Hillary needs Bernie’s support


I am a Hillary Clinton supporter but have been impressed with Bernie Sanders’ campaign.  Amazingly, he continues to pile up victory after victory, most recently sweeping Hawaii, Alaska and Washington on a Saturday when most Americans were watching the Elite 8 NCAA tournament games.  And while he clearly has the momentum, he is still trailing in the delegate count and has practically no chance to win the nomination even if he wins the rest of the democratic races, unless Hillary Clinton drops out.

As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I am concerned about her performance and worry that her wins to date have been mostly in states that typically vote for the Republican candidate in the General election.  Bernie seems to be winning the states that Hillary needs to carry in the General to have a chance at victory.  My fear is that Bernie supporters in the states he’s won so far that went to the Democrats in 2012: WA, MI, MN, VT, ME, NH, HI, and CO will refuse to back her, or only do so if she adopts positions that he supports.  In fact, Bernie has indicated that he won’t campaign for her without getting something in return. The problem is that if she does turn sharply to the left in the general, she will lose and lose badly.  And she may lose anyway, even if Bernie accepts defeat with humility because so many of BS supporters simply do not like her, thanks to Bernie’s portrayal of her as an establishment hawk  wedded to Wall Street, wealthy donors, and Obamacare that Bernie and the Republicans reject, the very health care system that allows many of the Millenials, who make up a large portion of his supporters, to stay on their parent’s health care plan until they reach 26 years of age.  This same Obamacare has provided coverage for many people in the U.S. who formerly had no insurance at all.  Unfortunately, BS supporters don’t seem to understand that if BS loses (and he inevitably will) Trump or Cruz could be their (my, our) next President.  BS supporters, I know it will be difficult for you to embrace HC, but I urge you to read up on what a Cruz or Trump presidency would look like.

Not all is gloom and doom for HC.  While Bernie has won states that vote Dem. in the General, so too has Hillary.  In fact, for comparison sake, if the contest were a General election between Bernie and Hillary, she’d have won the equivalent of 103 electoral votes in Blue states to date, while BS would have won just 57.  She’s won the big ones that went DEM in 2012:  IL, OH, and FL.  He’s been winning the smaller Blue states (Blue in 2012) like HI, VT and NH.  He’d have to nearly run the table of the remaining Blue states to best her in electoral votes (taking all the Red States out of the equation) meaning Bernie would need to win NY, NJ, CA, CT, PA, DC, OR, RI, NM, MD and DE, a highly unlikely scenario.

If Hillary wins the nomination, as she’s on pace to do despite Bernie’s momentum, she will need to win most of the Blue states that President Obama won in 2012, including the blue states that Bernie has already won which include: WA, HI, VT, CO, MN, MI, NH and ME.  He and his supporters HAVE to deliver these states to HC in the General.  I know cooperation is not in Bernie’s DNA.  For the record, he is notorious for rarely compromising in Congress which is the basis for governance in a democracy.  He is as well known for his failure to seek or attract bipartisan support for legislation he has put forth or to support moderate legislation.  In fact, he and Cruz are on opposite extremes of the ideological spectrum and have done very little in their careers to help break the gridlock on capital hill and have actually, in many ways, contributed to it with purist and angry views.  The truth is, ideologues have a hard time uniting people and governing.

BS supporters, take a close look at HC.  Whether you like her not, she WILL appoint a supreme court judge who WON’T take us back to the stone age; she’ll protect Obamacare and try to expand it; she BELIEVES in climate change and science; she’ll protect Social Security (expanding it is a pipe dream, sorry) and won’t raise the retirement age to 96; she’ll work to address the issues of racism, including prison and police reform and will challenge states who insist on suppressing the vote;  she’ll support an INCREASE in minimum wage; she’ll support women’s rights; she’ll support the LGBT community; she’ll fight for sensible gun control laws; she’ll fight ISIS intelligently; she’ll continue to improve relationships with our allies, which is vital in a global community – we cannot allow the U.S. to become an isolationist nation, nor to promote protectionism which will spark a trade war and kill the economy.

An HC presidency would be infinitely preferable to a Trump or Cruz regime.  With all due respect to BS and to his supporters, he can’t win – the delegate math is against him.  After the convention, when Bernie’s defeat becomes official, please support and more importantly, VOTE for HC in the General.  Your future – OUR future is at stake.


Conservatives freaking out over Hillary Clinton candidacy…AGAIN!


Politics are all about agendas.  Foundations want money to support their particular goals.  Donors of course want something in return too. Maybe it’s face time, influence, a good feeling, a tax deduction or a bumper sticker. Nobody gives for the sheer pleasure of giving. And speaking of agendas, the conservatives are desparate again to stop the political machine of the Clintons, this time by going after Hillary and the Clinton Foundation.  Peter Schweizer, a fellow from the Conservative Hoover Institute has written a new book called Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, which alleges that as former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton promised policy favors in exchange for donations to the Foundation and speaking engagements for her husband, former President Bill Clinton. But even if foreign donors thought they could “pay to play” or were led to believe they could, doesn’t mean they ever got into the game. There’s no evidence that I’ve seen to suggest that “foreign” money has influenced policy any more than it already has through super PACs and other special interest groups.  If anything, foreign relations influence policy.  As to the insinuation by pundits that the email erasing was to hide incriminating information, there’s nothing there. She’s said she deleted personal emails and handed over official ones, not unlike other secretaries who had come before her.

