Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This "n" That

* Hillary got a bounce after her announcement. The article is written as a negative on Obama, and that's unfortunate, but the fact is Clinton is doing better in the national Rasmussen poll. We aren't holding a national primary, but this does tell us about general trends.

* Another Iowa video.

* Still opposed to the escalation:

Monday, January 29, 2007

This n that

If the Rhode Island primary were today (and not 14 months and several primaries and caucuses in the future), Clinton would clean up.

Slog also has a straw poll or Republicans. Vote for Hunter, is my advice.

The web efforts seem to be going swimingly. I understand that sorting through 11,300 possible enterys may be tough, but I would really like them to get that first post out.

Sign-Ups: 140,000 total (nearly 100,000 in first 48 hours)
Messages of Support: 50,000
Blog Contest Submissions: 11,300
Webcast Visitors: 51,000

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I'm glad to see she's bringing out crowds. I think the conversation is great. People mocked her listening tour in New York and Frank Rich seems to think that people want politicians to not talk to them in this week's op-ed. Still, I think bringing people in is important. Anyway, the audio isn't great, but you can start hearing her speak at about minute 7. Or you can listen at the beginning and hear her sing the National Anthem.

I have a National Anthem story. I was at a Mariners home game with the Washington for Edwards person before either of us were the Washington(ians) for people. Anyway by coincidence it was right after the unwarranted wire tapping story came out, and the applause started after "land of the free".

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Best Field the Democratic Party Ever Put Out

I'm not the biggest Terry McAuliffe fan in the world. But I'm glad he's as supportive as he is of the Clinton campaign. And I agree with everything he says in this interview with The Young Turks, except maybe Dick Gephardt. Still, nice to see him out there on shows that don't necessarily agree with his support of Hillary. That's the only way you build support.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton

So the King County Democrats have wa4(insert candidate).com. They're taking wa4hillary.com and it's also called "Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton." I've emailed them and may be switching this to just "for Hillary" or "Washington for" so there's no confusion (or at least as little as possible). I'd rather there be too many than too few.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Vote in the Slog Straw Poll

Come on folks. It's meaningless fun and an excuse to get people to their blog.

This n' That

* The last video is up. It's post-State of the Union. The first question is the best. Isn't the Gulf Coast part of the Union? Also, I can't wait to see the plan she comes out with for health care coming soon. She answers critics from Huffington Post, talks terror, answers a question on the elderly, health care and other services for vets, HIV/AIDS (increasing funding for Ryan White), nuclear weapons issues around Iran and North Korea, what she does when she isn't working, global warming, and a general question about what she would say to kids given the problems they face (getting cost of school down-- make it affordable for our young people to go to college, stay in college and finish college).

* I don't know anything about Neera Tanden other than this article, but it looks like the Clinton campaign is making some good hires.

* Liz Taylor gives the max to the Clinton campaign.

* Mark your calendars. An Open Forum on, "issues of concern to decide on how to build a network of support for Hillary." March 31 at the Seattle Center.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This 'n That

The first two videos of Clinton's conversation, where she answers voters' questions. Part three will probably be public tomorrow.

Marcf's recent post on TPM Cafe points to this great piece by on Daily Howler about the false perception of Hillary as a phony.

One of Senator Clinton's guests' for the State of the Union was a man named Ceasar Borja, Jr. His father was a New York Police Officer on 9/11 who had been fighting with lung problems after his recovery efforts on the pile. He died hours before the speech. Please read the article, and see if your heart doesn't break.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thisin that

An interesting post by Devilstower on Kos. The difference between the Bush getting there because of his father and Hillary getting where she is because of her husband:

This is an comparison that's unfair in the extreme. George W. Bush loafed through life and depended on his name and family connections to get him out of trouble. Most importantly, G. H. W. Bush owes not one moment of his career to the help of his son.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was on her own a capable, high-powered lawyer with nearly unlimited potential. She chose to partner herself with her husband, and worked with him to raise his profile and possibilities. Would those "she wouldn't be senator" folks be as comfortable if this was turned on its head: Bill Clinton would never have been president without a wife named Hillary. Would someone else have been so competent and supportive in fighting back against the scandals that plagued Bill's career long before he reached the White House? Would someone else have made the connections, raised the money, and been as effective in forging the coalitions that brought Bill up the political ladder?

Hillary Clinton is not a guileless bystander who has stood by and enjoyed the windfall of her husband's good name. Like her or hate her, she has forged her own identity working as his partner. He said it. She said it. We all saw it.

Senator Kennedy on Meet the Press talking about her run.

Senator Clinton interviewed by Katie Couric. I'm glad to see her talking about health care and to see she's talking about what she's learned.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Action Item #3 Write Senator Clinton's First Blog Post

The guest post for the first post on the official Hillary Clinton blog will probably go to someone from one of the early primary/caucus states. But you never know who'll write the and it would probably be pretty cool if it was me or one of you. I basically updated this post and submitted it, but be as creative as you can.

The Conversation Begins Today

From an email:

Tonight, let the conversation begin. It's live and online at 7 p.m. EST:


Join me for the first in a series of conversations on the future of our country and the important issues like the Iraq war, health care, and energy independence. I'll answer your questions three nights in a row, beginning tonight.

Since announcing my exploratory committee to run for president just two days ago, the outpouring of support has been amazing -- tens of thousands of you have been wishing me well, signing up, and making contributions.

I believe we need new leadership to bring bold and practical changes to this country and to renew the promise of America. I believe in the idea that if you work hard and play by the rules, you and your family deserve a better life.

It all begins with a conversation about the right solutions to meet our challenges. It's a conversation I'm looking forward to having with all of you as I travel across the country. But tonight, it begins live, online.

To learn more and sign up, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/conversation

I also hope you'll take a moment to explore my new website at www.hillaryclinton.com, where you'll find other ways you can join the conversation. You can send me a message, or even write the very first guest post for our upcoming blog.

I'm in, and I'm in to win. And with your participation, I believe we can win this together and create a better future for all of us.

