Tag Archives: hillary clinton

Three competing theories as to why Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump won

Embed from Getty Images

Coincidentally, in the last week we’ve had two competing theories emerge in the USA. Theories, that is, as to why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 Presidential election and Donald Trump won. First, we had this from Hilary Clinton in her new memoir:

I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t realize how quickly the ground was shifting under all our feet… I was running a traditional presidential campaign with carefully thought-out policies and painstakingly built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans’ anger and resentment.

In conversation with CBS’s Jane Pauley, Hillary Clinton added that her biggest mistakes were to use a private server for her email and accept paid speaking engagements from bankers.

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You can’t blame Gary Johnson for President Trump

 

gary-johnson

There has, naturally, been much discussion over the last few days of how and why events the morning of 9 November came to unfold the way they did. One persistent theme that has emerged has been that the fault lies with third party candidates (in particular, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein) and the people that voted for them. I have personally heard a surprising amount of people from our own party make this case – people you might think would be tired of hearing third party politics so casually dismissed!

Let’s leave aside, for now, the fact that the limited data we have suggests third party candidates actually hurt both Trump and Clinton to a similar degree. It’s simply patronising and offensive to tell people that they have a moral obligation to vote for a candidate they don’t believe in. People know the choices available to them, and they know the way the system works. Someone voting for Johnson is very explicitly saying that they DON’T want a Clinton or a Trump presidency. They want a Johnson presidency. The system presented them with a choice and they answered it honestly. If you say that they should have backed Clinton to prevent Trump winning, you’re saying they should have allowed their sincere opinions to be subverted by a louder and more powerful interest group.

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Enough with the flagellation of the “liberal elite” – Hillary Clinton actually got the most votes!

In the wake of the US election, there’s been a lot of sneering condemnation of the “sneering metropolitan liberal elite” including under posts on this very site.

Perhaps just hold the horses on this condemnation for a second, eh?

What is the objective of a candidate in an election?

Go on.

Try it.

Ah yes, you say – to win the most votes.

Well Hillary Clinton won the most votes in the US election: 59.8 million to Trump’s 59.6 million.

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It’s about Hillary – not Michelle

voice_hillary-clinton

I was in the room normally used for phone banking when I heard the speech drifting in from the TV screen next door.

This was the Virginia Democrats office and I was listening to Michelle Obama.

The First Lady was laying out a clear argument for putting her friend Hillary in the White House.

To some extent I knew arguments already. I had watched the TV debates, listened to the commentators, heard Hillary surrogates tear apart Trump’s ‘locker room banter’ nonsense and soaked up every detail of the policies a Clinton Presidency would pursue.

But this was different.

Something in Michelle Obama’s message reminded me of why I got involved in politics in the first place.

Every word spoke to my convictions, my hopes, the dreams I fear my generation will fail to deliver for our children.

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The American people will not take kindly to being kept “in suspense” by Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton has apparently had “psychology experts” advising her on how, among other things, to “needle” Donald Trump in the Presidential debates. Those experts deserve a medal for services to the USA. Clinton’s debate strategy has been a masterclass which will be written about for decades. Those experts have helped smoke out Donald Trump’s true colours in the debate theatre, rather than leaving it to when he might have become President.

The fact that in Wednesday evening’s debate he was reduced to saying “Such a nasty woman” and “You’re the puppet! …No you’re the puppet” betokens game, set and match to Clinton, I suggest.

The universally-headlined exchange from the debate (see transcript) was this one:

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Donald Trump’s attitude to holes and digging is just plain dumb

The US Presidential election has boiled down to this: If it is a referendum on Trump, Clinton wins. If it is a referendum on Clinton, Trump wins.

At the moment, it seems to be an extraordinarily florid referendum on Trump. This is a shame, as policy doesn’t seem to be getting a look in. But I suppose Americans are debating clearly the sort of person they want to see in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Clinton and Trump second debate – broadly a draw

The second Clinton/Trump took place early this morning. This time it was “Town Hall” style – with questions from audience members. It started without the traditional handshake (which has one precedent in the shape of one of the Nixon/Kennedy debates) but finished with a brief one.

Some of the subjects covered were: the leaked video-tape of Trump, Bill Clinton’s misdemeanours, taxes, the Clinton emails, the character needed to be President, ISIS, Syria, Supreme Court judges, energy and healthcare.

