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Saturday, July 4, 2015

"This Is Not Bill Clinton's Democratic Party

In The Huffington Post, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) denounces the recent trade bill:
Consider that this new fast-track trade authority was opposed by every member of the House Democratic leadership and an overwhelming 85 percent of House Democrats; all but two of the Senate leadership and 70 percent of the Democratic senators; and every Democratic candidate for president, including the most likely nominee, Hillary Clinton. The president prevailed by one vote, literally without a single vote to spare.
I've been counting votes long enough to know that it takes only one vote more than the other guy to win. But I also know that when an issue is decided by only one vote, the fight's not over. This isn't 1993, and this is not Bill Clinton's Democratic party.
When President Bill Clinton won passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, he had the support of 40 percent of the House Democrats and exactly half of the Senate Democrats. Then, most of the liberal economists, including Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Reich, also enthusiastically backed NAFTA and other agreements critical to the global economy.
DeLauro is married to Stanley Greenberg.  As Bill Clinton's pollster, he did as much as anyone to create "Bill Clinton's Democratic Party."

Trump and Immigration

Ryan Parker reports at The Los Angeles Times:
Real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has come under fire for referring to some Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and "killers," again blasted border security in the wake of the slaying of a California woman and the news that the suspect was deported five times.
Trump did not directly refer to the comments that have cost him valuable business sponsorships and prompted denunciations from Latino groups. Instead, he focused on border security. 
Other GOP contenders, after largely sidestepping the issue, are now blasting Trump's immigration remarks, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida the latest to do so.
In a series of tweets Friday, Trump said the shooting death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinleat a popular tourist spot in San Francisco was unacceptable. "Our Southern border is unsecure," he said in a tweet. "I am the only one that can fix it, nobody else has the guts to even talk about it." Francisco Sanchez, 45, was arrested on suspicion of murder. Sanchez has seven felony convictions.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sanders, the Outsider

Sarah Lyall profiles Bernard Sanders's early Vermont years at The New York Times:
“The Revolution Is Life Versus Death,” in fact, was the title of an article he wrote for The Vermont Freeman, an alternative, authority-challenging newspaper published for a few years back then. The piece began with an apocalyptically alarmist account of the unbearable horror of having an office job in New York City, of being among “the mass of hot dazed humanity heading uptown for the 9-5,” sentenced to endless days of “moron work, monotonous work.”
“The years come and go,” Mr. Sanders wrote, in all apparent seriousness. “Suicide, nervous breakdown, cancer, sexual deadness, heart attack, alcoholism, senility at 50. Slow death, fast death. DEATH.”
Chalk some of this up to being young and unemployed. Mr. Sanders, now 73, has had a steady, nonrevolutionary job for quite some time now. His current workplace, the United States Senate, is not exactly known for its thrill-a-minute dynamism. But through his long evolution from outraged outsider to mainstream man in a suit, Mr. Sanders has remained true to his original message: sympathy for the downtrodden, the impoverished and the disenfranchised in the face of the rich and the powerful.
Matea Gold and John Wagner report at The Washington Post:
Seven-figure checks from billionaires Haim Saban and George Soros helped a quartet of independent groups supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 Democratic presidential bid bring in more than $24 million in the first half of the year, officials said Thursday.
Also on Thursday, aides to iconoclastic Clinton challenger Bernie Sanders (I) said the senator from Vermont raised $15 million in largely small-dollar contributions over the past two months.
It’s a strong showing of grass-roots support for an outsider candidate, but Sanders lags far behind Clinton’s reported haul of $45 million for her campaign committee. The numbers underscore Clinton’s status as the clear front-runner in both fundraising and the polls, with Republican hopeful Jeb Bush as her biggest potential rival so far in terms of the presidential money race.
AT MSNBC, Alex Seitz-Wald reports:
“In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of people here,” Bernie Sanders said a bit awed as he took the stage in front of nearly 10,000 in a coliseum here.
Sanders has been attracting outsize crowds wherever he takes his unlikely presidential campaign. Five thousand came out for his kickoff rally in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Another 5,000 turned out in Denver, Colorado. In Minneapolis, a thousand listened from outside after the basketball arena where Sanders was speaking filled to capacity.
But Madison was different.
“Tonight we have made history,” Sanders declared to thunderous applause. “Tonight we have more people at a meeting for a candidate for president of the United States than any other candidates have.”
Indeed, Sanders – the self-declared Democratic-socialist from Vermont; the former perennial protest candidate; the man who until a few weeks ago belonged to neither party – turned out more people Wednesday night than has any candidate of either party so far this year.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Walker Flip-Flops

Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin report at the New York Times:
After Mr. Walker moved to support Iowa’s prized ethanol subsidies, abandoned his support for an immigration overhaul and spoke out against the Common Core national education standards, his pointed tone on marriage caused some Republicans to ask publicly whether he is too willing to modify his views to aid his ambitions.

“It seems like pollsters gone wild,” said Scott Reed, a longtime Republican strategist and top adviser to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discussing Mr. Walker’s call for a constitutional amendment.
To Republicans like Mr. Reed, Mr. Walker appears increasingly willing to lose the general election to win the primary.
Mr. Walker’s shifts on issues this year have created friction with a variety of people open to supporting him. He used to oppose what he called government mandates on the use of ethanol in gasoline, for example, but told Iowans this year that he was willing to continue one, the Renewable Fuel Standard. The reversal was not well received in the political network led by the industrialists David H. and Charles G. Koch, according to a Republican aware of the reaction who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of sensitivities over the group’s deliberations.
But his stance on marriage is what has disquieted people who had counted on Mr. Walker taking a more restrained approach to the culture wars.