Hopefully they'll show some love for Westies and have a conversation that begins after work. Still, you can't please everybody all the time. And 8:00 for the East would be pretty late for the first one.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

This N' That

Matthew Yglesias explains briefly that whoever we nominate, they'll get smeared hard. Just like who we've nominated in the recent past.

A great diary on Kos on the differences between Edwards' and Clinton's voting records in the Senate in 2001 (the first year they were both in the Senate). It seems like Clinton was more liberal especially on campaign finance and tax policy. Expect more of these diaries for the other years they were both in the Senate and expect perhaps comparisons with Obama and other Senators running.

Some Unsolicited Advice

Now that she's officially running for president, I'm sure that Senator Clinton is getting a lot of advice, much of it not actually helpful. Nonetheless, I'm going to give some anyway:

Be yourself People like you as you are. They want a president who's thoughtful, hard working, who can bring people together. You're going to be micromanaged and given 15 words for every question and all of this is important, but try to keep yourself in the middle of all that.

Go to every state This is like when you campaigned in every county. It shows a commitment and it puts a lot of states in play. When Bill Clinton won Montana in 1992, a lot of it had to do with him showing up. Besides, a lot of the South likes you from when you were a first lady in Arkansas.

Talk to hostile audiences Write a diary on Kos and answer the questions about why you're such a sell out, and how whatever you're saying is too little too late. Go on the 700 Club and explain how we have to do well by the least among us, tell the audience that Democrats' faith is plenty strong.

Be bold The new Iraq plan is part of that already. The next couple years' campaign is going to give you plenty of chances to be bold. Take the initiative and take as many of them as possible.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

She's In

Watch the video here. The idea of a conversation is important: "the conversation in Washington has been a just a little one sided lately don't you think? And we can all see how well that works." Also, from an email:

Today I am announcing that I will form an exploratory committee to run for president.

And I want you to join me not just for the campaign but for a conversation about the future of our country -- about the bold but practical changes we need to overcome six years of Bush administration failures.

I am going to take this conversation directly to the people of America, and I'm starting by inviting all of you to join me in a series of web chats over the next few days.

The stakes will be high when America chooses a new president in 2008.

As a senator, I will spend two years doing everything in my power to limit the damage George W. Bush can do. But only a new president will be able to undo Bush's mistakes and restore our hope and optimism.

Only a new president can renew the promise of America -- the idea that if you work hard you can count on the health care, education, and retirement security that you need to raise your family. These are the basic values of America that are under attack from this administration every day.

And only a new president can regain America's position as a respected leader in the world.

I believe that change is coming November 4, 2008. And I am forming my exploratory committee because I believe that together we can bring the leadership that this country needs. I'm going to start this campaign with a national conversation about how we can work to get our country back on track.

This is a big election with some very big questions. How do we bring the war in Iraq to the right end? How can we make sure every American has access to adequate health care? How will we ensure our children inherit a clean environment and energy independence? How can we reduce the deficits that threaten Social Security and Medicare?

No matter where you live, no matter what your political views, I want you to be a part of this important conversation right at the start. So to begin, I'm going to spend the next several days answering your questions in a series of live video web discussions. Starting Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. EST for three nights in a row, I'll sit down to answer your questions about how we can work together for a better future. And you can participate live at my website.

Sign up to join the conversation here: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/action/conversation

I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America, where I learned that we could overcome every obstacle we face if we work together and stay true to our values.

Team Hillary
I have worked on issues critical to our country almost all my life. I've fought for children for more than 30 years. In Arkansas, I pushed for education reform. As first lady, I helped to expand health care coverage to millions of children and to pass legislation that dramatically increased adoptions. I also traveled to China to affirm that women's rights are human rights.

And in the Senate, I have worked across party lines to get billions more for children's health care, to stop the president's plan to privatize Social Security, and to make sure the victims and heroes of 9/11 and our men and women in uniform receive the fair treatment they deserve. In 2006, I led the successful fight to make Plan B contraception available to women without a prescription.

I have spent a lifetime opening opportunities for tens of millions who are working hard to raise a family: new immigrants, families living in poverty, people who have no health care or face an uncertain retirement.

The promise of America is that all of us will have access to opportunity, and I want to run a 2008 campaign that renews that promise, a campaign built on a lifetime record of results.

I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in or to face down the Republican machine. After nearly $70 million spent against my campaigns in New York and two landslide wins, I can say I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate, and how to beat them.

I need you to be a part of this campaign, and I hope you'll start by joining me in this national conversation. Visit my new website at HillaryClinton.com to learn how you can join in:


As we campaign to win the White House, we will make history and remake our future. We can only break barriers if we dare to confront them, and if we have the determined and committed support of others.

This campaign is our moment, our chance to stand up for the principles and values that we cherish; to bring new ideas, energy, and leadership to a uniquely challenging time. It's our chance to say "we can" and "we will."

Let's go to work. America's future is calling us.

...The Video

Friday, January 19, 2007

Greta Van Susteren

The Internet is slow at my place tonight and I'm having a bit of trouble viewing these, so no summary. Here's Clinton on On the Record:

Part 1

Part 2

Maybe She Ghost Wrote His Books?

As Media Matters is reporting, the vast rightwing conspiracy is starting up with its attacks on Clinton. This one is a twofer on the leading Democratic candidates. They are saying that Hillary Clinton is spreading rumors about Obama. And they are saying that Obama is (a) a secret Muslim and it follows that (b) he's some sort of enemy to America.

Of course the Muslim stuff comes from the fact that he has written two biographical books and in both of them he mentioned that when he lived in Indonesia, he went to a Muslim school for two years. Given that the country is majority Muslim, this isn't really surprising, and it doesn't tell us that much about him. And given that Clinton hasn't mentioned it, I'm not sure how she's actually involved. It doesn't make any sense and neither is backed up with a modicum of fact, but it's officially silly season. So the big question is how long until it's mentioned uncritically in more mainstream papers? Dowd's next column is tomorrow and Rich is Sunday. I don't hold much hope.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Iraq Plan

I've been thinking about the Iraq plan that Clinton announced yesterday. I don't know all of the specifics, but in its broad outlines there are two major components: 1) Stop funding the various Iraqi institutions unless they achieve certain objectives (this we'll call the stop funding Shiite death squads component). 2) Cap the number of American service personnel in Iraq at where it was January 1. She's also going to co-sponsor the non-binding resolution opposing the escalation, but her plan is basically the same with or without that resolution.