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US Election: Non-college-educated whites versus the rest?

One of the noticeable features of last night’s US Presidential debate (see full transcript here) was how Donald Trump was goaded into saying things to damage his chances with key constituencies. His “stop and frisk” proposal will not, I suspect, go down well with African American communities. Mention of his criticism of Alicia Machado, a hispanic former Miss Universe, probably met with displeasure from women and Hispanics. There was the airing of the “birther” controversy and a whole series of Trump favourites, as he was very successfully goaded by Hillary Clinton.

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WATCH: What does Hillary Clinton think of Nigel Farage?

Not a huge amount. Watch this video from ITV News.

Many of us will have found the sight of Farage speaking at a Donald Trump campaign rally pretty distasteful. Let’s hope that the American people keep turning away from Trump as they seem to be doing at the moment.

My worry is that as the campaign intensifies after next weekend’s Labor Day, Trump’s campaign will simply go after Hillary in every way that they can. They can’t win a clean campaign so they will fight as dirty as possible.

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What will the Presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump be like?

In the US, the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates has proposed three televised Presidential debates in September and October.

It is fascinating to imagine how these will go. On the one hand we’ll have the ultimate cool-headed policy wonk in Hillary. On the other we will have the hot-headed, insult-firing Trump.

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Tales from Cleveland – Part 2: Why I’m with Hillary

My time in the US is drawing to a close, and it’s been great to get to see the way they campaign first hand. I’ve not got as many tales from the campaign trail this week because I took the chance to go and do a bit of sightseeing. Sadly, I didn’t manage to get into the Daily Show, as I’d hoped to at the end of my last post. Although, I was in the office phonebanking when Hillary became our official nominee for President, and the cheering from the staff and volunteers was something I’ll never forget.

I think it’s important to note that a lot of people over here genuinely support and admire Hillary Clinton. That gets lost in the media coverage – sure, some people will cast a tactical vote. But most of us are here because we think she’d make an amazing President. Obama said on Wednesday that she is more qualified for the job than he or Bill ever was. That’s still too often the case – women have to be stellar and massively outdo men to even get a foot in the door of top positions. I support Hillary because I think she did great work for women and girls at the State Department. Her passion about women’s rights and disability rights absolutely shone through in her acceptance speech. This isn’t just a case of stopping Trump. I’m with her because she’s with me.

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WATCH: Hillary accept the Democratic nomination for President

I have been a huge fan of Hillary Clinton for pretty much quarter of a century. I admired the way she fought for women and girls, children and particularly those with disabilities. These have been her priorities for all of her life.

I am thrilled to bits to see her as the Democrats’ candidate for President and I can’t wait to see her debate the divisive slogans of Donald Trump.

She has fought for things that we take for granted here. Her fight for universal healthcare in the 1990s was ahead of its time. When she was Secretary of State, she put women and girls at the heart of everything she did. Read more about the specific things she did in this excellent blog post.

Her speech accepting the nomination put forward a positive vision to counteract the negativity and division of her opposition. She did it effectively, unlike David Cameron and George Osborne when they needlessly forced a similar choice here.

Hillary stood up for values that every Liberal Democrat should embrace: workers’ rights, healthcare, positive on immigration, committed to tackling climate change – and, importantly, stewarding the planet for the future, as she put it “planting seeds in a garden that you will never get to see”.

She is the standard bearer for progressive, optimistic, inclusive politics in a fight that mirrors so much of what’s going on in Europe. It’s the job of every progressive to back her in these next crucial months.

Make a cup of tea, put your feet up and watch her whole speech.

This is the section where she sums up the broad vision of what she wants to achieve.

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WATCH Michelle Obama endorse Hillary: “A leader worthy of all our kids’ promise”

At the end of the primary season 8 years ago, relations between the Clinton and the winning Obama camps were not the warmest.

Thankfully, both were grown-up enough to sort it out and move forward. Bridges were built quickly and Hillary ended up as Secretary of State in Obama’s first term.

In 2008, it was hard to imagine that Michelle Obama would give a speech warmly endorsing Hillary as her husband’s successor, as she did last night.

It was a very well crafted speech. It had lots of positives about Hillary – but also it put the boot into Trump in a very classy way. She didn’t mention him by name, but she talked of the importance of reasoned, measured, calm judgement. “When you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips, and the military at your command, you can’t make snap decisions.”

