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Posts tagged ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton’

Obama, Hillary Join Forces to Raise Money for Democrats.

President Barack Obama is bolstering his party’s campaign coffers, joining an ally of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to help the Democratic National Committee climb out of a worrisome deficit. It’s the latest alignment of the Obama and Clinton orbits, as the former first lady considers a White House bid in 2016.

Obama is traveling to New York Tuesday to raise money for the party at two events, including a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of Alan Patricof, the founder of a New York venture capital fund. Patricof is a longtime Clinton friend and financial bundler for her Senate and presidential campaigns.

The event illustrates the overlapping fundraising draw that Obama and the former first lady, senator and secretary of state represent for the party at a crucial time for the cash-strapped DNC. It also helps bridge some internal party tensions between donors who are merely interested in presidential politics and the Democrats’ needs during this year’s midterm elections.

Patricof wrote in a February email to contributors that he and his wife, Susan, had been “relatively quiet on the political front” following Clinton’s loss to Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary.

“The most effective way that we all can be helpful to Hillary, and the Democratic Party in general, is to make sure that the Democratic National Committee is as strong as possible if Hillary should decide to run in 2016 and, for that matter, if any other good candidate appears on the scene if she decides not to be in the race,” Patricof wrote in the email, first reported by Politico.

He called the fundraiser with Obama a “fireside chat” that would include 13 couples — 26 people — paying $32,500 per person.

The DNC has been trying to pare down millions of dollars in debt accumulated during Obama’s re-election campaign; through the end of January the DNC owed more than $15 million.

Obama, who will also raise money at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser while in New York, has been making a sober fundraising pitch of late, warning that Democrats run the risk of losing control of the Senate if the party doesn’t have the resources to motivate voters this November.

The president’s cash-raising comes amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine and a fast-approaching health care sign-up deadline that have been preoccupying the White House, underscoring the competing demands on Obama. It also comes as Obama is struggling with tepid approval ratings. Recent Gallup and CNN/Opinion Research polls place his job approval at 45 and 43 percent respectively. Over the past year, Obama’s approval ratings as measured by Gallup have fluctuated between a high of 51 percent last April and 39 percent in January.

If Clinton runs and wins the party’s nomination in 2016, the DNC would serve as a platform of continuity between the Obama White House and a future Clinton campaign. Party leaders recently outlined plans to build upon its technological advantage over Republicans and expand its voter registration and protection work in key states, steps that will help Obama’s successor.

The DNC already has plenty of Clinton connections. Committee members include Harold Ickes and Minyon Moore, both longtime advisers to Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. One of its top fundraisers is Michael Kempner, a New Jersey public relations executive who served as co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 national finance committee and was a top bundler for Obama in 2012.

For many Clinton backers, the DNC is a natural place to offer help while the former New York senator mulls her future.

“It’s a clear signal that the Clinton faction of the party is seeking to help the president any way possible,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic strategist who advised Bill Clinton’s campaigns. “Money is still the mother’s milk of American politics.”

The fundraiser is the latest in a series of steps that have helped bring together the Obama and Clinton camps after the bitterness of the 2008 primary fight.

Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action recently brought on board Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, to lead the group. It made clear that it will back Clinton if she seeks the nomination. The super PAC’s executive director is Buffy Wicks, a former top Obama campaign staffer.

Ready for Hillary, a grassroots group aiming to lay the groundwork for a Clinton campaign, is advised by former Obama campaign aides Jeremy Bird and Mitch Stewart. In Iowa, which traditionally holds the nation’s first presidential caucus, the super PAC dispatched 250 volunteers last weekend to sign up new members at county Democratic conventions. The group covered 84 of the state’s 99 counties.

Patricof is managing director of Greycroft LLC, a venture capital firm he founded in 2006. In November, Obama appointed him to the President’s Global Development Council.


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Clinton Stance on Syria Raises Familiar Risks.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been in this spot before.

