Election 2016

Articles related to the 2016 election cycle

Clinton-Kaine: This works … for us

On Friday night, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced her selection of Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her vice presidential running mate.

The initial reaction from many on the left was disappointment (we each had our favorites!), then grudging acceptance (okay, fine, it’s her choice, it doesn’t change our committment) … then this happened: on Saturday afternoon, Hillary introduced us to Tim Kaine – and he won us over:

“Hi, I’m Tim”

Thank you so much for the warm welcome to the team, Jan!

I could not be more honored to fight alongside you — I know that together, we’re going to win in November.

I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about myself — and bear with me, Jan, since I know you might not have even heard of me before yesterday!

Growing up in Kansas, vice president was never a job I aspired to.

My dad ran an iron-working shop and my entire family pitched in to help.

My parents taught me the lessons that have guided my entire life — my mom once told me: “Tim, you have to decide if you want to be right or do right. If you want to be right, be a pessimist. If you want to do right, be an optimist.”

Jan, I’ve been an optimist ever since. And since my time at a Jesuit boys school, I’ve been a man of faith.

After racing through college and starting at Harvard Law, I took a year off to volunteer with missionaries in Honduras. I got a firsthand look at a system in which the few folks at the top had all the power and everyone else got left behind.

That experience convinced me: We’ve got to expand opportunity and equality for everyone, no matter where they come from, how much money they have, what they look like, or who they love.

I’m lucky to have married a woman who felt the same: Anne is the daughter of Virginia Governor Linwood Holton, who integrated Virginia’s public schools and modeled how important it was by sending his kids in to lead the way.

Anne and I settled in Richmond, started a family, joined a church, and made our home together. I took on work as a civil rights lawyer, representing people who were denied housing because of their race or disability.

I found myself at a lot of City Council meetings to raise the issues I was dealing with on behalf of my clients. But the infighting was horrible! So in 1994, I decided to run for office. I knocked on every door in my district, and I won by 94 votes. (I know the value of the kind of organizing this team is doing!)

If I’m good at anything in public life, it’s because I started on the local level, listening to people, learning about their lives, and trying to find consensus.

In the years that followed, I became mayor of Richmond, lieutenant governor of Virginia, and in 2006, I served as governor.

I had to make tough calls during the recession. But I’m proud of what we accomplished in Virginia: the best managed state, the best state for business, and my personal favorite accolade, the best state to raise a child.

I’ve kept it up as Virginia’s senator. And I won’t stop when Hillary and I are in the White House. We’ll do what we know best: Deliver results for people.

That’s what drives us both. Hillary and I have different faiths but we share a common creed: Do all the good you can in all the ways you can.

We don’t back away from tough fights. We’re energized by them. Hillary and I have a strong progressive agenda and we’re not going to get distracted from it.

We’ll make our economy work for everyone. We’ll make college debt-free. We’ll take on the NRA, we’ll work toward comprehensive immigration reform — we’ll fight for paid family leave, and equality for women, and making sure every kid has a chance to live up to their potential.

These are tough times — but we’re tough people. We can do it.

Let’s go, Jan. I’m excited to work with you to make history:

Thanks again for the warm welcome.


Based on Tim Kaine’s biography, his purple state electoral bona fides, his simple decency, his enthusiasm(!) – I am convinced that this is a person who will be an asset to Candidate Hillary Clinton and President Hillary Clinton.

What they are saying …


Dear Democratic Party – Thank you – Signed, Jan

Dear Democratic Party,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you.

We don’t always see eye to eye, Democratic Party. Some of the choices you have made over the years have left me shaking my head.

But in my lifetime you have never once nominated someone completely unsuited, someone who rejects Democratic Party values, someone who I would be unable to vote for over concern that my country, and the world, would be damaged if they were to win the election.

Oh, you flirted with it: Strom Thurmond (actually before my time) and George Wallace come to mind. You sometimes allowed single issues to take priority over electability, leaving us out of power while Republicans hurt us and our causes, but you never nominated someone who I couldn’t vote for.


Hillary Clinton: “We need a president who can help call us together, not split us apart”

On Monday, Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke at the 107th NAACP Convention in Cincinnati Ohio.

(Introduction is at 3:49:06, Hillary at 3:54:55)

Secretary Clinton on the criminal justice system:

We must reform our criminal justice system because everyone is safer when there is respect for the law and when everyone is respected by the law.

And let’s admit it, there is clear evidence that African- Americans are disproportionately killed in police incidents compared to any other group.

And African-American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men convicted of the same offenses.

These facts tell us something is profoundly wrong. We can’t ignore that, we can’t wish it away. We have to make it right. That means end-to-end reform in our criminal justice system, not half measures, but a full commitment with real follow-through.

And the next president should make a commitment to fight for the reforms we so desperately need — holding police departments like Ferguson accountable.

Requiring accurate data on in-custody deaths, like Sandra Bland.

Creating clear national guidelines on the use of force, especially lethal force.

Supporting independent investigations of fatal encounters with the police.

So, I pledge to you, I will start taking action on day one and every day after that until we get this done.

And you know what? When the 24-hour news cycle moves on, I won’t.