For several months, according to four people briefed on the discussions who were not authorized to describe an off-the-record meeting, Republican donors who were advocates for legalizing same-sex marriage had worked quietly to try to build bridges to Mr. Walker, whose wife has a lesbian cousin whose wedding reception Mr. Walker attended.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Carville Had a Term for People Like Begala

In a 1995 book, Clinton strategist James Carville wrote:
I have a Quote Slut list. People available by the phone, ready to be called. Let me say I have probably qualified to be on that list myself; there's nothing wrong with it.The list varies. Whether it's a congressman; whether it's John Sasso, the very talented guy who ran the Dukakis campaign; whether it's Bob Beckel or Chris Matthews, they're going to have some intelligent things to say and you can count on the nets to contact them.You want them, when they're called and asked, "What do you think of this?," to say something complimentary.

Those are political Quote Sluts. The economic team has a list of economic Quote Sluts.
A new email dump prompts Peter Baker and Richard Eder to write at The New York Times:
While an ostensibly nonpartisan figure as secretary, Mrs. Clinton clearly still worried about retiring her $23 million campaign debt from 2008. “Thank you so very much!!!” her chief of protocol, Capricia Marshall, wrote to Paul Begala, a longtime Clinton friend and Democratic strategist, in April 2009. “We raised 500K from the email contest!! You are all amazing — the world adores you!” She added, “You put a serious hole in HRC debt!”
Mr. Begala responded by asking for talking points before he went on CNN to rate Mrs. Clinton’s early performance. Ms. Marshall referred him to several State Department aides. After his appearance, Mr. Begala emailed back: “I gave Sec. Clinton an A+ in our dopey CNN report card last night.” Ms. Mills forwarded that to Mrs. Clinton with an “FYI.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Underwater Christie

Chris Christie is running for president.  He is not likely to win.  From a June 16 release by Public Policy Polling:
Christie continues to be largely reviled by GOP voters- only 26% have a favorable
opinion of him to 49% with an unfavorable one and he's even polling now behind Carly
Fiorina. In addition to Christie and Bush, 3 other GOP hopefuls are under water even
with their own party's voters- Donald Trump at 38/43, George Pataki at 10/30, and
Lindsey Graham at 16/39. Although Graham is unpopular it's not clear that his being
single has much to do with the problem- 76% of GOP voters say it makes no difference
to them whether a candidate is married with 15% saying they're less likely to vote for one who isn't and 4% more likely.
That finding confirms a March Gallup poll:
Of 11 potential candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush are the most well-known and have the highest net favorable ratings among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. While Chris Christie is one of the most familiar Republican figures among the party base, he has the lowest net favorable rating.
Potential 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates: Familiarity and Favorability, March 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

America Rising, Emulation, and Photography

At AP, Julie Bykowicz reports on the iron law of emulation:
Republicans watched American Bridge with envy. Then they copied it.

"Republicans had completely dropped the ball on tracking," said Steven Law, president of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, two of the best-funded outside groups of the 2012 election. "And we were deeply disappointed with the quality of the opposition research available to us."

Law and Crossroads co-founder Carl Forti persuaded Joe Pounder, the Republican National Committee's lead researcher, and Matt Rhoades, manager of Republican nominee Mitt Romney's campaign, to start America Rising in early 2013. Crossroads was its first client.

Like American Bridge, America Rising is part-super PAC. That entity raised $1.3 million by the end of last year. But the group also is part-corporation, selling its tracking, research and rapid response. Federal Election Commission records reviewed by The Associated Press show candidates and political groups have paid the corporate side more than $3.4 million for its services.

Its clients include the Republican National Committee and the main party committees for the Senate and House of Representatives as well as several state parties.

Both America Rising and American Bridge are expanding. Between the two, they'll employ at least 150 people through Election Day next year.

American Bridge recently spun off a second group, called Correct the Record, to defend Clinton against attacks coming from America Rising and GOP opponents. And America Rising this month brought aboard Spencer Zwick, the financial architect of Romney's campaign, to help raise money.

"I believe a donor gets more bang for their buck in participating with America Rising," Zwick said. The group "has a more direct impact than almost any other organization."
Reena Flores reports at CBS:
Right-leaning opposition research group America Rising has launched its own photo agency, announcing Thursday that it would begin selling its own original snapshots of candidates from the numerous political events they've attended "at a competitive price."

"Don't want to pay over $1,000 for a shot of Hillary Clinton?," America Rising LLC president Joe Pounder asked in an email unveiling "Building a new website? Putting together a direct mail piece? Need content for your digital campaigns? will have the photos you need."

The appeal of these photos, however, is the price point. AmericaRisingImages charges $250 for a blanket commercial license for what appear to be the majority of the photos for Democrats as famous as Hillary Clinton, as well as those less prominent.

America Rising LLC President Joe Pounder told CBS News that "[The] target audience is the public at large and everyone interested in politics from campaigns, to public affairs shops, to news outlets." The site is a boon for that first market - those cash-strapped GOP campaigns - which will be able to use the photos in digital and direct mail for that token cost.