As a senator in 2002, she endorsed military action in Iraq, a decision that came back to haunt her in her failed White House bid six years later.

Now, the former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential candidate is risking the possibility of similar political fallout in a future campaign with her staunch support of President Barack Obama’s call for a U.S.-led strike in Syria as punishment for the use of chemical weapons.

The two conflicts are different: Iraq was a full-fledged war with ground troops that lasted nearly nine years, while the Obama administration is talking about a limited, focused air attack in Syria. Even so, Clinton’s support of both engagements carries the same potential hazard — that opponents could use her position against her in a future campaign.

“The world will have to deal with this threat as swiftly and comprehensively as possible,” Clinton said Monday in her first public endorsement of the president’s plan to respond to Syria’s chemical weapons use, a year after using her State Department post to press for the U.S. to take a larger role in building support for the Assad government’s opposition.

During a White House forum on animal trafficking, Clinton welcomed suggestions that the Assad regime may surrender its stockpile of chemical weapons, but echoed admonitions from the Obama administration that “this cannot be another excuse for delay and obstruction.”

She’s expected to reiterate her get-tough pitch in a speech Tuesday in Philadelphia, despite American and congressional opposition to engagement.

An Associated Press poll released Monday found that most American opposed even a limited attack — likely with cruise missiles — and about half were fearful that a strike would lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment in Syria. An AP survey of lawmakers indicated Obama still could reach the 60-vote majority in the Senate that will be necessary to advance a resolution authorizing a limited U.S. military strike on Syria. But the House could be a tougher challenge, where there were fewer than a dozen declared lawmakers in support and 150 opposed or leaning that way. About 200 House members have yet to take a public position, more than enough to swing the outcome either way.

Given the unpopularity of Obama’s call for action, Clinton’s entrance into the debate over Syria had implications for his political stature.

Any daylight between the president and Clinton, a former top member of his administration, on Syria would have been significant and would have given wavering Democrats another reason to oppose the military action. But by lending her support to the president, Clinton ended up reinforcing the administration’s message to lawmakers and leaders around the globe about the severity of Syria’s use of chemical weapons and the need for it to carry consequences.

And then there are her own political implications.

As she did with the Iraq vote nearly a dozen years ago, Clinton is betting she will be on the right side of history by standing firm with Obama despite the public opinion polls and a divided Congress.

It was similar to the gamble she made in 2002 when she voted to give President George W. Bush the authorization to use force in Iraq. The resolution passed the Senate with 77 votes, including 29 Democrats, and American public opinion was more supportive of war in Iraq. By the time the 2008 presidential primary came around, support for the war had soured considerably, particularly among core Democratic voters who were heading to polls to choose the party’s nominee.

Obama, who had spoken out in opposition to the war as an Illinois state senator, won the nomination in part by playing up the differences in their positions on the Iraq war, and Clinton found herself opposed by many anti-war Democratic voters in many early voting states.

Clinton’s supporters say this time is different, and they argue that she will be rewarded politically for sticking by the president.

“That shows sometimes leaders have to do the thing that may not currently be the politically popular thing to do but they think is the right thing to do,” said Kathy Sullivan, a former state party chairwoman in New Hampshire who was the co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign in that first-in-the-nation primary state. “At the end of this, people will respect her for her decision.”

Yet Republicans already are calling it a liability. “She is wrapped up in the administration’s bungled Syria policy no matter how she tries to maneuver politically,” said Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising PAC.

Clinton’s backing was not exactly a surprise.

As the nation’s top diplomat, she supported intervening in Syria with a proposal in the summer of 2012 to arm vetted units of the Syrian rebels. The White House later rebuffed those plans. Clinton also pushed attempts in the United Nations to develop a political transition in Syria and provide humanitarian aid to Syrians.

She was expected to reiterate her Syria position in the Philadelphia speech, where she was accepting an award from the National Constitution Center, a group chaired by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an heir to the Bush political dynasty and a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016.

