Monday Reads: Here we go againPosted: February 29, 2016
I had quite the weekend. It was so hectic I managed to miss a wedding because I got the dates totally confused. I’m trying to undo some of my karma this morning and that’s definitely going on the list. I’m so scatter brained these days I don’t even feel like me at times. I had friends in from NYC and lots of Hillary work to do. It’s just been super crazy here.
Most everyone knows that the New Orleans Hillary peeps–including me–have been making phone calls to GOTV. We’ve had all kinds of stuff going on on the ground related to actually getting people to the polls. I’ve not gotten any calls from the other side but several folks showed up for a march around the French Quarter for Bernie. As you probably know, our city is like 60% black. There might have been 100 or so people in the march. I only saw white faces there. This continues to be sadly telling.
However, I can tell you about the time I’ve spent with the Hillary campaign this last few weeks. I’m so proud of the diversity of her supporter base. I was on the phone yesterday and there were two of us aging boomers in the room. Both of us were women. One white. One black. The diversity of the young supporters was amazing and there was a good size group. There were two Asian Americans, a Hispanic, three young black women, a young white woman and a black man. I know that many were from the GLBT community too. They were all millennials, so don’t believe it when they say there are no young people supporting Hillary. She has a rainbow of them right down here in New Orleans. I also spent the evening talking to Dr. Son in law who is a strong Hillary supporter along with Dr. Daughter. As you know, Dr. Daughter had a Japanese Grandmother and Dr. Son-in-law’s family hails from the Bengal region of India. Both are avid Hillary supporters.
BB mentioned the stages of grief. I’m pretty sure folks I know in the Sanders camp are somewhat stuck between denial and anger. The South Carolina primary should’ve been a wake up call for the narrowing path to victory for their candidate. The Team fighting here for Hillary on the ground definitely matches these kinds of numbers.
A bruising, nearly 48-point loss to Hillary Clinton in South Carolina on Saturday night dramatically narrowed the path forward for Bernie Sanders, raising serious doubts about his ability to win the delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination.
South Carolina will widen Clinton’s delegate lead, which stood at one after her Nevada win on Feb. 20. But more significantly, the contest here demonstrated that the Vermont senator has failed to make any headway at all with African-American voters in the South. Even with 200 paid Sanders staffers on the ground and nearly $2 million in television spending, Clinton swept the black vote by a 5-to-1 ratio, according to exit polls. Among black voters 65 and older, Clinton won by a stunning 96 percent to 3 percent.
“When we stand together, there is no barrier too big to break,” Clinton said at her victory rally in Columbia, where, for the first time on a 2016 election night, she took the stage without Bill or Chelsea Clinton by her side. “Tomorrow, we take this campaign national.”
Now, heading into Super Tuesday, when 11 states will cast ballots on March 1, Sanders will face possibly insurmountable contests in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Virginia, all states with sizable black populations in which he has not invested as much time or money.
“Delegates determine the presidential nomination, and I don’t see a path for Sanders to get there,” said Jeff Berman, a consultant to the Clinton campaign who ran Barack Obama’s 2008 delegate strategy.
Running through a best-case scenario for Sanders, Clinton operatives said they expect Sanders could win Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont — states tailor-made for the democratic socialist because they hold caucuses, are predominantly white, located in New England or have a history of electing progressives.
But even if Sanders manages to pull out significant wins in all five, the delegate math will make it difficult for Sanders to catch up: They represent only one-third of the delegates up for grabs on Tuesday. And the Clinton campaign has invested heavily in states like Colorado and Minnesota in order to limit Sanders’ margins.
Sanders’ operatives said they are looking beyond Super Tuesday, to the friendlier terrain of Kansas, Nebraska and Maine to deliver them wins. But by then, Clinton operatives predicted, it could be too little, too late to close the delegate gap.
BB has been insistent that Mass. will go for Hillary. It seems that recent polls back her up.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton holds an eight-point lead over Bernie Sanders in a new poll of Massachusetts Democratic primary voters, suggesting that the Vermont senator needs to attract significant support during the final push to eke out a much-needed win in Tuesday’s Massachusetts presidential primary.
Clinton draws 50 percent of the vote, while Sanders picks up 42 percent and eight percent remain undecided, according to the Suffolk University poll released Sunday. The poll was conducted Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
I expect record turnout to continue with the nation’s Black voters because they know what’s at stake. The dismantling of the Voting Rights Act is a not something trivial. This will not go away. Here in Louisiana and in New Orleans, turning out the Black vote is important. The community is coming together for Hillary as she stands as the symbol and the promise of continuing President Obama’s legacy. This is something not lost on any of us that were active in 2007 and 2008 from either the Clinton or Obama Camps.