There was also a bit of an indirect plea to Sanders supporters. “We can’t afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical,” she said as she implored everyone to get out there knocking on doors to recreate what the Obama campaign had done in 2008.

The bit that made me cry was when she talked of waking up in a house built by slaves every day and seeing her daughters playing with their dog on the White House lawn. She paid tribute to all those who had fought for civil rights and to break down the barriers, too.

It was an extremely well-crafted and classy speech.

Watch it in full here:

The text is below:

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Clinton finds her voice: “This isn’t reality television – this is actual reality.”

Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.

Hillary Clinton has found her voice with a major speech on foreign policy in San Diego. The speech is substantive, going through key issues one by one and quoting Donald Trump’s “ideas”, of which she says, powerfully:

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Postcard from Orlando: Hillary sweeps the board with big wins in Florida and Ohio

Hillary Florida GOTVWhat do Florida, North Carolina and Ohio have in common? They’re AWS, which means All Winning States on this side of the pond.  As I write (0515!GMT) Hillary appears to have won Illinois and Missouri by a margin that would have any agent worth their salt screaming “Recount,” at the top of their lungs.
Whilst Florida was always polling strongly for Hillary, the big prize tonight was Ohio for her campaign.  After the shock loss of Michigan last week, Hillary’s campaign needed a big win in the rust belt.  In Ohio, she got it.
The two states are significant. Ohio is the ultimate swing state, crucial to Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.  Florida has even more of a history since George W Bush’s controversial “win” in 2000.  At a rally for his wife on Monday, former President Bill Clinton said “You don’t need to explain to Floridians the importance of voting.”
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Inside the Hillary Campaign in Florida

Florida

ORLANDO, Florida.  A state with a rich political history, of hanging chads and contested election results back in 2000. A vital state in the primary calendar for the American Presidential election, given its winner takes all rules for delegates.  The perfect place to campaign for Hillary on International Women’s Day.

The Democratic race is fairly straightforward here. Hillary is going to beat Bernie in Florida, and Bernie knows it.  However, perception is everything in the US media, and so Bernie is campaigning to close the gap.  The Democratic debate here is on Wednesday 9th March. Barring a mishap, Clinton will be fine.  Canvassing 100 advance ballot voters (sorry, postal voters), Hillary is clearly ahead, but the talk is all elsewhere.

It’s red on red (*) Republican warfare in Florida.

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Adventures of a Liberal Democrat at the Iowa caucuses – Part 3

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.10.23Monday 1 February

It’s a polling day of a different kind. Rather than 15 hours of voting, everything is crammed into just 2 hours.
Across the state, individual caucuses will be held in an astonishing 1,681 locations. There is one caucus for every precinct (polling district) with each one requiring a chair to oversee proceedings and a speaker for each of the candidates. It requires a phenomenal level of planning and organisation by both the Democrat and Republican state parties.

I get out during the day and visit the Iowa Historical Museum with its brilliant ‘first in the nation’ exhibition, including memorabilia dating back to the first caucuses in the early 1970s. Geoff, my guide, easily wins the prize for the most overexcited Iowan of my visit so far. He can of course be excused on this, his day of days. He reels off facts and joyously regales the tale of when his neighbour offered his house as a caucus site in 2008, only for it to be overrun with voters in that record breaking turnout year. “He put the Clintons in his front room, the Edwards in his kitchen and Obamas upstairs”, he said, “he was able to fit all the Dodds and Bidens in his bathroom!”

And so caucus hour arrives at 7pm. I’m covering Polk County’s 80th precinct caucus, held in the Wright Elementary School on the south side of Des Moines. It’s a precinct in which Obama beat Romney by over 30% in 2012 so there are lots of Democratic voters for the three campaigns to haggle over.

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Adventures of a Liberal Democrat at the Iowa Caucuses Part 2

Iowa caucuses C-Span busSunday 31 January

After a rather dramatic and delayed journey to the US,  I’m finally in Iowa. Most folk on my flight from Chicago are either news reporters covering the caucuses or members of the US Congress stumping for one of the candidates.

The buzzword is ‘turnout’. There’s hope the numbers turning up to tomorrow night could break all records. Folk seem most excited about the weather….or the lack of it. At this time of year, Iowans are normally wading through feet of snow. Not this year. It’s cold but not painfully so and there are no snow storms predicted. “It’s perfect caucusing weather” my car rental guy told me.