The first component is something that Congress can do on its lonesome because there is only so much money in the pot right now. And it frames the issue in such a way that will minimize the "why do you hate the troops?" nonsense. And it puts real pressure on the administration and it, you know, stops funding death squads. But ultimately it doesn't do anything about the troop levels in Iraq.

That's why there's a second component. It'll be tough to actually pass a thing with either the president's signature or enough Republican defections to get to veto-proof. Still, there are a lot of Republicans who don't want to run for reelection the war around their neck, and who knows, maybe some honestly opposed to the war too. And this is something tangible that they can do to end it. It's worth pushing a Democratic position that involves hard numbers even if it's a long shot because crazier things have happened than passing something like that.

The sum of this is hopefully real change in the war. Maybe like with her leadership on the minimum wage, this gets the issue some more traction (that and opposition to the escalation already being popular and the election results).

It also re-defines the center. Having a position to the "left" of the nonbinding resolution makes that resolution more centrist and makes it an easier pill to swallow for Republicans and for other Democratic hawks. In a sense, it gives some Senators and Representatives cover to go further than they might otherwise go.

Cross posted on Kos

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This 'N That

* Hillary Clinton delayed her press post trip because a colleague on the trip got sick. This was done before Obama announced that he would announce that he was running. Naturally, that means that she liar. Or something.

And to my friends who think this sort of thing is going to only happen to Hillary Clinton, I'd like to remind you that Al Gore never said that he invented the Internet Obama's last name isn't Osama, and John Kerry was a war hero. No Democrat is going to get a fair shake. So we might as well nominate someone who's beat this sort of thing back for over a decade.

* The Guardian had the most fact based article of any I've seen on her positions on Iraq. Still, I'm not sure that she's had "previous ambiguity" so much as a slow change of mind over some time. She's been pretty clear that the war itself was going badly for a long time and came out against the escalation when Reid and others in the caucus weren't sure.

* TPM Election central has an analysis of the politics her resolution. I tend to be a bit less cynical, and think that aside from the politics, the policy can move things. Nonetheless, I agree that it can be good both for her and the party in general on political terms.

Against the Escalation

Press Conference

The Early Show

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


The field of presidential aspirants got a bit wider today, and the more the better, I say. We're going to have a discussion of our values and our ideals as a party, and the more people participate that conversation the better.

I can honestly say that the worst of ours, no matter who it is, will be better than the best of theirs. So it'll be good to add his voice to the discussion.


Senator Clinton's Iraq press conference was delayed until tomorrow:

The 24-hour delay of a press conference at which U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, was to discuss her trip to Iraq and Afghanistan had absolutely nothing to do with the announcement this morning by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, according to her office.

The event was postponed because U.S. Rep. John McHugh, R-Watertow, who traveled with Clinton over the weekend, became ill in Germany and remained there to recover.

Aides to U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-IN, who traveled back to the U.S. with Clinton, backed her up on this one.

Monday, January 15, 2007

This and That

I'm not sure what this poll means (I suspect nothing), but Hillary Clinton is the Democrat who polls the highest for the question of who people think is most likely to be president.

The cover story for the January issue of Mother Jones is a profile of Hillary Clinton that tries to explain why there are so many different perceptions of her out there. Interesting if a bit rambling. And I think that sculpture is drawn out a bit too much as a metaphor

Tomorrow, Hillary Clinton comes back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The New York Times says in an article mostly about the circular firing squad (sigh) "She visited Iraq on Saturday to speak with military commanders, and plans to explain her views in fuller detail when she returns Tuesday."

The View a month or so ago.

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, January 14, 2007

World Health Organization Conference on Women

In 1995, Hillary Clinton gave a speech to the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing.

Thank you, Dr. Nakajima.

Dr. Nakajima, Dr. Sadik, Gertude Mongella, delegates to the Fourth U.N. Conference on Women, and guests from all corners of the world, I am honored to be here this morning among women and girls everywhere.

I commend the World Health Organization for making women's health a top priority and for establishing the Global Commission on Women's Health.

I am proud that in the preparatory meetings for this Fourth World Conference on Women, the United States took the lead in highlighting the importance of a comprehensive approach to women's health. That approach builds on actions taken at previous women's conferences and the recent conferences at Cairo and Copenhagen, whose goals to promote the health and well-being of all people were endorsed by 180 nations.

Cairo was particularly significant as governmental and non-governmental participants worked together to craft a Program for Action which, among other things, calls for universal access to good quality reproductive health care services, including safe, effective, voluntary family planning; greater access to education and health care; more responsibility on the part of men in sexual and reproductive health and childbearing; and reduction of wasteful resource consumption.

Here at this conference, improving girls and women's health is a priority of the draft Platform for Action. It includes such goals as: Access to universal primary health care for all people -- a goal not yet achieved in many countries, including my own. The promotion of breast feeding. The provision of safe drinking water and sanitation. Research in and attention to women's health issues, including: environmental hazards, prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, encouragement for adolescents to postpone sexual activity and childbearing, and discouragement of cultural traditions and customs that deny food and health care to girls and women.

Goals such as these illustrate a new commitment to the well-being of girls and women and a belief in their rights to live up to their own God-given potentials.

At long last, people and their governments everywhere are beginning to understand that investing in the health of women and girls is as important to the prosperity of nations as investing in the development of open markets and trade. The health of women and girls cannot be divorced from progress on other economic and social issues.