As voters in South Carolina’s Democratic primary cast ballots that would ultimately lead to a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton deployed surrogates in an attempt to expand that winning strategy to Louisiana.
Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stumped for Clinton in Louisiana, hoping to increase turnout among black voters.
That bloc proved key to Clinton’s win in South Carolina. There she picked up 86 percent of the African-American vote, according to ABC News exit polling data.
Nutter was in Baton Rouge Friday (Feb. 26) to host a round table discussion with business leaders before campaigning with Landrieu at Dillard University.
Foxx, who joined the Obama administration in 2013, spent Sunday touring African-American churches in New Orleans.
There’s still one HUGE deal. The Donald and his goosestepping followers really trouble me. There are two things that have popped up that are just beyond the pale. Let’s start with this one:
Don Trump Jr. said he would happily pay for some of his father’s black critics to leave the United States.
The Republican presidential candidate’s son appeared Monday morning with his brother, Eric Trump, on “Fox and Friends” to discuss the “Super Tuesday” primary elections and the concerted attacks on their father by his GOP rivals.
And then there’s this one. His earpiece made him all confused about not knowing about David Duke and his association with the KKK. This guy blames every one and every thing for his own damned ignorance, I swear!
Donald Trump on Monday blamed a poor earpiece for sparking a misunderstanding over white nationalist David Duke’s support of the GOP presidential front-runner.
“I’m sitting in a house in Florida with a very bad earpiece they gave me,” he told hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today” show.
“I sit down and I have a lousy earpiece provided by them,” Trump continued. “You could hardly hear what [CNN anchor Jake Tapper] was saying.
“What I heard was ‘various groups.’ I have no problem disavowing groups, but I’d at least like to know who they are. It’d be very unfair disavowing a group if they shouldn’t be disavowed.”
Trump waved off questions about Duke during a Sunday morning appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He repeatedly told Tapper he is unaware of the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard’s background and stances.
The outspoken billionaire on Monday lashed out at CNN for ignoring his multiple rejections of Duke’s support over the weekend.
“I’ve disavowed David Duke all weekend long on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s obviously never enough,” Trump said. “I disavowed David Duke the day before in a major news conference.
They weren’t hard questions to answer.
“Do you condemn David Duke? And the Ku Klux Klan?”
A simple “yes” would have worked. But on Sunday, Donald Trump swatted away the easy answers and instead feigned ignorance about the KKK and its most infamous Grand Wizard. The Republican frontrunner’s failure to provide what should have been a simple answer has raised even more disturbing questions about the man who is on course to lock down the GOP’s nomination for president.
The first question is why would Trump pretend to be so ignorant of American history that he refused to pass judgment on the Ku Klux Klan before receiving additional information? What kind of facts could possibly mitigate a century of sins committed by a violent hate group whose racist crimes terrorized Americans and placed a shameful blot on this nation’s history?
Why would the same man who claims to have “the world’s greatest memory”say “I don’t know anything about David Duke” just two days after he condemned the former Klansman in a nationally televised press conference? And with that amazing memory, how could Donald Trump have forgotten that he himself refused to run for president as a Reform Party nominee in 2000 because “Klansman” David Duke was a member of that same party?
These are questions that have no good answers for a Republican Party on the verge of nominating a man who sounds more like a Dixiecrat from the 1950s than the kind of nominee the GOP needs four years after losing Hispanics by 44 percent, Asian-Americans by 47 percent, and black Americans by 87 percent.
As I said, ask any black voter in the South and you’ll hear exactly what’s at stake. Women, minorities, and the GLBT community do not want to go back to the kind of American that Trump’s voters represent because we all know what that means. Will the Republican Party really implode? How far can Trump go in the General and what will he say and do once he faces former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? This is Philip Rucker and Robert Costa writing at WAPO.
The implosion over Donald Trump’s candidacy that Republicans had hoped to avoid arrived so virulently this weekend that many party leaders vowed never to back the billionaire and openly questioned whether the GOP could come together this election year.
At a moment when Republicans had hoped to begin taking on Hillary Clinton — who is seemingly on her way to wrapping up the Democratic nomination — the GOP has instead become consumed by a crisis over its identity and core values that is almost certain to last through the July party convention, if not the rest of the year.