Earlier this year, Clinton had said she intended to use the speech to discuss her views of national security and privacy. But aides said those plans had to be put on hold given the focus on Syria and the fact that Obama was delivering a White House address two hours later.



© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

‘Ready for Hillary’ PAC Taking Role in Midterm Elections.

Image: 'Ready for Hillary' PAC Taking Role in Midterm Elections

By Matthew Auerbach

Ready for Hillary, the super PAC whose main objective is to propel Hillary Clinton into the White House in 2016, has decided to come to the aid of her down-ballot supporters in various campaigns leading into the midterm elections next year, the Hill Reports.

But the first Democrat to benefit from this decision will be longtime Clinton insider Terry McAuliffe, who is running for governor in Virginia this year.

“We have identified a large group of Hillary supporters in Virginia,” said Ready for Hillary executive director Adam Parkhomenko.

“There’s a very important election this November, and we’re absolutely going to make sure our supporters are aware of that election.

Any way our organization can help, within the legal limits, is something we’ll do.”

Though the super PAC will use its influence to mobilize supporters for Democrats such as McAuliffe, it is still Clinton herself who will dictate the moves of the organization through her endorsements of candidates. Once she gives the nod, Ready For Hillary plans to use all its resources to guarantee success.

The organization is also planning to act somewhat independently for certain candidates in 2014.

“That’s something we’re talking about — You’re going to see the PAC start to get involved in the midterms,” Parkhomenko says.

One high-profile backer of Ready For Hillary, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, said the super PAC will be relentless in its efforts to ensure Democratic success next year because regaining a majority in Congress is the key for Clinton or any Democrat running for president to be successful.

“Whoever the next Democratic president is, they don’t want to be saddled with the same congress that President Obama has — you don’t want a presidency where you’re playing defense the whole time,” Granholm said.

“It’s important for the Democratic Party that people get out there and change the dynamics so you don’t have a paralyzed congress.”

After its high-profile launch in January, Ready for Hillary has been relatively quiet in recent months, staffing up and planning for the fall when the focus will turn to fundraising, with more than a dozen events being set up across the country including in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Benghazi Mom: Hillary Only Cares About Herself.

Pat Smith, mother of slain U.S. Foreign Service information officer Sean Smith, took aim at former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton for her role in the Benghazi attack where her son died.
“All she cares about is her own self,” Smith said Thursday on “Fox & Friends.”

“She lied to my face. I want the whole world to know that she lied to my face. You don’t want this person to be president,” Smith added.

Smith said Clinton, who is expected to run for the White House in 2016, promised to keep her in the loop on investigations into her 34-year-old son’s death.

“She promised me face-to-face at the casket ceremony that she would check on this thing and call me back, because I said I wanted to know what happened. And Hillary never called back. She never checked on anything,” Smith said.

“And not only that, but she knew at the time that it was wrong what she was telling me,” she added, referring to the administration’s original explanation that blamed the attack on a YouTube video.

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Nearly a year after the bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, questions remain about exactly what took place during the raid. The State Department announced Tuesday that four mid-level employees, originally placed on paid administrative leave for their involvement, would be reinstated.

Smith had no question where to look for answers about the events surrounding her son’s death.
“All I do know is that Hillary was responsible. It was her department. And if it wasn’t her, then it was Obama, who left on vacation as soon as it happened,” she said.

Smith expressed her determination to keep the attack a topic of discussion until the administration provides answers about what happened.

“It’s not going away. It’s still there. It just hasn’t been resolved yet. I’m here to say that I don’t want it resolved until somebody gets up and takes responsibility for what they did,” she said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Wanda Carruthers

NBC’s Hillary Clinton Project Looks Doomed, Rivals Say.