Scientists, doctors, nurses, community leaders and women themselves are working to improve and safeguard the health of women and families all over the world. If we join together as a global community, we can lift up the health and dignity of all women and their families in the remaining years of the 20th century and on into the next millennium.

Yet, for all the promise the future holds, we also know that many barriers lie in our way. For too long, women have been denied access to health care, education, economic opportunities, legal protection and human rights -- all of which are used as building blocks for a healthy and productive life.

In too many places today, the health of women and families is compromised by inadequate, inaccessible and unaffordable medical care, lack of sanitation, unsafe drinking water, poor nutrition, insufficient research and education about women's health issues, and coercive and abusive sexual practices.

In too many places, the status of women's health is a picture of human suffering and pain. The faces in that picture are of girls and women who, but for the grace of God or the accident of birth, could be us or one of our sisters, mothers or daughters.

Today, at least fifteen percent of pregnant women suffer life threatening complications and more than one-half million women around the world die in childbirth. Most of these deaths could be prevented with basic primary, reproductive and emergency obstetric health care. In some places, there are 175,000 motherless children for every one million families. Many of those children don't survive. And of those who do, many are recruited into a life of exploitation on the streets of our world's cities, subjected daily to abuse, indignity, disease, and the specter of early death.

There must be a renewed commitment to improving maternal health. The WHO launched in 1987 a Safe Motherhood Initiative to halve maternal mortality by the year 2000. To reach that goal, more attention must be paid to emergency medical care as well as primary prenatal care. Providing emergency obstetric care is a relatively cheap way of saving lives -- and along with family planning services is among the most cost effective interventions in even the poorest of countries.

The commitment of the WHO and its Global Commission on Women's Health to make childbearing and childbirth a safe and healthy period of every woman's life deserves action on the part of every nation represented here.

One hundred million women cannot obtain or are not using family planning services because they are poor, uneducated or lack access to care. Twenty million of these women will seek unsafe abortions -- some will die, some will be disabled for life. A growing number of unwanted pregnancies are occurring among young women, barely beyond childhood themselves. As we know, when children have children, the chance of schooling, jobs, and good health is reduced for both parent and child. And our progress as a human family takes another step back.

The Cairo document recognizes "the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so." Women should have the right to health care that will enable them to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide them with the best chance of having a healthy infant.

Women and men must also have the right to make those most intimate of all decisions free of discrimination, coercion and violence, particularly any coercive practices that force women into abortions or sterilizations.

On these issues, the US supports the provisions in the Beijing Platform for Action that reaffirm consensus language that was agreed to at the Cairo Conference about a year ago. It declared that "in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning." The Platform asks governments "to strengthen their commitment to women's health, to deal with the health impact of unsafe abortion as a major public health concern and to reduce the recourse to abortion through expanded and improved family planning services."

Violence against women remains a leading cause of death among girls and women between the ages of 14 and 44 -- violence from ethnic and religious conflicts, crime in the streets and brutality in the home. For women who survive the violence, what often awaits them is a life of unrelenting physical and emotional pain that destroys their capacity for mothering, homemaking or working and can lead to substance abuse, and even suicide.

Violence against girls and women goes beyond the beatings, rape, killings and forced prostitution that arise from poverty, wars and domestic conflicts. Every day, more than 5,000 young girls are forced to endure the brutal practice of genital mutilation. The procedure is painful and life-threatening. It is degrading. And it is a violation of the physical integrity of woman's body, leaving a lifetime of physical and emotional scars.

HIV, AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases threaten more and more women -- and experts predict that by the end of this decade more than half of the people in the world with HIV will be women. AIDS, which threatens whole families and regions, demands the strongest possible response. Governments and the international community must address head-on the growing number of women who are being infected.

More than 700,000 women worldwide face breast cancer each year -- over 300,000 die of it. It's the leading cause of death for women in their prime in the developed world. In the time I speak to you today, 25 women around the world will die of breast cancer. In my own country, it is hard to find a family, an office, or a neighborhood that has not been touched by this disease. My mother-in-law struggled against breast cancer for four years before losing her battle.

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death. Ninety percent of women who smoke began to smoke as adolescents -- leading to high rates of heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease later in life.

As the WHO points out, we also need to recognize and effectively address the fact that women are far more likely to be exposed to work-related and environmental health hazards. Policies to alleviate and eliminate such health hazards associated with work in the home and in the workplace demand action.

Research also indicates that certain communicable diseases affect women in greater numbers. Tuberculosis, for example, is responsible for the deaths of one million women each year and those in their early and reproductive years are most vulnerable.

When health care systems around the world don't work for women; when our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and co-workers are denied access to quality care because they are poor, do not have health insurance, or simply because they are women, it is not just their health that is put at risk. It is the health of their families and communities as well.

Like many nations, the United States brings to this conference a serious commitment to improving women's health. We bring with us a series of initiatives which represent the first steps to carrying out this Conference's Platform for Action.

We are continuing to work for health care reform to ensure that every citizen has access to affordable, quality care.

We are proposing a comprehensive and coordinated plan to reduce smoking by children and adolescents by 50 percent.

We are working to address the many factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy, our most serious social problem, by encouraging abstinence and personal responsibility on the part of young men and women; improving access to health care and family planning services; and supporting health education in our schools.

We are pursuing a public policy agenda on HIV/AIDS that is specific to women, adolescents, and children.

We are continuing to fund and conduct contraceptive research and development.

We are addressing the health needs of women through initiatives such as:

-- The National Action Plan on Breast Cancer -- a public, private partnership working with all agencies of government, the media, scientific organizations, advocacy groups and industry to advance breast health and eradicate breast cancer as a threat to the lives of American women.

-- An Expansion of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early
Detection Program -- which will ensure that women who need regular screening and detection services have access to them, and that those services meet quality standards.

-- The inclusion of women in clinical trials for research and testing or drugs or other interventions that probe specific differences between men and women in patterns of disease and reactions to therapy.

-- The special health care needs of older women will be addressed through educational campaigns about osteoporosis, cancer and other diseases.