A campaign full of racial overtones and petty, R-rated put-downs grew even uglier Sunday after Trump declined repeatedly in a CNN interview to repudiate the endorsement of him by David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Trump had disavowed Duke at a news conference on Friday, but he stammered when asked about Duke on Sunday.
Marco Rubio, who has been savaging Trump as a “con man” for three days, responded by saying that Trump’s defiance made him “unelectable.” The senator from Florida said at a rally in Northern Virginia, “We cannot be the party that nominates someone who refuses to condemn white supremacists.”
The fracas comes as the presidential race enters a potentially determinative month of balloting, beginning with primaries and caucuses in 11 states on Tuesday. As the campaign-trail rhetoric grew noxious over the weekend, a sense of fatalism fell over the Republican firmament, from elected officials and figureheads to major donors and strategists.
“This is an existential choice,” said former senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, who is backing Rubio. Asked how the party could unite, Coleman said: “It gets harder every day when you hear things like not disavowing the KKK and David Duke. It’s not getting easier; it’s getting more difficult. . . . I’m hopeful the party won’t destroy itself.”
The choice for voters is not simply one of preference but rather a fundamental one about the direction they want to take the country, with the insurgent Trump promising utter transformation.
“For many Republicans, Trump is more than just a political choice,” said Kevin Madden, a veteran operative who advised 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. “It’s a litmus test for character.”
Madden, like some of his peers, said he could never vote for Trump. If he is the nominee, Madden said, “I’m prepared to write somebody in so that I have a clear conscience.”
More splintering came late Sunday when freshman Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who has been a vocal Trump critic, declared on Twitter that if the reality TV star is nominated, he will “look for some 3rd candidate — a conservative option, a Constitutionalist.”
With all Trumps’ issues, I agree with Amanda Marcotte on this one. He’s not less crazy than the Cruz and Rubio boys. I recommend reading her latest just for the linky goodness. She’s documented some pretty unpalatable stuff.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I like Trump — I hate him with the passion of a thousand burning suns — or that I want him to be president. But yes, I think he should win the Republican nomination. He’s run the best campaign, one that speaks to what Republican voters want to hear, and, by that measure, he deserves to win the nomination, so that Hillary Clinton can wipe the floor with him in November.This is not a popular opinion, and not just with the establishment Republicans who can’t help acting like the main problem with Trump is he puts his dirty shoes on the couch. The common wisdom in most of the media — conservative, mainstream and liberal — is that a Trump nomination would be a ruinous thing, a blow to both the Republican Party and the political system as we know it. To which I can’t help but say, “So what?”I don’t agree with Trump supporters on, well, almost anything, but I can’t help sharing in the pleasure they take with the way that Trump’s very existence exposes the smarmy two-faced hypocrisy of the modern Republican Party. Modern conservatism is built on a base of protecting men’s dominance over women, white people’s dominance over people of color and rich people’s dominance over everyone else, but it’s generally considered impolite to say so bluntly. Instead, it’s standard for Republicans to pretend that policies obviously designed to screw people over are meant to help. That puts journalists in this terrible situation of having to pretend that Republicans mean well, since it’s generally considered impolitic to call someone a liar.Trump doesn’t play that game, at least not as much, and it is nakedly obvious that this, and not his actual beliefs and policies, is what angers many of his detractors. Take, for instance, Jonah Goldberg of the National Review on Fox News recently, complaining that Trump is “completely overturning what the Republican reset was supposed to be about after 2012, which was this idea that it was going to be a more consistently conservative but more inclusive and nicer toned party.”“And instead it’s going to be a less conservative but meaner toned and less inclusive party,” he added.
To which I must again say, “So what?” People who value kindness and inclusivity already have a party. They’re called the Democrats.
I can certainly attest to that down here in the Mississippi River melting pot of America called New Orleans. The line’s in Hillary speech that got the most applause for the night were just about that. Our country is a great country but unless is kind and inclusive of all its peoples, we’re not being the sort’ve of country that’s the shining beacon on a hill.
So, you’re seeing pictures of the folks working for Hillary here in New Orleans. I added one of the Honorable Anthony Foxx for good measure. I see lots of YOUNG people with energy, smiling faces, and enthusiasm!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today? Be sure to holler out about the upcoming primaries in your states! I know we’ve got lots of Sky Dancers out there ready to vote for Hillary this week and this month!!!