Image: NBC's Hillary Clinton Project Looks Doomed, Rivals Say

NBC’s Hillary Clinton miniseries looks likely to fizzle out, executives at two rival networkstold TheWrap.”It’s going to die a slow death,” one of the executives said, following NBC entertainment Bob Greenblatt statement Friday that the project was only in development and might never be made. The executives spoke on condition of anonymity.

Greenblatt’s statement came in response to the Republican National Committee voting to bar NBC and CNN from hosting 2016 Republican primary debates. CNN Films is also planning a Clinton project, a documentary. Republicans say the projects give the former Secretary of State an unfair publicity boost over their candidates.

On Friday, the same day as the RNC vote, Fox Television Studios said it woud not produce the film.

Greenblatt announced the project in remarks to television critics last month, but noted in his statement Friday that not all projects in development actually air.

“The Hillary Clinton movie has not been ordered to production, only a script is being written at this time. It is ‘in development,’ the first stage of any television series or movie, many of which never go to production,” Greenblatt said. “Speculation, demands, and declarations pertaining to something that isn’t created or produced yet seem premature.”

The four-hour miniseries would be written and directed by Courtney Hunt and would star Diane Lane.

“The Kennedys” producer Joel Surnow blamed political pressure from the left two years ago when his drama was dropped by History and aired instead on Reelz. This time, the pressure is coming from conservatives – though it was unclear whether it was the reason for the project’s recent obstacles.

CBS passed on the project before NBC decided to move forward, a knowledgeable executive told TheWrap. Fox passed as well.

A representative for Hunt declined to comment Tuesday on the status of the project. So did NBC. A representative for Lane did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Soon after the miniseries was announced, NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd griped that it was a “total nightmare” for NBC News, which is separate from Greenblatt’s entertainment wing.

“We know there’s this giant firewall, we know we have nothing to do with it. We know that we’d love probably to be as critical or whatever it is gonna be if it comes out, but there’s nothing we can do about it and we’re gonna only own the negative,” Todd said.

Last week, he said the RNC’s decision to shut out CNN and NBC was “smart” because it would enable the party to hold fewer debates, and deny a forum to less viable candidates.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


Biden Allies Tell Him: ‘You Can Beat Hillary’.

Image: Biden Allies Tell Him: 'You Can Beat Hillary'

By Audrey Hudson

Vice President Joe Biden is laying the groundwork for a 2016 presidential campaign, with confident supporters assuring the seasoned politician that he would defeat Hillary Clinton in a Democratic primary.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biden’s political allies already are making campaign plans and the vice president’s official itinerary has him traveling to early-primary states.

“There’s definitely a path forward for him” even if Clinton decides to run, said Larry Rasky, an aide on Biden’s presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008.

The Biden camp is exploring the formation of a political action committee to allow him to lavish key Democratic candidates with donations in an effort to gain early support.

Biden also is planning to attend Democratic political events in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Despite the assurances of Biden’s inner circle that he could clinch the nomination, polling in New Hampshire shows Clinton leading the pack with more than 50 percent support.

“He’s the vice president of the United States of America. When you’re the sitting vice president and you’re running against anybody, you still have a chance,” an unnamed source told the Journal.

In an interview earlier this year with GQ magazine, Biden signaled that he is seriously considering another presidential run.

“I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States, but it doesn’t mean I won’t run,” Biden said.

Officially, Biden’s vice presidential aides are downplaying the election, and say he is focused on his current job.

“Any talk of other future plans is complete speculation,” an aide said.

Biden turns 74 two months before Inauguration Day, and, if elected, would be the first president older than 70 to take office. He would be more than four years older than Ronald Reagan was when he took his first oath of office.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

RNC Votes to Block CNN, NBC from Hosting Debates.

The Republican National Committee has approved a resolution to block two television networks from hosting GOP presidential primary debates.

Friday’s vote affirms RNC chairman Reince Priebus‘ threat against CNN and NBC unless the networks drop plans to air programs about possible Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton. The vote at the committee’s summer meeting in Boston was unanimous.