The latest polls suggest a tight race on the Democrat side with the respected Des Moines Register poll showing it too close to call. There’s some scepticism about whether all these young students who have gone nuts for Bernie Sanders will actually turn out. I remember hearing something similar in 2008 about the supporters of some guy called Obama…

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A 30 second video which sums up why Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States of America


This post carries the normal proviso that I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about so anything I predict is likely to be pure nonsense.

I’ve just done something which I very occasionally do. I last did it in February 2007. I put a modest little wager on who will be the next President of the USA. I put money on Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton.

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What Tim Farron hopes to achieve for women in 2016

Tim Farron has been doing all he can to get into a variety of media, from Have I got news for you, to Wetherspoons’ newsletter and, this week, to Stylist magazine. This issue is featuring many politicians as guest editors.

Tim was one of three politicians asked to write a letter to their idol and also to say what he wanted to achieve for women this year. This was his response to the latter:

Stylist: Farron pledge to women

 

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Hillary minds her left flank – while Jeb stacks up the money (but is it in the right place?)

There’s a lot of those internet/Facebook quizzes going round, as usual. One of them asks several questions to show you which US presidential candidate one comes nearest to, in terms of policy.

Strangely enough, I and most of Lib Dem friends come out nearest Bernie Sanders. “Who he? – Ed” – was the first thought that ran through my mind, when that answer came up for me, although I had vaguely heard of the junior senator from Vermont.

Is the US the only country where a 73 year-old can be described as “junior”? And is it wrong that whenever Vermont is mentioned, I either think of Bill Bryson’s hilarious tales from Vermont or that fantastic old comedy programme with Bob Newhart where he ran a hotel in Vermont and spent much of the show opening the door and letting in gustfuls of snow?

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Lynne Featherstone on the need for clean cookstoves to transform the lives of women and girls

Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan tells Secretary Clinton more about the clean cookstoves effort in South India.Earlier this week we told you of Paddy Ashdown’s visit to Bangladesh to raise awareness of the need for clean stoves. This is also an area where Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone has been working and on Thursday, she spoke at a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves conference in London. This issue is important because the World Health Organisation estimates that 4.3 million people lost their lives through being exposed to household air …

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Did this Lib Dem duo from Scotland reveal Mrs Clinton’s (not-so-well-cloaked) presidential ambitions?

The Herald brings intriguing news of a recent dinner held in honour of a select group receiving honorary degrees from the University of St Andrews, including recently-departed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

The former First Lady was in good spirits. As appropriate for the star of the show, she arrived a little late, but made a point of going round all the other 17 graduates to shake them by the hand and say what a privilege it was to be graduating in their company.

The cast-list was impressive and included Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the worldwide web, Nobel laureate

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Opinion: Support for emerging democracies – we’ll do it our way

Speaking at the recent Munich Security Conference, US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton said “Americans and Europeans must send a clear and common message to despots that they must respect the rights of their people….America and Europe stand shoulder to shoulder.”

However, the UK role in encouraging emerging democracies must be determined through a process of working closer with the EU and by identifying limited areas in which tangible gains can be made through shared resources. That is to say that we do what we can with our European partners to achieve the best results within our areas of influence. Continually …

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NEW POLL: Who is your Liberal Voice of the Year?

Today’s the day we launch our search for the Liberal Voice of 2011 to find the individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in the past 12 months. This is the fifth annual award, and as is our tradition, we’re looking beyond the ranks of the Lib Dems to find the greatest liberal who’s not a member of our party.

The list of nine nominees appears below. These were sought from Lib Dem members via our most recent survey; 233 nominations were submitted, and each of those short-listed needed to clear a threshold of five.

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Jeremy Browne writes… The London Conference on Cyberspace

In just over a decade, cyberspace has completely changed the way we live and work. Access has grown from 16 million internet users in 1995 to nearly 2 billion today, more than half of whom are in developing countries. On November 1st and 2nd, we will be hosting the London Conference on Cyberspace. The first of its kind, it will be a high profile event attended by the Foreign Secretary, Hillary Clinton, and high level delegates from over sixty countries.

The rapid development of a globally networked world offers enormous opportunities as well as challenges. When …

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