related: Potential candidates critical of Clinton
She will still coast to nomination.
Where it all ends:
"Philadelphia to host 2016 Democratic convention" by Trip Gabriel, New York Times February 13, 2015
Philadelphia was widely seen as the favorite throughout the selection process, in part because it was a safe pick both financially and politically.
So how is that cop trial going?
It had the individual and corporate backing to fund a convention — it hosted the Republicans in 2000 — and it offered a less-risky backdrop than New York, a liberal epicenter and the home to a polarizing mayor, Bill de Blasio.
The decision was largely made by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who had caressed the Liberty Bell, without aggressive lobbying from President Obama, Bill Clinton, or Hillary Rodham Clinton during the process.
Pressed on whether New York was sidelined because of questions about de Blasio, including a nasty recent dispute with city police unions, Wasserman Schultz said that was not true, but New York apparently did lose points by proposing the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the convention, which posed logistical hurdles.
Those tensions have eased.
With a shortage of hotel rooms in the borough, thousands of attendees would have had to shuttle back and forth to Manhattan, with the potential for transportation snarls.
Why did the Boston Olympic bid just come to mind?
Wasserman Schultz said in announcing the decision [that] Philadelphia’s strength was the proximity of hotels to its arena, the Wells Fargo Center, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The seamlessness of the “delegate experience,” she said, was “a very, very important thing” in making the choice.
Edward G. Rendell, a former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor who guided the city’s bid, spoke about a risk-averse checklist that seemed to point to Philadelphia as the safest pick.
“First and foremost you want to do no harm,” he said. “Secondly you want those delegates to leave the building flying.”
I'm sure there will be plenty of alcohol available.
The 2016 convention, which is scheduled for the week of July 25, is more than a month earlier than recent conventions, which typically fell around Labor Day. The party gave up the greater voter attention that comes later on the calendar in order to counter any bounce in the polls for the Republican nominee, who will be picked at the GOP convention in Cleveland from July 18 through 21.
It is a risky choice because undecided voters on their summer vacations may skip the television coverage, the chief purpose of modern conventions.
I would skip it even if I were not on vacation.
Columbus, the 15th-largest city in the country and Ohio’s capital, promoted itself as an affordable alternative, with a walkable, Midwestern vibe. But Columbus has a small airport and fewer downtown hotels.
And the platform?
"Democrats grapple with question of how to convey principles" by Ken Thomas, Associated Press February 22, 2015
WASHINGTON — Democrats are struggling to answer a simple question — ‘‘What’s a Democrat?’’ — and must do a better job of explaining their core values to voters, according to a task force formed after the party’s dismal showing in the 2014 election.
We are Republicans light!
‘‘I am here to tell you the Democratic Party has lost its way,’’ said a panel member, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky. The problems are not with the ‘‘party’s core beliefs,’’ he said, but relate to ‘‘our inability to convey our principles to the American people in a precise, concise, and passionate way.’’
According to interim findings in the Democratic National Committee’s report released Saturday, Democrats lack a ‘‘cohesive narrative’’ and need to find ways to help their party explain bedrock values such as fairness, equality, and opportunity.
WTF? They had six years of control with a filibuster-proof Congre$$ for two years. All we got was a crappy corporate health mandate.
I mean, CAN IT BE THAT HARD to PUT FORTH POSITIONS we ALL ARE ALLEGEDLY FOR, or is it the RECORD that follows the RHETORIC that is the problem?
The 10-member task force went to work after Democrats were clobbered in November, surrendering control of the Senate to Republicans and allowing the GOP to pad its majority in the House. Republicans captured governor’s offices in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois — all safe Democratic states in presidential elections — and strengthened their grip on legislatures.
The losses have led to soul-searching among Democrats as they try to translate success in presidential elections under Barack Obama into midterm elections dominated by congressional campaigns. Many party leaders contend that Democrats should have run more aggressively on Obama’s record last year and drawn sharp distinctions with Republicans.
They were running away from him, and for good reason -- or so I was told by Globe campaign coverage.
‘‘Whenever we let the other guys talk the way they talk about our president, about our leadership, about our values, we’re going to lose,’’ Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut told the DNC on Thursday. He said too many Democrats tried to be ‘‘Republicans lite.’’
And they can't really do anything about it because both parties are controlled by corporate lobbyists now.
The nine-page report recommends a multiyear effort to prepare for the next round of congressional redistricting after the 2020 elections, given the wariness already about Republican clout in legislatures.
It calls for more financial support and training for state parties in a return to the principles behind the ‘‘50-state strategy’’ promoted by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, who led the DNC from 2005 to 2009. That approach aimed to compete in state and local elections throughout the country.
The task force emphasized rebuilding the party’s bench as Republicans aggressively recruit candidates for state and local office.
"Clinton urged to champion trade pact" Associated Press May 04, 2015
WASHINGTON — Presidential candidate Clinton has so far been noncommittal about a trade deal she promoted as Obama’s secretary of state....
Well, yeah, it kind of blows a hole in all the staged campaign imagery as the woman of the people.
Didn't she discuss this with Liz?
Obama says it would help cure the ills inflicted on American workers by trade pacts of the past, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The trade legislation would give Obama the “fast track” authority to complete such trade deals and speed them through Congress without amendments.
It not only reeks of dictator$hip, it's a $harp contra$t to the nettling on the Iran deal.
During a speech to Democratic activists last week, Obama said that because the Pacific trade deal includes Mexico and Canada, “it fixes a lot that was wrong with NAFTA when it was passed back in the 1990s.”
You know, that is so at odds with what we told at time of sale, ever since as the further trade pacts built upon these, and now all of a sudden there are problems. Oh, yes, the job migrations were noted as American factories closed down, but in the aggregate, in the overall, we were told everyone won.
Oh, what am I thinking? Just forget all the memories and doubts and don't worry about the trade agreement we can't see or amend! Obama gonna fix it. Little late, but he gonna fix it all!
Also smells like a Republican trap for her (insomuch as I care) by getting her to declare on this and thus alienate the very base to which she is now appealing. Hypocri$y noted, let's move on.
Related: Exclusive: Bill Clinton Defends His Foundation's Foreign Money
It's been almost 25 years of hearing their recycled gas, and I don't want to anymore. Sorry. For this nation to have to stomach another Bush/Clinton presidency....
"Former president Bill Clinton said Monday he does not plan to stop giving the high-priced speeches to private corporations, foreign governments, and nonprofit organizations that have been a mainstay of his post-presidential life. Bill Clinton’s decision to reenter the political fray reflects concerns that the intense scrutiny on the family charity is having a negative impact on Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. An Associated Press-GfK poll released last week found that more than six in 10 independents agreed that ‘‘honest’’ was not the best word to describe the second-time presidential candidate. The State Department said Monday it has no evidence that any actions taken by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state were influenced by donations to the Clinton Foundation or the former president’s speaking fees."
Because they literally have NO EVIDENCE! She scrubbed the servers!
Scandal gonna go away now, right?
"The State Department said Thursday it has no plans to review previously undisclosed donations to a branch of the Clinton Foundation that some say raise questions about potential conflicts of interest during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s time as secretary of state."
Now she is appealing to the Hispanic vote as the agenda-pu$hing pre$$ poll tells us we are all in favor of amnesty. Wow.