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Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in 2016 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Featured, Politics | 0 comments

Hillary’s Off and Running

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now formally off and running for the Democratic Presidential nomination. And you could see the ripples being felt immediately in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election in news stories, blog posts and tweets. Here a sampling:

A day after Hillary Clinton formally kicked off her 2016 presidential campaign with a speech at a rally on New York’s Roosevelt Island, current and would-be rivals on both sides of the political aisle took aim at the former secretary of state on
“First off, I thought that Elizabeth Warren wasn’t running for president,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. “But when I listened to Hillary yesterday, it sounds like liberal political consultants put together that speech.”

Christie also criticized Clinton for not taking questions from the press.

“I’ve done 146 town hall meetings in the last five years in New Jersey and around the country,” Christie said. “Mrs. Clinton doesn’t hear from anybody. She doesn’t talk to anybody. She doesn’t take questions from anybody. How would she know what real Americans are really concerned about?

“Is it, you know, when she’s out giving paid speeches?” the Republican governor continued. “I don’t understand when she would know what she was saying yesterday about real Americans.”

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders slammed Clinton for refusing to take a stand on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that President Barack Obama is trying to fast-track through Congress.

“I would hope very much that Secretary Clinton will side with every union in the country, virtually every environmental group and many religious groups and say that this TPP policy is a disaster, that it must be defeated and that we need to regroup and come up with a trade policy which demands that corporate America starts investing in this country rather than in countries all over the world,” Sanders said.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says Clinton has been quiet on the Keystone pipeline. Sanders also touts his votes on Iraq and the Patriot Act.
“There is no question that what our trade policy has been for many years is to allow corporate America to shut down plants in this country, move abroad, hire people at pennies an hour and then bring their products back to the United States,“ the independent senator and Democratic presidential candidate continued. “It is a failed trade policy, and I would hope that the secretary joins Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and the vast majority of Democrats in the Congress in saying, ‘No. We’ve got to defeat this piece of legislation.’”

On “Fox News Sunday,” Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and TPP proponent, called Clinton’s silence on the trade deal “mystifying.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Dante Chinni offers five charts showing why Hillary Clinton will be hard to beat. A few highlights:

1. When matched against GOP rivals, Mrs. Clinton retains a big lead among minority voters. These voters were a pillar of President Barack Obama’s winning coalitions and make up a growing share of the electorate.

….2. Moreover, Mrs. Clinton shows signs of expanding the Obama coalition by drawing more white women, a group that Republicans won by 14 percentage points in 2012. When matched against likely GOP rivals, Mrs. Clinton leads among white women.

I need to add here that the GOP’s Tea Party and talk show cable and radio hosts who make their living by demonizing groups and defining compromise as treason and consensus as weakness a are major4 constraint on the GOP expanding its coalition. Rather, the GOP now resembles a bouncer standing in front of an exclusively club refusing to let some in and outright throwing some out (moderates or non Tea Party conservatives). It is the party of the choir, by the choir and for the choir.

3. Views of the economy—likely the top issue in the campaign—play to Mrs. Clinton’s advantage. She leads likely rivals among voters who say job creation and the economy are their top or second-highest concern:

….4. Where is Mrs. Clinton vulnerable? Voters tend to cast ballots for people they like, and so Mrs. Clinton’s declining public image could prove to be a problem. The share of people with a negative view of her is rising.

The problem here, too: the GOP candidate, when voters get to know him or her, may prove to many swing voters (who do exist) as less likable, and if kowtowing to the talking points of the Tea Party and the party’s unofficial strategist (Rush Limbaugh) more frightening. So this being a negative depends on who Republicans put up.

”.5. And Mrs. Clinton is not the top choice of people who view national security and terrorism as a top issue for the government to address. If concerns about Islamic State or terrorism rise, that could present a challenge to Mrs. Clinton, particularly given her work on foreign policy within the administration.

Remember that despite how smug they may appear on TV, and the big bucks they get, most of the people on televison, writing punditry and writing on blogs don’t know a thing. They’re giving you their best take how they see things through their personal and professional filters.

But, yes, at this particular point, Hillary Clinton looks quite strong, no matter what flaws those who oppose her point to or how awkward her campaign may appear.

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