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Member since: 2001
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Get ready for the nastiest presidential race any of us have ever seen

Source: Washington Post

Clinton is less unpopular than Trump, but that's not saying much. … In the April NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, her numbers were far worse: 32 percent positive and 56 percent negative.

When you have two well-known and poorly regarded candidates running against each other, it means only one thing: It's not about winning, it's about making the other guy (or gal) lose. Neither Trump nor Clinton has much of a chance -- given their unfavorable numbers -- of convincing voters to make an affirmative choice for them. Instead, the best course of action will almost certainly be a prolonged attempt to tear down the other candidate, making him (or her) so unpalatable as to be disqualified.

Both Clinton and Trump offer a target-rich environment for that sort of race-to-the-bottom campaign.

She has spent the past 24 years in the national spotlight, accruing a series of controversies and confrontations that have already turned her into the Democrat that Republicans love to hate most. From her decision to use a private email server as secretary of state to her handling of the attacks in Benghazi, Libya; her reaction to her husband's infidelity to her failed push for health-care reform; as well as Travelgate: There is lots and lots of material for Trump to use.

Finally, neither Trump nor Clinton are shrinking violets when it comes to throwing a punch. Trump proved over and over again during his march to the Republican presidential nomination that he will say and do just about anything to win. Marco Rubio was sweaty. Jeb Bush was low energy. Ted Cruz was a liar. Ben Carson had a problem similar to that of child molesters. John Kasich ate like a pig.

And, even as he was waging political war with the Republican field, Trump gave every indication that he was itching to bring his attack-at-all-times approach to Clinton.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/04/get-ready-for-the-nastiest-presidential-race-you-have-ever-seen/

Bernie Sanders campaign gets another win in Colorado

Source: The Denver Post | The Spot

UPDATED: Bernie Sanders supporters won Colorado’s three seats on the Democratic National Committee, ousting longtime party leaders and Hillary Clinton loyalists.

The Democratic delegates at the state convention elected Terry Tucker, Jeri Shepherd and Mike Hamrick, the party announced late Monday. Sanders supporters pushed the slate and worked to get them elected at the party confab Saturday in Loveland, though the campaign said it didn’t officially endorse them.

The selections give party outsiders a foothold in the state and national Democratic leadership amid concerns about bias toward Clinton and other establishment candidates. Sanders’ strong showing at precinct and county level party meetings helped him stack the deck at the state convention — where he won the straw poll and claimed a majority of the delegates.

Two of Colorado’s current DNC members — Mannie Rodriguez and Anthony Graves — are Clinton superdelegates. The third, Lisa Palacio Padilla, is so far unpledged to a candidate. She is the sister of state party Chairman Rick Palacio.

Both Graves and Rodriguez sought re-election as DNC members but lost.

Read more: http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2016/04/19/bernie-sanders-campaign-dnc-colorado/125654/#more-125654

Bird lands on Sanders's podium in Portland

Source: The Hill

Portland literally “put a bird on it” at a Bernie Sanders rally in Oregon on Monday.

A bird landed on the Democratic presidential candidate's podium during his speech, and the crowd went wild.

“That bird really is a dove asking us for world peace,” Sanders said.

The “put a bird on it” slogan was made famous by the sketch comedy show “Portlandia.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/274348-bird-lands-on-sanders-podium-in-portland

New emails highlight interaction between State, Clinton Foundation

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked hand in glove with the Clinton Foundation on fundraising and foreign policy,” said Tom Fitton, president of the conservative legal watchdog, in a statement.

“Despite the law and her promises to the contrary, Hillary Clinton turned the State Department into the D.C. office of the Clinton Foundation,” he added of the current Democratic presidential front-runner.

Judicial Watch on Tuesday said it had obtained 276 pages of documents from State as a result of a federal court order following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

An August 2009 email chain shows Clinton’s staff at the department communicating with Clinton Foundation staff on how she could thank their supporters for “commitments” they made.

“It would be helpful to have [a] list of commitments during whole session so she can reference more than just those around her speech,” wrote Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s then-chief of staff at State, in a message to Amitabh Desai, then the Clinton Foundation’s director of foreign policy.

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General reportedly issued a subpoena to the Clinton Foundation last fall as part of an investigation into projects that may have required federal approval while she was secretary, according to The Washington Post.

Clinton-style centrist economics rests on a surprisingly shaky foundation

The center-left economic policy consensus that dominated the administrations of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton now rests on surprisingly shaky electoral foundations. Not only is Clinton relying on older voters to beat Sanders, she's relying specifically on African-American votes and the institutional support of labor unions. Both groups have their reasons for backing Clinton in 2016, but neither is a reliable supporter of centrist economics.

Black Democrats have more populist economic views

This is a winning formula for Hillary Clinton, but it's very much a personal formula tied to the specific circumstances of the 2016 race. Future candidates can't count on the same thing to work, since Clinton is fundamentally not representing the views of her coalition.