-- And the US is conducting the largest clinical research study ever undertaken to examine the major causes of death, disability and frailty in post-menopausal women.

Women's health security must be a priority of all people and governments working together. Without good health, a woman's God-given potential can never be realized. And without healthy women, the world's potential can never be realized.

So let us join together to ensure that every little boy and girl that comes into our world is healthy and wanted; that every young woman has the education and economic opportunity to live a healthy life; and that every woman has access to the health care she needs throughout her life to fulfill her potential in her family, her work, and her community.

If we care about the futures of our daughters, our sons, and the generations that will follow them, we can do nothing less.

Thank you for the work you do every day to bring better health to the women, children, and families of this world. Thank you for helping governments and citizens around the world understand that we cannot talk about equality and social development without also talking about health care.

Most of all, thank you for being part of this historic and vital discussion, which holds so much promise for our future.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


The first primary debates in New Hampshire will be April 4 and 5. This is really a chance to get beyond the stereotypes and the silly stuff, and to showcase who she is. The debates for the Senate were the first time that people saw her break out of their perceptions as just Bill's wife. When she remained calm with Lazio trying to badger her, it really showed people that she could hold her own. Now, probably the top Democrats aren't going to make the same mistake, but it'll give people a chance to see her unvarnished. Hopefully it'll be a chance for a real discussion of the issues and our values as a party.

Hillary in Iraq

ABC News talks to her. Is there video of this anywhere?

"I don't know that the American people or the Congress at this point believe this mission can work," she said. "And in the absence of a commitment that is backed up by actions from the Iraqi government, why should we believe it?"

Clinton spoke with ABC News after meeting with Gen. George Casey and Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the top American commanders here. She is one a one-day visit to Iraq as part of congressional delegation that includes Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y.

Clinton had tough words for the Iraqi government, which she said has failed repeatedly to deliver on its promises.

"I'm skeptical that the Iraqi government will do what they have promised to do, and that I think is the concern of all of us who have heard this before," she said. "All the promises, and intentions in the world don't substitute for action and we haven't seen a lot of action."

Clinton traveled wearing body armor and surrounded by a phalanx of soldiers and security guards. The level of security, she noted, was much higher than her first visit to Iraq back in 2004.

"This is heartbreaking," she said. "This is my third trip here. I've seen the violence and security problems increase, not decrease. The first time I was here, we're not, you know, asked to wear body armor and put on helmets. We were not shepherded very narrowly from place to place. I went to Kirkuk the first time when actually Gen. Odierno was there, in charge of the 4th ID. We went into the city. We had a meeting in the town hall with people."

Instead of sending more U.S. troops to Iraq, as President Bush plan, Clinton said it is time to start re-deploying U.S. troops out of Iraq.

"That would really demonstrate to the Iraqis that we don't have an open-ended commitment," she said. "We are not going to be here providing protection for their leaders, which we do. We are not going to be here standing by and trying to be called in from time to time as they see fit. That is not in the cards."

Friday, January 12, 2007


I think it's pretty silly to be talking about electability. I mean at this point everybody is electable. So you might as well vote for the best candidate. The one who'll make the best president. And whoever gets the nomination, work to make them a winner.

That said, Josh Feit over at Slog is running the numbers from her recent Senate campaign and by God, traditional Republican enclaves are showing her some love. And while there are problems with county by county analysis, and with comparing a popular incumbent Senator to an up for grabs Presidency, this shows that she can win over Republicans without hurting herself with Democrats and independents.

The self-hating rap from elite urban liberals is this: “I can’t support Hillary Clinton because she turns off mainstream voters.”

The grating irony of this analysis is that in trying to understand, cater to, and bond with the white working classes, liberal elites who are nervous about Clinton’s candidacy among the lumpen proletariat are actually misunderstanding (and condescending to) the lumpen proletariat… yet again.

We took a look at all the counties in New York State where: the income is lower than the state median; where the percent of college graduates is lower than the percentage of the state as a whole; and where the white population is greater than the state as a whole (basically, the great white working classes). It turns out, Hillary cleaned up in those counties in her most recent run for U.S. Senate. It wasn’t all Manhattan.

She comfortably won 35 out of the 38 counties that would qualify as Joe and Jane Public voting blocs (counties measured by data on education level and income level which typically define the white working class. The “Wal-Mart vote,” if you will.)

And in some of those counties, where the the data skews even more dramatically toward white working class, Clinton really really cleaned up. For example, in Franklin County where the median is $32,531 and only 13 percent of the population graduated from college, Hillary scored 65 percent of the vote. In Chautauqua County, where the median income is $33,000 and only 17 percent graduated college, Hillary got 55 percent. In Chemung County, where the median income is $36,000 and only 19 percent graduated college, Hillary got 58 percent. In Montgomery County, where the median income is $34,000 and only 13 percent graduated college, Clinton got 62 percent. All these counties hover around 80 percent white.

In other words, judging from the electoral outcomes in New York, the masses don’t think Hillary is the “lesbian witch” that liberal elites worry the masses think Hillary is.

My point being, urbanites should stop hand-wringing and tempering their own beliefs on behalf of the pick-up truck crowd—especially when it seems they’ve got the pick-up truck crowd all wrong.

Judging from New York State, anyway, Clinton’s a bit of a star.

P.S. Clinton’s also a star among non-whites. In places like Queens, where 45 percent are non-white, HC got 80 percent of the vote.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Against the Escalation

Senator Clinton's statement Bush's Iraq speech. If you're still considering writing a letter to the editor, you can certainly quote some of the things she's said. The most eloquent part is, "The President has not offered a new direction, instead he will continue to take us down the wrong road – only faster."

Based on the President’s speech tonight, I cannot support his proposed escalation of the war in Iraq.

The President’s Iraq policy has been marred by incompetence and arrogance as his Administration has refused to recognize the military and political reality on the ground. American troops continue to serve and sacrifice in Iraq, performing magnificently and bravely. But as our commanders have said repeatedly, Iraq requires a political solution, not a purely military one, and we did not hear such a proposed solution tonight.