This is too important. This goes to the heart of who we are. This is about our character as Americans.

On income inequality:

Rosa Parks opened up every seat on the bus. Our challenge now is to expand jobs so everyone can afford the fare.

And let’s ensure that the bus route reaches every neighborhood and connects every family with safe, affordable housing, good jobs and quality schools.

Now, I know none of this will surprise those of you who know me. I do have a lot of plans. You can go to my website, hillaryclinton.com, and read our full agenda. Because you see, I have this old-fashioned idea: if you’re running for president, you should say exactly what you want to do and how you will get it done.

I do sweat the specifics, because I think they matter, whether one more kid gets health care, one more person finds a job, or one more woman entrepreneur gets access to capital to follow her dream — those just may be details in Washington, but it really matters to those people and their families.

And the truth is, we need to plan how we’re going to address the complex set of economic, social and political challenges we face. They’re intersectional; they’re reinforcing. We’ve got to take them all on. We can’t wait and just do one at a time.

On bringing us together as a nation:

I’ve been saying this for a while now. I’m going to keep saying it because I think it’s important. We white Americans need to do a better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day.

We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility rather than assume that our experiences are everyone’s experiences. We all need to try as best we can to walk in one another’s shoes, to imagine what it would be like to sit our son or daughter down and have the talk about how carefully they need to act around police because the slightest wrong move could get them hurt or even killed.

Let’s also put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to a dangerous job that their families pray will bring them home safe at night. Empathy works both ways. We’ve got to try to see the world through their eyes, too.

When you get right down to it, that’s what makes it possible for people from every background, every race, every religion to come together as one nation. It’s what makes our country endure, and in times like these, we need a president who can help call us together, not split us apart.

I will work every single day to do just that.

Transcript below.


Reality Check: Our Two-Party System of Government

The United States has a two-party system of government. We elect a president from one of our two major political parties. It is winner take all, loser gets nothing.

Good, bad or indifferent, that is the reality. If a presidential choice turns out to be an unmitigated disaster, there is no “call a new election” option as there is in parliamentary democracies such as Canada and the United Kingdom. We are stuck with that president until the next presidential election … and with the Congressional majority until the next biennial election.

The latest Pew Poll (July 7, 2016) showed that people are expressing widespread dissatisfaction with both major party candidates.

It also showed this terrifying graph reminding us of what happened in 2000; that the last time the lie of “both parties are the same” was sold to people as conventional wisdom, we ended up with Republican President George W. Bush.


President Obama: “I’m ready to pass the baton to Hillary Clinton.”

Yesterday, in Charlotte NC, President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared at a campaign rally to make the case for 4 more years – of Democrats in the White House!

President Obama spoke about “passing the baton” to the next Democratic president and Secretary Clinton spoke of “building on the progress that President Obama has made.” Steady progress – maybe not revolutionary but certainly historical. As Hillary Clinton pointed out, when the founding fathers met in Philadelphia 240 years ago to sign the Declaration of Independence, “nobody who looked like Barack Obama or me would have been included”. Yesterday, in Charlotte, the first black president passed the baton to the person who will likely become the first woman president.

Secretary Clinton:

President Obama’s job, one that he did not ask for but was handed to him, was to save us from a second great depression, and that is exactly what he did.

Actually, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves for saving our economy.

We’ve added 14 million private sector jobs. The auto industry just had its best year ever. Twenty million people now have health care. Clean energy production has soared. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. That is what leadership looks like.

So our next president has a different job to do: building on the progress that President Obama has made. We have to continue to take on deep structural challenges that existed long before the great recession.

President Obama:

… the bottom line is I know Hillary can do the job, and that’s why I am so proud, North Carolina, to endorse Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States.

Now, I recognize to some degree I’m preaching to the choir.

I know I probably don’t need to tell anybody here why we need Hillary’s steadiness and her level-headedness and her brilliance and her temperament right now — right now, because we’ve been through some tumultuous times in this new century and we continue to face all kinds of challenges and change in the years ahead.

And this November, in this election, you are going to have a very clear choice to make; between two fundamentally different visions of where America should go. And this isn’t even really a choice between left and right or Democrat or Republican. This is a choice between whether we are going to cling to some imaginary past or whether we’re going to reach for the future.


President Obama on the November election: “Don’t be complacent or smug”

On Monday, President Obama spoke to Steve Inskeep at NPR about the November election and whether he thinks Trump has won over a significant number of Americans:

From NPR: Obama: Trump Hasn’t Captured ‘Zeitgeist Of The Country’

“I think it’s pretty hard to argue that somebody who almost three-quarters of the country thinks is unqualified to be president and has a negative opinion about is tapping into the zeitgeist of the country or is speaking for a broad base of the country. But we’ll find out,” Obama said in a wide-ranging interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this week, 2 in 3 Americans said Trump was unqualified to lead the country.

That same poll showed President Obama with a 56% approval rating.


Hillary Clinton: “Donald Trump shouldn’t have his hands on the U.S. economy”

On Tuesday, Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke in Columbus OH on the contrasts between Democrats and Republicans as it relates to the economy. She made the case that the GOP nominee, Donald Trump, is as unfit to manage the U.S. economy as he is to have his hands on the nuclear codes.

