Category Archives: Hillary Clinton

Who “Cost” the Election?

I spent Election Day working for the county, greeting voters, putting those voters in one of six lines to make things move more quickly. Our polling place saw about 2200 voters that day, plus 184 absentee ballots. From that one polling place, there is a lot of insight about what went wrong.

The loss was obvious when the tape was run a little past 9, indicating that while Clinton had won the vote, turnout wasn’t high enough and the percentage wasn’t big enough. This ended up being the pattern across both the state of Pennsylvania and the country at large.

First, an anecdote that explains something. The voter who came out from voting grinning ear to ear, proud. Told me that although a lifelong Democrat who had never voted for a Republican, she proudly voted for Donald Trump. Why? “I did all my research because I wanted to be really sure and I think Clinton went bad when she shot all her partners at the Rose Law Firm and then Vince Foster.” When told that never happened, the response was: “Yes it did. I read it on the internet.” Continue Reading...

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Sunday with the Senators: Saturday Edition

Vote by JessWe’re 17 days out from the election, and while the main event seems like a foregone conclusion, the Senate is pretty much a nail-biter. Matt will have the Senate race rankings up tonight and we’ll see the specifics, but first, a little context, and a race that no one is looking at, which may actually delay knowing who controls the Senate until 10 December.

Let’s play. We need a net of 4 seats to take back the Senate, assuming that Secretary Clinton wins the general, and thus Tim Kaine would be the tie-breaker. Based on current projections, we’ll pick up Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. Will we hold Nevada? Maybe. If we do we need one more, if not, we need two. The likeliest options should be Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Should be. Could be. The data indicate that if Secretary Clinton wins by 7 points in Pennsylvania and 6 points in New Hampshire, her coattails will be enough. I have been following New Hampshire from a distance and it appears very close. Ayotte is constantly tied to Trump in ads. For some reason, a lot of politicians don’t seem to get that everyone has a phone, and thus video capabilities, and when you call Donald Trump “a role model” that’s going to make the ads even if you disavow some of his actions. A lot will depend on how much money is poured into the ads in the next couple weeks. The polls have been tied, and just yesterday WMUR said that Hassan is 8 points ahead: is it an outlier or has the die been cast?

Pennsylvania is so tight there’s no daylight in the polls. Brooklyn knows this and that’s why both Clinton and Kaine will be in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia today. Should be noted that Secretary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Senator Kaine, President and Mrs. Obama, Vice President Biden and even Bubba the Big Dog have all been here. Upcoming in the next two weeks, Anne Holton (Senator Kaine’s wife), Jill Biden, Jon Bon Jovi and Katy Perry.  It seems as though the street closure information is an almost daily occurrence on the traffic reports. Continue Reading...

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The Supreme Fillibuster

US SenateWhen Justice Antonin Scalia died, Senate Republicans announced that they would not hold hearings because of their belief — not supported by any precedent — that a lame duck president should not get to fill a vacancy during his last year in office.   Earlier this week, in a classic gaffe (i.e. he mistakenly told the truth), Senator John McCain announced that Senate Republicans intend to block any nominee that President Hillary Clinton might put forward.  While Senator McCain has attempted to walk back this statement, he revealed what many of us have known to be true all along — the Republicans do not have any problem with any specific nominee that President Obama has or that President Clinton might put forward; there problem is with losing the majority on the Supreme Court.

If the Republicans can keep their current Senate majority, the process of blocking all nominees is simple — although with potential political consequences.  They simply vote down any nominee.  Their problem is if, as current polls suggest, the Democrats regain the Senate majority for the next two years.  If that happens, we are potentially looking at the next conflict over the filibuster.

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Define “Disqualifying”

constitution_of_the_united_states_page_1Last night’s debate had The Donald saying that there were things that “disqualified” Secretary Clinton from running for president. Idiot. The “qualifying” factors are being a natural born American citizen who has achieved at least the age of 35, and lived 14 years in the US. My source? Article II, Section 1. Consider it a low bar. A lot of pundits said after that Donald’s “I’ll keep you in suspense” comment disqualified him from the presidency. Again, keep up with your source documentation.