The President simply has not gotten the message sent loudly and clearly by the American people, that we desperately need a new course. The President has not offered a new direction, instead he will continue to take us down the wrong road – only faster. The President’s speech failed to adequately address the political situation in Iraq, rising sectarian violence, mounting strain on our military, growing Iranian influence, and festering divides over how to distribute oil revenues.

As I have said, as the American people have demanded, and as the facts on the ground require, we need a new course and an end to the current failed policy. I continue to urge a strategy that places pressure on the Iraqi government to resolve the political crisis through phased redeployment of U.S. troops, establishes an Iraqi Oil Trust to end the stalemate over oil, and pursues an aggressive diplomatic strategy including an international conference of the regional parties to further the task of Iraq’s stability."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Action Item #2 Letter to the Editor on the Escallation

Later today, President Bush will announce that he wants to ship more American soldiers and Marines to Iraq. Hillary Clinton came out early against the escalation, and an early victory on this issue will help the candidates who spent political capital on it and help the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever it is. And most importantly it will make it easier to end the failed war policy. And even if we don't stop the escalation, it's still important to make our voices heard.

The Washington State Democrats have a neat little application for writing letters to the editor. So I encourage y'all to write a letter either right after the announcement, or based on any article you read. If you want to pepper you letters with things Hillary Clinton has said, here are some links. If you want to mention her by name and say something to the effect that even people who gave President Bush the benefit of the doubt like HRC are opposed, that's fine. Or if you just want to write a letter.

I'll write mine after the announcement and put it at the bottom of this post. And I'll also include any anti-escalation letters emailed to me or put in the comments.

... Here's mine

"To the Editor, Seattle Times

"President Bush has just announced a plan to increase the number of troops in Iraq. When even people who once gave him the benefit of the doubt like Hillary Clinton and people of his own party like Gordon Smith have come out as opposed to this move as they have, we should not do it. It will further harm America’s image around the world, it will bog more Americans down in the quagmire of Iraq, and it will embolden the actual terrorists around the world. About the only things it won’t do are end the war sooner and make America safer."

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Contenders

Over at Slog, Eli Sanders has a running series on the people who are running for President. It's been an interesting series for the most part. Hillary Clinton is today's entry:

No one, Democrat or Republican, has generated more ink in the run-up to the run-up to the 2008 presidential election than Hillary Rodham Clinton — and she hasn’t even declared her candidacy (although everyone assumes she will soon).

For political journalists and pundits, part of the attraction to writing about Hillary Clinton is that she’s such a rich topic: She’s an automatic front-runner if she enters the race; she’d be the first woman president ever; she’s a “polarizing personality” who has nevertheless won fans in the red parts of New York State; she’s smart as hell and, by the admission of many Republicans, a formidable force in the Senate; and she’s married to Bill Clinton, ex-president, ex-philanderer, current international do-gooder, and constant object of fascination, demonization, and idolization.

Can she win? Should she run? Is she a selfish distraction from better candidates? Does Obama have a better chance? If you’re hanging out with Democrats, you’re hearing all of these questions and more, constantly.

Then some background that everybody knows. Wellsley, Yale Law, Bill Clinton, Chealsea. And then on to some more specifics:

Something of a feminist, Hillary only began attaching the surname “Clinton” to her own name during her husband’s second gubernatorial bid, in 1982. She was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984, and throughout her time as First Lady of Arkansas continued to practice law with the Rose Law Firm.

When Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, Hillary became the first first-lady to hold a post-graduate degree and the first to have a successful career of her own. Even more ground-breaking, Bill Clinton appointed Hillary to the powerful Task Force on National Health Care reform. However, the body’s recommendations failed to gain traction in either the House or the Senate, resulting in the well-known “Hillarycare” debacle.

Hillary won a race for the U.S. Senate in New York in 2000, and again in 2006. As senator, she sits on the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on Environment and Public Works; the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and the Special Committee on Aging.

Clinton voted for the war in Iraq but has been critical of the way the war has been conducted. She’s pro-choice, in favor of domestic partnership rights for gays and lesbians, and against the Federal Marriage Amendment. She supports three-strikes sentencing, the Kyoto Protocol, and gun control. She’s against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Anyway, there's a bit more including some video (her answering questions about electability and John Stewart making fun of her). As a mini action item, go there and leave a comment.

Hey Bartcop Readers

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Against Torture

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Swearing In Statement

Here are Senator Clinton's goals for the upcoming Senate session. Finding ways to help people with health problems relating to 9/11, finally passing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, raising the minimum wage, energy Independence, making college affordable for everybody, rebuilding the military, holding the administration's feet to the fire on Iraq, improve health care, and education.

As we begin a new session of Congress, I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of New York and deeply optimistic that we can make progress on important priorities for our state and nation.

It is critical that we meet the needs of thousands suffering devastating health effects in the wake of September 11. Passing legislation to meet our responsibility to those affected by September 11 is one of my top priorities this Congress. As the new Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, I will also press for a more expansive test and clean-up program for 9/11 contaminants.

I am also proud that today the Democratic leadership as its first order of business announced legislation to take steps I have long championed, including enacting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, raising the minimum wage, making college more affordable, promoting energy independence and strengthening and rebuilding our military, among other steps.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will help ensure that there is stronger oversight in order to change our failed policy in Iraq. I will continue to fight for the homeland security funding New York needs and deserves, and fight to make sure funding is targeted to the areas of highest threat and to the unmet needs for rail, transit and port security. This Congress will reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act and I will work to make sure New York has the full funding our children deserve. I will also work to achieve election reform to make sure every vote is counted and every vote counts and continue efforts to improve health care access, affordability, and quality, including enacting health information technology legislation, expanding access to health care for children, and renewing the pediatric rule which ensures that prescription medications are safe for children.

There are great challenges facing this new Congress and our nation and I believe that by working together we can meet them. It was my great honor today to raise my hand and take the oath of office as Senator from New York once again. I look forward to the opportunity to build on the record of progress we have built over the last six years and to continue to address the challenges we face.