Labor unions mostly backed Clinton

That strategic thinking will be second-guessed by more ideological activists for years to come, but it was what it was. This is, however, another example of a pillar of Clinton's strength that Clintonism can't count on for the future. Unions will tend to use their influence to shift the party to the left (as they in fact have done in 2016) and may be more eager to back left-wing insurgents in the future.

Young people are very left-wing

Beyond all this, when you consider the 2024 or 2028 election cycles, a striking reality is that many of today's 70-somethings will be dead and most of today's 20-somethings will be 30-somethings. In that context, the breadth and depth of support for Sanders among the youngest cohort is striking.


In my opinion, it was more important to win the Latino vote than to win that caucus.

If I had to pick between the two, I'd pick the Latino vote, every single time. And, obviously, it would have been nice to have won the African-American vote, also. The Latino vote is going to be extremely important in upcoming delegate-heavy states. Latinos just don't appear to be falling for Clinton's divisive "identity politics", and dirty tricks, and are turning out to be receptive to the uniting politics of Bernie Sanders:

That's not to say Clinton can relax after Nevada. Even after her campaign tried to call Sanders' commitment to immigration reform into question and Clinton promised to put forward immigration legislation on the issue during her first 100 days in office, she lost Latino voters to Sanders 53 percent to 45 percent.

South Carolina does not have a large population of Hispanic voters, but Texas and Colorado do, and both will go to the polls on Super Tuesday. If Sanders' success among Latinos extends beyond Nevada, that could spell trouble for Clinton in delegate-rich states like Florida, New York and California and give Sanders staying power.

Bernie Sanders swept all of the focus groups and won on Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Every type of 'poll', 'survey' or 'study' that I found on who won the debates returned Bernie Sanders as the undisputed winner of the debate. However, it appears that Hillary has big media in her back pocket since most of the "who won" editorials, written immediately after the debate, are trying to convince folks that Hillary won.

Preliminary Nelson ratings say that 11% of all American homes with TVs were tuned in. This debate was the highest rated Democratic debate in history. And 980,000 were livestreaming at one point — more than streamed the Republican debates. Therefore, a whole lot of people watched the debate and will be more influenced by the actual debate rather than the post-debate editorials.

Focus Group Says Sanders Was Big Winner at Democratic Debate

Bernie Sanders wins with Fusion focus group

Majority of CNN Focus Group Think Sanders Won First Debate

The candidate breaking through in the Democratic debate? Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders Wins… At Least By Google Analytics

Bernie Sanders Clearly Won Tuesday's Debate -- On Twitter

Overnight ratings point to Democratic debate record

Democratic debate live stream outdraws GOP debate

America’s “bipartisan” delusion: How the White House learned to ignore Republicans

If you had to pinpoint the moment this worldview began to crystallize, it would probably be around the first debt-ceiling showdown, in 2011, when Obama tried repeatedly and desperately to cut a budget deal with House Speaker John Boehner only to realize, eventually, that Boehner did not have the power to negotiate. The administration has now decided that in many cases, even adversarial bargaining fails because the Republican leadership is not capable of planning tactically. “You have to be careful not to presume a lot of strategy for this group,” Pfeiffer said. “I’ve always believed that the fundamental, driving strategic ethos of the Republican House leadership has been, What do we do to get through the next caucus or conference without getting yelled at? We should never assume they have a long game. We used to spend a lot of time thinking that maybe Boehner is saying this to get himself some more room. And it’s like, no, that’s not actually the case. Usually he’s just saying it because he just said it or it’s the easiest thing to solve his immediate problem.”

This analysis puts the administration at odds with the reading of American politics that still dominates much of Washington reporting. Many political journalists imagine that the basic tension for the White House lies between Obama’s liberal base and appealing to Americans at the center, who will be crucial for tipping elections.

Pfeiffer believes the dynamic is, in fact, the opposite: “The incentive structure moves from going after the diminishing middle to motivating the base.” Ever since Republicans took control of the House four years ago, attempts to court Republicans have mostly failed while simultaneously dividing Democratic voters. Obama’s most politically successful maneuvers, by contrast, have all been unilateral and liberal. “Whenever we contemplate bold progressive action,” Pfeiffer said, “whether that’s the president’s endorsement of marriage equality, or coming out strong on power-plant rules to reduce current pollution, on immigration, on net neutrality, you get a lot of hemming and hawing in advance about what this is going to mean: Is this going to alienate people? Is this going to hurt the president’s approval ratings? What will this mean in red states?” And yet this hesitation has always proved overblown: “There’s never been a time when we’ve taken progressive action and regretted it.”

This was deeply at odds with the lesson Bill Clinton and most of his aides (many of whom staffed Obama’s administration) had taken away from his presidency. But by the beginning of Obama’s second term, at least, the president seemed fully convinced.
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