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Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
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102-year-old Iowan prepares to cast her 20th presidential vote

Ruline Steininger’s political endorsement might not come with star power, but it exemplifies staying power.

Steininger, 102, of Pleasant Hill, expects to vote this fall in her 20th presidential election. She hopes to cast her vote for Hillary Clinton, whom she considers one of the best candidates she’s ever seen.

The retired teacher came to Grand View University to hear the former secretary of State speak Friday. She backed Clinton in the 2008 Democratic caucuses and plans to do so again Monday.

“I think she’s the best qualified. She has so much experience,” Steininger said, shortly before the candidate took the stage.


Hillary Rocked! (HILLARY GROUP)

Hillary's performance at that Town Hall was amazing. I am so proud of her. Far and away the most presidential candidate. She had the most applause, even though it was a much younger crowd, apparently mostly university students. She showed so much energy, humor and intelligence. Such a refreshing contrast from the grumpiness of Sanders and the blandness of O'Malley. Can't wait to vote for her!

(HILLARY GROUP) Our Collection Isn't Big Enough?

Signe Wilkinson- Washington Post Writers Group and Cartoonists Group

Their Boss Stays on the Sideline, but Obama Aides Tilt to Clinton

 The two leading Democratic contenders for president are competing to wrap President Obama in a tight embrace. He is hugging only one of them back.

With Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont locked in an increasingly taut battle in the final days before the Iowa caucuses, both are laying claim to Mr. Obama’s mantle, and to the young voters he turned out in 2008 and 2012. Mr. Sanders is selling himself as an insurgent in the spirit of Mr. Obama; Mrs. Clinton as the custodian of his legacy.

So far, legacy is winning out.


Sanders camp confirms it thinks Planned Parenthood is part of the establishment out to beat Bernie

...in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Wednesday afternoon, Sanders’ top strategist, Tad Devine, confirmed that the campaign does indeed view Planned Parenthood as part of a Democratic establishment that’s actively opposing Sanders:

Todd: Do you believe that Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign—that these are part of the Democratic establishment that's trying to defeat you?

Devine: I do, Chuck. I think the leadership of Washington-based groups—and it's not just those two—are part of a political establishment here in Washington.

Devine’s statement, in response to a direct question from Todd, is unambiguous. To many progressives who have witnessed Planned Parenthood endure the most witheringly malicious and mendacious assault from conservatives for the past several years, it’s distressing to see the Sanders campaign view it as an organization it’s “taking on,” simply because it endorsed Hillary Clinton.


Why Bernie Sanders Still Doesn’t Pose a Critical Threat to Hillary Clinton

The Vermont senator may be surging, but black Democrats are her firewall.
By Jamelle Bouie

... the rapid rise of Sanders—and the pointed attacks from Clinton—obscure the extent to which the overall state of the race hasn’t changed. Clinton is still the favorite for the nomination, even as her path gets a little rockier and a little more difficult. And the reason isn’t hard to understand.

Take the recent Monmouth University poll of the Democratic race. Between December and January, Clinton lost her lead with white Democrats. Indeed, it vanished, dropping 23 points. Now, she’s tied with Sanders, 43 percent to 43 percent. But she’s grown her lead with black and Latino Democrats, winning 71 percent to 21 percent for the Vermont senator, up from 61 percent in January.

This lead with black and Latino Democrats isn’t just responsible for Clinton’s margin in national polling—where she outpaces Sanders by an average of 13 points—it’s responsible for her massive lead in the South Carolina primary, where black voters predominate and where Clinton crushes Sanders with an average margin of 40 points (although there’s been little polling in the state since the new year).

Which gets to a broader, more important point. Minority voters—and black Americans in particular—are the firewall for Clinton’s candidacy and the Democratic establishment writ large. As long as Clinton holds her lead with black Democrats, she’s tough (if not impossible) to beat in delegate-rich states like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. Even with momentum from wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s hard to see how Sanders overcomes Clinton’s massive advantage with this part of the party’s electorate . That’s not to say he won’t excel as an insurgent candidate, but that—barring a seismic shift among black Democrats, as well as Latinos—his coalition won’t overcome her coalition.


New York Magazine: The Case Against Bernie Sanders

Sanders has promised to replace Obamacare with a single-payer plan, without having any remotely plausible prospects for doing so. Many advocates of single-payer imagine that only the power of insurance companies stands in their way, but the more imposing obstacles would be reassuring suspicious voters that the change in their insurance (from private to public) would not harm them and — more difficult still — raising the taxes to pay for it. As Sarah Kliff details, Vermont had to abandon hopes of creating its own single-payer plan. If Vermont, one of the most liberal states in America, can’t summon the political willpower for single-payer, it is impossible to imagine the country as a whole doing it. Not surprisingly, Sanders's health-care plan uses the kind of magical-realism approach to fiscal policy usually found in Republican budgets, conjuring trillions of dollars in savings without definingtheir source.
The Sanders campaign represents a revolution of rising expectations. In 2008, the last time Democrats held a contested primary, the prospect of simply taking back the presidency from Republican control was nearly enough to motivate the party’s vote. The potential to enact dramatic change was merely a bonus. After nearly two terms of power, with the prospect of Republican rule now merely hypothetical, Democrats want more.

The paradox is that the president’s ability to deliver more change is far more limited. The current occupant of the Oval Office and his successor will have a House of Representatives firmly under right-wing rule, making the prospects of important progressive legislation impossible. This hardly renders the presidency impotent, obviously. The end of Obama’s term has shown that a creative president can still drive some change.

But here is a second irony: Those areas in which a Democratic Executive branch has no power are those in which Sanders demands aggressive action, and the areas in which the Executive branch still has power now are precisely those in which Sanders has the least to say. The president retains full command of foreign affairs; can use executive authority to drive social policy change in areas like criminal justice and gender; and can, at least in theory, staff the judiciary. What the next president won’t accomplish is to increase taxes, expand social programs, or do anything to reduce inequality, given the House Republicans’ fanatically pro-inequality positions across the board. The next Democratic presidential term will be mostly defensive, a bulwark against the enactment of the radical Ryan plan. What little progress liberals can expect will be concentrated in the non-Sanders realm.


Great read. The article demonstrates why Hillary is far and away the best candidate when it comes to being able to do what actually can get done.

The White House will campaign for Clinton, but not in the SOTU speech.

People inside the West Wing have a vision of President Barack Obama’s 2016: he’ll take on the role that Bill Clinton played for him in 2012, the elder statesman and battering ram, laying out a fact- and figure-based case for why Democratic governing gets better results than Republican promises.

That’s coming, aides say. But not on Tuesday...“He will talk about who we are as Americans and focus on some consistent themes of his presidency—a country that adapts to challenges, that creates things, that believes that change and progress are possible,” the aide said.

But there’s a way that a speech like that helps Clinton, said Mo Elleithee, a spokesman for Clinton’s 2008 campaign who’s now the executive director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service.

“This is an important moment in defining his legacy. But it can also help her in two ways. By going out there and selling the past seven years, she doesn’t have to. She can stay focused on the future,” Elleithee said. “And, he can begin making the case to general election voters while she’s still in a primary. He can begin looking down the field before she has the luxury to, or before she’s allowed to.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/01/2016-state-of-the-union-obama-clinton-217541#ixzz3wsvTXwNG
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