I say the Republicans are desperate again because back in 2008, they pulled a similar stunt, but instead of a book, it was a scathing documentary on Hillary Clinton that they wished to promote on TV during the presidential campaign.  The FEC said no, and the dispute ended up in the Supreme Court as Citizens United (the conservative lobbying group) vs. FEC.  And we know how that turned out. Yes, it started a new era of extreme influence pedaling by wealthy individuals who can bankroll super PACs. U.S. News and World Report reported that since the ruling, super PACs have spent over 1 billion on U.S. elections, and according to the Brennan Center, 60% of the money came from only 195 families. This outside money has no boundaries. Open Secrets.org reported that in 2014, U.S. divisions of international companies donated over 19 million – 7.8 to Democrats and 12.4 to Republicans.  Companies like Seven-11, Airbus, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Teva, Nestle, Shell, BP and many others contributing to both sides to buy influence, the sort of influence that Republicans enable and yet now seem shocked to hear exists.

This new influence pedaling appears to have been effective in influencing policy.  BP got off pretty lightly after practically destroying the Gulf Coast and now the U.S. is back to drilling and fracking with a passion to the point where our finite fossil fuels literally runeth over – we’re running out of tanks to store the stuff.  And now that Hillary Clinton is in the Presidential mix again, the Republicans are freaking out and doing everything they can to derail the Clinton train because they know that once it gets going full steam ahead, they won’t be able to stop it.  Not even Jeb Bush.

Hillary and Bill are tough and can weather the attacks, but the haters have gone too far by attacking the reputable Clinton Foundation which has done more good for the world than the do nothing Congress has in the last 8 years. And this desperate attack will cost them the election and another 4 more years.

Hillary in Obama’s Cabinet

Would Senator Clinton be a good Secretary of State?  Maybe, but not for the Obama administration on her terms.  She’d have to be loyal and subordinate to Obama’s vision and work with a team including the VP and other Cabinet members and top level advisers.  This could be a problem.

During the primary, Clinton was critical of Obama’s foreign policy credentials, particularly his lack of experience and his “soft” approach to dealing with rogue nations – his diplomatic preference for talking with enemies “without preconditions” or at least that is how his position had been characterized.  In a foreign policy speech delivered in D.C. back in February, as reported by ABC News, here is what H. Clinton had to say about Obama:  he “wavers from seeming to believe that mediation and meetings without preconditions can solve some of the world’s most intractable problems to advocating rash unilateral military action without cooperation among allies in the most sensitive region of the world.”

Another problem for Hillary could be her husband’s Foundation work, what some have referred to as entanglements.   On Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell (who broke the story) said that as part of the vetting process, Bill Clinton might have to disclose details about  funding for the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Presidential Library, which could prove to be problematic, but not an insurmountable obstacle.  Also, Hillary Clinton’s appointment might reduce the size of the former President’s international stage and hinder future fund raising efforts for his Foundation work.

In my view, the biggest problem with the idea is that Clinton’s foreign policy approach is much more hawkish than Obama’s.  One of the reasons I voted for Obama in the primary and general election was his willingness to explore diplomatic solutions as opposed to setting hard line preconditions that could exacerbate the problem and escalate the danger.  We need a fresh approach, one of resolve that is dramatically different from the last 8 years; a determined approach to bring peace to a nuclear free Middle East and significant numbers of our troops home.  We need to restore our image abroad so that we can lead with our Allies and not alienate them.  Do you remember GW Bush’s use of the phrase Coalition of the Willing during the 2003 invasion of Iraq?  In addition to the U.S., there were only 4 countries willing to commit combat troops for the ill advised action:  Australia, the UK, Poland and Denmark.  As Senator John Kerry pointed out in the 2004 Presidential Debate:  “That’s not a grand coalition, we can do better.”    Oui, nous pouvons!

And how about Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State?  He has the credentials and the interest.  He endorsed Barack Obama during a critical moment in the Primary, so there’s no question about loyalty or a parallel agenda.  He speaks French fluently, but interestingly had to hide the fact during his run for the Presidency so as not to appear unpatriotic or disloyal.  Geoffrey Pullum posted an interesting comment in the Language Log entitled, No French please, people are watching alluding to the incident and speaking to the general state of foreign language learning in the U.S. 

I find it hard to believe that Obama actually may have already offered her the position of Secretary of State unless he were certain she would not accept.  That said, I do believe there is a place for Hillary in the Cabinet.  How about as Secretary of Education or Health and Human Services where she could champion causes close to her heart like health care reform and children’s issues?  Personally, I think her independence and intellect are best suited to the role of Supreme Court Justice. I’d like to see her stay on in the Senate until one of the aging Justices retires.  And that may be sooner than later:  5 of the Justices are 70 or older – the oldest 88.  Although U.S. Senator to Supreme Court is an unusual path, there is precedent.  President Lincoln appointed U.S. Senator David Davis from Illinois to the Supreme Court in 1862.  And get this:  Justice Davis is a distant cousin of W and HW Bush!