HOWEVER. The United States is the only country in the history of the world with free scheduled elections, held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday every November since 1789 followed by the bloodless transfer of power. If you’ve ever met me, you’ve heard me say that. ME. Who hasn’t left the house without a copy of the constitution on her since leaving for college. Because the Constitution matters.

Today we will see what matters most to the GOP leadership and the GOP candidates. Which matters more to them: the Constitution or sticking with the titular leader of their splintering party? One can’t even parse it: our elections have been legitimate for  227 years, it’s what we do. Without it, we have no Constitution to rely on as a basis of the rule of law. Donald is the nominee of his party and it is up to us, the voters, to disqualify him from office solely by voting for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. It’s what elections are for: to hopefully make the correct choice. VOTE. Bring 5 friends.

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The Republican Leaning Voter

VotingBoothImage_0In theory, this election should pose a significant dilemma for the Republican or the Republican-leaning voter.  A plurality of the Republican party has foisted on the voters of America someone who is unfit for any office.  If voters voted for the candidate who was closest to their position, Trump would be struggling to break 25% and would be potentially looking at losing every state.  Instead he is looking at getting around 75-80% of the vote from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (those who identify as independents but vote Republican in most races).  There are multiple reasons for Trump’s ability to hold onto most Republican voters (which explain why the Republican Party is not yet at the point of splitting).

The first and most significant is party loyalty.  Especially among those who opt to vote in the primaries, there is an investment in the party and its future.  Participating in a primary is an implicit agreement with other members of your party that, as a group, you will put together a ticket — top to bottom — that will represent the party in the elections.  The exact platform that the party will pursue in office will depend on the mix of candidates.  If other factions do well in the primaries, that platform may not suit your faction’s wishes perfectly, but you will live with that and try to do better in the next cycle of primaries.  It takes a dramatic change in the types of candidates who get elected (and typically several cycles) for a person to came to the conclusion that their party is no longer the party that they originally joined and that, on the issues that matter most to them, their policy preferences have no place in that party.

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29 Days Out

It gives me no great pleasure to write this post. I’m a lifelong political junkie and I want to be talking about candidates and issues, yeah, some snark and foibles, but mostly swing states and undecided voters. Not this.

We wrote many times in 2009 and 2010 about the nascent implosion of the GOP, and now in the last 36 hours it has come to pass. There is nothing surprising about the Access Hollywood tape released by the Washington Post.  You knew it was coming since last Monday when the AP released the interviews with cast and crew from The Apprentice. It won’t be the last tape. And none of us political junkies are surprised that The Donald was finally exposed. What happens to the GOP is somewhat sad, but we all saw this coming. The chickens have come home to roost.

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The Greatest Debate Ever?

fireworksOn Monday, Hofstra University will host the first of this year’s three presidential debates.  Since 1992, the Commission on Presidential Debates has held three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate.  It is unclear how much impact the debates actually have on the general election.  While candidates who do “better” in a debate tend to have a bounce in the polls, that bounce tends to be temporary.

In most election cycles, a large number of voters are not that familiar with the candidates (particularly those who are running for President for the first time).  For swing voters, the debates (and the post-debate coverage of the “highlights”) can either confirm the negatives or the positives associated with a  candidate.  This year, the two candidates are probably better known than in most cycles (or at least the names are more familiar).  As such, it seems likely that it will be much more difficult for either candidate to change how voters see them.  However, the candidates will still try.

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Backstage at the DNC


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Hillary Clinton acceptance speech text

Thank you! Thank you for that amazing welcome.

And Chelsea, thank you.

I’m so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you’ve become. Continue Reading...

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Arab American Institute Daily Dispatch: DNC Day 3

It was an packed night last night. The Convention was bursting from the seams with Democrats eager to salute the Party’s top elected officials – Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. We also got a first hand look at Hillary Clinton’s pick for Vice President, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. There’s a lot to cover on all fronts, so here is your DNC Day 3 dispatch:

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