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Wellesley Graduation Speech

We'll hear about the charisma of the other Democratic candidates. And it's a real thing for many of them. But we probably won't hear it so much about Clinton, despite that she has it in spades. And she's had it for a long time. While the words you'll read are pretty powerful, but there's a reason beyond just the words that they generated so much buzz back in 1969, there's a reason they got her into Life magazine. Reading it now, it strikes me how relevant it still is:

Note: The opening remarks are impromptu comments in response to the previous speaker.

"I am very glad that Miss Adams made it clear that what I am speaking for today is all of us -- the 400 of us -- and I find myself in a familiar position, that of reacting, something that our generation has been doing for quite a while now. We're not in the positions yet of leadership and power, but we do have that indispensable task of criticizing and constructive protest and I find myself reacting just briefly to some of the things that Senator Brooke said. This has to be brief because I do have a little speech to give. Part of the problem with empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn't do us anything. We've had lots of empathy; we've had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have used politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.

What does it mean to hear that 13.3% of the people in this country are below the poverty line? That's a percentage. We're not interested in social reconstruction; it's human reconstruction. How can we talk about percentages and trends? The complexities are not lost in our analyses, but perhaps they're just put into what we consider a more human and eventually a more progressive perspective. The question about possible and impossible was one that we brought with us to Wellesley four years ago. We arrived not yet knowing what was not possible. Consequently, we expected a lot. Our attitudes are easily understood having grown up, having come to consciousness in the first five years of this decade - - years dominated by men with dreams, men in the civil rights movement, the Peace Corps, the space program - - so we arrived at Wellesley and we found, all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn't a discouraging gap and it didn't turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18. It just inspired us to do something about that gap.

What we did is often difficult for some people to understand. They ask us quite often, "Why, if you're dissatisfied, do you stay in a place?" Well, if you didn't care a lot about it you wouldn't stay. It's almost as though my mother used to say, "I'll always love you but there are times when I certainly won't like you." Our love for this place, this particular place, Wellesley College, coupled with our freedom from the burden of an inauthentic reality allowed us to question basic assumptions underlying our education. Before the days of the media orchestrated demonstrations, we had our own gathering over in Founder's parking lot. We protested against the rigid academic distribution requirement. We worked for a pass-fail system.

We worked for a say in some of the process of academic decision making. And luckily we were in a place where, when we questioned the meaning of a liberal arts education, there were people with enough imagination to respond to that questioning. So we have made progress. We have achieved some of the things that we initially saw as lacking in that gap between expectation and reality. Our concerns were not, of course, solely academic as all of us know. We worried about inside Wellesley questions of admissions, the kind of people that were coming to Wellesley, the kind of people that should be coming to Wellesley, the process for getting them here. We questioned about what responsibility we should have for both our lives as individuals and for our lives as members of a collective group.

Coupled with our concerns for the Wellesley inside here in the community were our concerns for what happened beyond Hathaway House. We wanted to know what relationship Wellesley was going to have to the outer world. We were lucky that one of the first things Miss Adams did was to set up a cross-registration with MIT because everyone knows that education just can't have any parochial bounds any more. One of the other things that we did was the Upward Bound program. There are so many other things that we could talk about; so many attempts, at least the way we saw it, to pull ourselves into the world outside. And I think that we've succeeded. There will be an Upward Bound program, just for one example, on the campus this summer.

Many of the issues that I've mentioned - - those of sharing power and responsibility, those of assuming power and responsibility have been general concerns on campuses throughout the world. But underlying those concerns there is a theme, a theme which is so trite and so old because the words are so familiar. It talks about integrity and trust and respect. Words have a funny way of trapping our minds on the way to our tongues but there are necessary means even in this multimedia age for attempting to come to grasps with some of the inarticulate maybe even inarticulable things that we're feeling. We are, all of us, exploring a world that none of us understands and attempting to create within that uncertainty. But there are some things we feel, feelings that our prevailing, acquisitive, and competitive corporate life, including tragically the universities, is not the way of life for us. We're searching for more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating modes of living. And so our questions, our questions about our institutions, about our colleges, about our churches, about our government continue. The questions about those institutions are familiar to all of us.

We have seen heralded across the newspapers. Senator Brooke has suggested some of them this morning. But along with using those words - - integrity, trust, and respect - - in regard to institutions and leaders we're perhaps harshest with them in regard to ourselves.

Every protest, every dissent, whether it's an individual academic paper, Founder's parking lot demonstration, in unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age. That attempt at forging for many of us over the past four years has meant coming to terms with our humanness. Within the context of a society that we perceive - - now we can talk about reality, and I would like to talk about reality sometime, authentic reality, inauthentic reality, and what we have to accept of what we see -- but our perception of it is that it hovers often between the possibility of disaster and the potentiality for imaginatively responding to men's needs. There's a very strange conservative strain that goes through a lot of New Left, collegiate protests that I find very intriguing because it harkens back to a lot of the old virtues, to the fulfillment of original ideas. And it's also a very unique American experience. It's such a great adventure. If the experiment in human living doesn't work in this country, in this age, it's not going to work anywhere.

But we also know that to be educated, the goal of it must be human liberation. A liberation enabling each of us to fulfill our capacity so as to be free to create within and around ourselves. To be educated to freedom must be evidenced in action, and here again is where we ask ourselves, as we have asked our parents and our teachers, questions about integrity, trust, and respect. Those three words mean different things to all of us. Some of the things they can mean, for instance: Integrity, the courage to be whole, to try to mold an entire person in this particular context, living in relation to one another in the full poetry of existence. If the only tool we have ultimately to use is our lives, so we use it in the way we can by choosing a way to live that will demonstrate the way we feel and the way we know. Integrity -- a man like Paul Santmire. Trust. This is one word that when I asked the class at our rehearsal what it was they wanted me to say for them, everyone came up to me and said, "Talk about trust, talk about the lack of trust both for us and the way we feel about others. Talk about the trust bust." What can you say about it? What can you say about a feeling that permeates a generation and that perhaps is not even understood by those who are distrusted? All they can do is keep trying again and again and again. There's that wonderful line in East Coker by Eliot about there's only the trying, again and again and again; to win again what we've lost before.