Priebus said that the networks have, “an obvious bias.”

Even before the Clinton dispute, Republican leaders favored plans to have fewer presidential debates with more friendly moderators. They believe their 2012 presidential candidates spent too much time beating up each other in last year’s months-long primary season, which contributed to Mitt Romney‘s loss.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Liberal Academia Eager to Hire Hillary Clinton.

There’s more on Hillary Clinton’s mind these days than a possible presidential run in 2016.

The former secretary of state has been approached by a number of colleges and universities, including Harvard and her law school alma mater, Yale, to possibly accept a formal academic role, Politico reports.

The opportunities offered have ranged from becoming a faculty member to forming a program in Clinton’s name to re-naming the Baruch College public policy school after her.

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New York University, where her daughter, Chelsea, has a title, has also been in touch with Clinton.

A role in academia could benefit Clinton no matter what her ultimate decision is regarding a White House run.

If she decides to stay out of the race, she could simply assume the role of an educator and begin the next phase of her career.

If, in fact, she does declare her candidacy, an academic platform would provide her with a serious and sedate backdrop for speeches and events, as opposed to the usual hotel ballroom or something sponsored by her family’s foundation.

Clinton adviser Maggie Williams has been engaging in the conversations and, according to one source, the discussions are in a “listening” phase right now.

“A number of academic institutions have reached out with ideas,” said spokesman Nick Merrill.

“We’re following up with each to discuss them.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Matthew Auerbach

Bill Clinton: Feelings About Weiner Scandal are ‘Personal’.

Former President Bill Clinton said he and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have too many “personal friends” to comment on the New York City mayoral race, adding he was not in a position to discuss his feelings on the sexting scandal engulfing Anthony Weiner‘s candidacy.

“We are a hundred miles from that race and everyone understands that we are not going to be involved, as long as our personal friends and people who we feel obligations are involved,” he told CNN’s Nima Elbagir.

Clinton emphasized that he only had “personal” feelings about the scandal and therefore would not be commenting further.

“But there are literally five people in that race, including one of the Republican candidates [John] Catsimatidis, who are personal friends of ours,” he said.

He declined to specifically discuss the controversy surrounding Weiner saying simply, “The feelings I have are all personal and since they are, I shouldn’t talk about them.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melanie Batley

Scarborough: ‘Backlash’ if Bush vs. Clinton in 2016.

Morning talk show host Joe Scarborough said there would be a “backlash” if the next presidential race featured a Clinton vs. Bush faceoff.

“There are going to be a lot of people restless if they see a Clinton/Bush rematch coming up in 2016,” Scarborough said Tuesday on MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe.”

“If people think that we are going to draw from two families in 2016 and there’s not going to be a public backlash to that, I think they’re misreading the political tea leaves,” Scarborough said.

Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, has shown an interest in running for the position held by both his father and brother. Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton has been seen as the top Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 election.

Of the list of Republican potential candidates, Scarborough said, “If that field were to run right now, I think you would have Jeb Bush and Chris Christie sucking most of the oxygen out of the room, and by that I mean they would get most of the money. I think Jeb’s got to figure out whether he wants to run or not.”

Among Democrats, Scarborough noted “Clinton fatigue” as far back as 2007, but said that now “everybody is saying wonderful things about Hillary Clinton.”

Yet he sees potential problems for her.

“If anybody believes that as we get closer to 2016, the press isn’t going to start grumbling and there isn’t going to start be this sort of Clinton burnout factor that there already was in 2007, which will have been nine years before the 2016 campaign, if my University of Alabama math is correct, they’re kidding themselves,” Scarborough added.

“Clinton versus Bush — Americans are tired of Washington, they’re sick of Washington, their approval ratings are at all-time lows,” he said.

This attitude, Scarborough noted, could open the door for other candidates and said to “look for the possibility of some space in the center, an independent candidate as well, an anti-Washington candidate, a populace sort of candidate.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Wanda Carruthers

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