Hillary Clinton Speech in Columbus, Ohio June 21, 2016

Transcript below the fold.

UPDATE: Trump’s sketchy business dealings are cataloged at this new web site set up by the Clinton campaign: ArtOfTheSteal.biz

WaPo: Clinton to paint Trump as reckless and misguided in economy speech

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hillary Clinton plans a one-two punch this week to first paint Donald Trump as reckless and misguided in his approach to the economy and then present what her campaign is calling a thematic argument about why her ideas and programs are better.

Clinton will attempt to pick apart Trump’s economic policies in an address here Tuesday that is roughly patterned on the point-by-point attack she launched on Trump’s national security ideas earlier this month.

“Everything that she said about Donald Trump and our security is equally true when it comes to our economy,” said Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s chief policy adviser.

These are the numbers Hillary will be trying to move in her favor:

Regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me if you think Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would better handle each of the following issues.

The Economy …………… Prefer Trump 53, prefer Clinton 43 Trump +10
Employment and jobs … Prefer Trump 52, prefer Clinton 45 Trump +7


Hillary Clinton: “To be great, we can’t be small”

Last night, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton clinched the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Before her victory speech, this video was presented to the assembled crowd (it had been shared on social media earlier in the afternoon)

It is a powerful statement about the history that has been made and will be made.

Hillary Clinton’s Victory Speech, June 7, 2016, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard:

Secretary Hillary Clinton on the historic nature of her victory:

Tonight’s victory is not about one person.

It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible. In our country, it started right here in New York, a place called Seneca Falls in 1848 where a small but determined group of women and men came together with the idea that women deserved equal rights. […]

And this, looking ahead:

We believe we should lift each other up, not tear each other down. … To be great, we can’t be small. We have to be as big as the values that define America. …

This election is [not] about about the same old fights between Republicans and Democrats. This election is different.

It really is about who we are as a nation. It’s about millions of Americans coming together so take we are better than this. We won’t let this happen in America. And if you agree, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I hope you will join us in just a few weeks, we will meet in Philadelphia which gave birth to our nation back in that hot summer of 1776. Those early patriots knew they would all rise or fall together. Well, to day that is more true than ever. Our campaign will take the message to every corner of our country. We’re stronger when our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

With good paying jobs and good schools in every zip code and a real commitment to all families and all regions of our nation. We are stronger when we work with our allies and we’re stronger when we respect each other, listen to each other and act with a sense of common purpose. We’re stronger when every family and every community knows they’re not on their own. Because we are in this together. It really does take a village to raise a child. And to build a stronger future for us all. […]

Yes, there are still ceilings to break for women and men for all of us. But don’t let anyone tell you that great things can’t happen in America. Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win. Our history has moved in that direction. Thanks to generations of Americans who refuse to give up or back down.

Now you are writing a new chapter of that story. This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings, no limits on any of us and this is our moment to come together.

… if we stand together, we will rise together.

Because we are stronger together. Let’s go out and make that case to America.

Transcript below.


Hillary Clinton: “This isn’t reality television – this is actual reality”

Yesterday in San Diego, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, spoke on the subject of national security, and specifically, the national insecurity that a Donald Trump presidency would bring.


Secretary Clinton:

[What] I want to speak about today [are] the challenges we face in protecting our country, and the choice at stake in this election.

It’s a choice between a fearful America that’s less secure and less engaged with the world, and a strong, confident America that leads to keep our country safe and our economy growing.

As Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady, I had the honor of representing America abroad and helping shape our foreign policy at home. As a candidate for President, there’s nothing I take more seriously than our national security. I’ve offered clear strategies for how to defeat ISIS, strengthen our alliances, and make sure Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. And I’m going to keep America’s security at the heart of my campaign.

Because as you know so well, Americans aren’t just electing a President in November. We’re choosing our next commander-in-chief – the person we count on to decide questions of war and peace, life and death.

And like many across our country and around the world, I believe the person the Republicans have nominated for President cannot do the job.

Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different – they are dangerously incoherent. They’re not even really ideas – just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.

He is not just unprepared – he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility.

This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes – because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin. […]

And to top it off, he believes America is weak. An embarrassment. He called our military a disaster. He said we are – and I quote – a ’third-world country.’ And he’s been saying things like that for decades.

Those are the words my friends of someone who doesn’t understand America or the world.

And they’re the words of someone who would lead us in the wrong direction. Because if you really believe America is weak – with our military, our values, our capabilities that no other country comes close to matching – then you don’t know America.

And you certainly don’t deserve to lead it.

That’s why – even if I weren’t in this race – I’d be doing everything I could to make sure Donald Trump never becomes President – because I believe he will take our country down a truly dangerous path. […]

I believe in strong alliances; clarity in dealing with our rivals; and a rock-solid commitment to the values that have always made America great. And I believe with all my heart that America is an exceptional country – that we’re still, in Lincoln’s words, the last, best hope of earth. We are not a country that cowers behind walls. We lead with purpose, and we prevail.

Full text of transcript below.