And then respect. There's that mutuality of respect between people where you don't see people as percentage points. Where you don't manipulate people. Where you're not interested in social engineering for people. The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal trust and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences. And the word "consequence" of course catapults us into the future. One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to a woman who said that she wouldn't want to be me for anything in the world. She wouldn't want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she is afraid. Fear is always with us but we just don't have time for it. Not now.

There are two people I would like to thank before concluding. That's Ellie Acheson, who is the spearhead for this, and also Nancy Scheibner who wrote this poem which is the last thing I would like to read.

"My entrance into the world of so-called "social problems"
Must be with quiet laughter, or not at all.
The Hollow men of anger and bitterness
The bountiful ladies of righteous degradation
All must be left to a bygone age.
And the purpose of history is to provide a receptacle
For all those myths and oddments
Which oddly we have acquired
And for which we would become unburdened
To create a newer world
To translate the future into the present
We have no need of false revolutions
In a world where categories tend to tyrannize our minds
And hang our lives up on narrow pegs.
It is well at every given moment to seek the limits in our lives.
And once those limits are understood
To understand that limitations no longer exist.
Earth could be fair. And you and I must be free
Not to save the world in a glorious crusade
Not to kill ourselves with a nameless gnawing pain
But to practice with all the skill of our being
The art of making possible."

Action Item #1 Contact your State Legislators

I'll be doing these from time to time. The first one is contact your house members and senator and ask them for an endorsement, or at least to consider it. Obviously, Hillary Clinton hasn't entered the race yet, and it's pretty early, so it probably won't amount to anything. Still, it's good to let them know your feelings now, before they are overwhelmed by the day to day goings on in the session. You can find their email here. And if none of your legislators are Democrats, don't worry, there will be more universal things upcoming. Anyway, here's mine. It's the same for all three, steal if you want but the best thing is what's original to you!


I'm writing you to encourage you to support Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the Presidency. While we have a strong field of candidates, and we can be proud to nominate any of them, Hillary Clinton is a cut above the rest:

She has been a leader on issues from choice, to health care, to workers' rights. She will bring that same energy and passion to both a grueling campaign and to the White House. She will, in the end make an excellent candidate.

Thank you for your time,

Stephen Phillips
Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton
My phone number

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Over at HA, Goldy asks right wingers a question about President Bush declaring he can read your mail whenever he feels like it.

But I’d just like you righties to pause for a moment and imagine it was a President Clinton (Bill or Hillary) who was asserting the unitary executive doctrine and the power to “construe” legislation as he or she chooses. Imagine it was a President Clinton claiming the power to invade your privacy simply by declaring “exigent circumstances.”

Would you still defend the President? Or might you start wondering if the means by which the administration is fighting the War on Terror might be destroying the very democratic principles we’re attempting to defend?

I’m just askin’.

Fortunately, a President Hillary Clinton wouldn't do that. Here's her statement on the issue:

The Administration’s recent announcement that it reserves the right to inspect citizens’ private mail without a search warrant whenever it determines exigent circumstances exist further indicates that this Administration is willing to circumvent those legal protections intended to safeguard both our citizens’ privacy and our national security. Should the Administration desire additional authority to legally inspect Americans’ mail, it should engage Congress so that we can thoughtfully determine whether to expand those procedures that simultaneously protect our privacy and safety.

The Marble Ceiling

In my last post, on why I support Hillary Clinton, I listed as one of my reasons that we're past due for a female president. It would probably at the bottom of my reasons if I were to rank them. Certainly it's the one I spent the least words on.

But listening to Speaker Pelosi take the gavel, I had to hold back a tear. America is a better country than it was yesterday because there's one less barrier to full equality. Digby hits the nail on the head. What it means to be a liberal and what it means to be a Democrat is to encourage and nudge and work hard to make sure America lives up to our greatness. Obviously, this would be even more true of a woman in the White House.

On a Washington note, as the secretary of the Democratic Caucus, Patty Murray is now the highest ranking women in the Senate.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Hi, and welcome to the first real post on the Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton blog. It seems every 4 years we get to this earlier and earlier. Still, I've tended to wait until the candidates have done a bit more to woo me. But this time, I'm convinced that of the possible and probable Democratic candidates in '08 that the best is Hillary Clinton. Here's why:

Health care She’s the last person to make a credible push for universal health care in this country. Nominating her gets the issue front and center. And if she wins the election, health care will be at least part of the mandate. I know, the plan wasn’t perfect last time, and it’ll be tough to pass anything, but I think she’s the best to make something happen.

The Minimum Wage If we’re able to pass this thing, it’ll be in large part because HRC understood tying it to the Congressional pay increases. She’s staked out the position finally got the issue some traction.

VRWC She understands it better than any of the other candidates. Hell, she coined the term. We've all seen her beat it back. She’ll be better prepared for it in the general, and better able to deal with it as president than any of the other candidates.

The First Female President These things matter, and we’re at least a half century overdue.

She’s an Honest to Goodness Liberal She’s ranked 10 according to Progressive Punch. While there are some problems with the ranking system, overall, it gets things just about right. She’s with the left wing of the party more than Feingold and more than Harken. While she may talk to her right on a few issues (and speaking to the center is so strange for a politician), she votes with us.

She's a Leader She and Senator Murray were the ones who forced the FDA to act on the morning after pill. She was the one who suggested tying the minimum wage increase to an increase in Congressional pay.

Iraq As someone who was in the streets opposing this awful war before it even started, this was the biggest stumbling block to my support. There's no question that her votes at the outset were pretty bad. But she has come around from her call to fire Rumsfield, to her early opposition to escalation, to her tough questioning of Gates. I think she'll be among the best, if not the best, at finding a way to get us out.