Category Archives: WH 2016

HRC a Populist? Don’t Ask Warren

The question about what Hillary would run on seems to be getting at least one answer: More and more she’s talking like an anti-Wall Street populist. (Polls of Democratic voters, especially in all-important Iowa, show real concern about her credentials for this claim.)

So far it seems that someone who could be helpful to that effort isn’t buying it — Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Clinton did her best last week to heap praise on the Massachusetts Democrat, and echo the fiery professor’s popular appeals for economic fairness – which has made Warren a rock star on the midterm campaign trail.

“I love watching Elizabeth,” Clinton said on the stump in Massachusetts. “You know, give it to those who deserve to get it. Standing up not only for you, but people with the same needs and same wants across our country.”

Clinton called Warren a “passionate champion for working people and middle class families” during a stop for the Democratic candidate for Massachusetts governor, Martha Coakley.

Clinton in Boston (10/24)
Clinton in Boston (10/24)

Warren was at the same stop, but took off before Clinton could get the photo opportunity that she surely wanted. And in her own stem-winder bashing big banks Warren was not nearly as gushing in return: “I’m happy to welcome Secretary Clinton back to the commonwealth. We love it.”

Also last week, on CNN, Warren seemed to reject any notion that Clinton can be counted among the party’s anti-Wall Street wing. Asked if the ex-New York senator is too close to the financial sector, she said:

“I have said I worry about everyone who is too close to Wall Street. When I describe what this is about, it’s about who does government work for. I worry everywhere.”

When People magazine recently tried to get Warren to talk about her relationship with Clinton she was about as reticent as it gets: “We have talked. It’s not much more than that. Not much more.”

Warren in Boston (10/24)
Warren in Boston (10/24)

A Telling Reversal

For some history on the ideological gulf between the two, consider a 2004 video interview recently released by The Bill Moyers Show. Warren describes how Hillary reversed herself on a pro-business bankruptcy bill that Warren considered unfair to consumers. As First Lady in the 1990’s Clinton heeded  Warren’s pleas to persuade Bill  to veto the bill — a move Clinton boasted about in her autobiography.

But once joining the Senate, Clinton gave in to intense pressure from credit card companies, and voted for a revived version of the bankruptcy bill she had once so proudly opposed.

“As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different,” Warren told Moyers. “She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.”

By the way, when running for president in 2007 Clinton left out that Senate vote for the bankruptcy bill when citing her earlier work against it as First Lady, calling it evidence that she “fought the banks.” Warren must really be seething about that.

Clearly, Clinton’s effort to shed her Wall Street ties for Warren-style populism lacks the convert she might need most: Warren herself.

Hillary vs Mitt 2.0?

Nash 2.5
I know what you’re thinking: “Yes, Hillary will be nominated, but Mitt Romney? Again?”

The problem with all the other potential GOP presidential candidates is that either they are indicted (Perry), about to be indicted (Walker, Christie), the Tea Party hates them (Rubio, Paul), or they are just too crazy, even for the GOP (Cruz, Palin, Bachmann).

Then there’s Bush III (Jeb).  When you see him on TV, doesn’t he seem to be half-asleep?  Even his own mother thought he wouldn’t be a good candidate.

Paul Ryan?  He just doesn’t LOOK “Presidential.”  He looks like Hoody Doody, baby boomers’ favorite 1950s kid show puppet.  Check out this video and see if you agree…

Which leaves the GOP with Mitt, or rather “Mitt 2.0”.

He’s arrogant, he’s rich, and he’s still totally clueless, but if the “establishment” Republicans throw their support (and their money) behind him, he could wipe out all the other GOP contenders, one by one, as they emerge from the clown car.  He did it before, and he can do it again.

I think “Hillary vs Mitt” would be really fun to watch in debates.

What do you think?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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HRC on Refusing to Attack Palin

Rarely have we gotten word directly from Hillary Clinton about her behind-the-scenes relations with Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. But Clinton is forthcoming about at least one episode after her loss to him for the Democratic nomination, as she launches a tour for her new book, “Hard Choices.”

When Sarah Palin was picked as the GOP vice presidential nominee, Clinton says she rebuffed the Obama camp’s plan to immediately go on the attack against Palin, advice that his team ended up heeding.

clintonhardchoices“The Obama campaign did contact me and asked me if I would attack her,” Clinton told NBC. “I said, ‘Attack her for what, for being a woman? Attack her for being on a ticket that’s … trying to draw attention?'”

Clinton said she told the campaign, “There’ll be plenty of time to do what I think you should do in politics, which is draw distinctions.” She said the Obama campaign suspected Palin’s nomination “was a blatant attempt to scuttle their hope of welcoming the women who had vigorously supported me.”

“They immediately issued a dismissive statement and reached out to me in hopes I would follow suit,” Clinton wrote in her new book. “But I wouldn’t. I was not going to attack Palin just for being a woman appealing for support from other women. I didn’t think that made political sense and it didn’t feel right. So I said no, telling them there’d be plenty of time for criticism.”

A few hours later the Obama campaign reversed itself and congratulated Governor Palin.

Can anyone beat Hillary?

The 2016 Democratic Primaries.   No one wants primary challengers more than the Clintons.  Not real ones, of course.  The Clintons need a few paper tigers to knock down.   

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5
They don’t like the “inevitable” label, even though EVERYONE of voting age knows Hillary is, in fact, the inevitable Democratic nominee.  Every time I hear someone say “She might not run,” I laugh. (It’s a cynical laugh.)

hrcglassesThe General Election.  Prepare yourself for the comic re-entry of the Republican “clown car.”  The GOP base has gotten even more conservative (if that’s possible) and the control of right wing billionaires over the nominating process has become even more oppressive.  Rand Paul (the best candidate the GOP has at this point) may not be CRAZY enough to get the nomination.  That’s right: to get nominated a candidate will have to say some truly bizarre things.

The “clown car” is a standard circus act.  Here is one:

Hillary could be beaten by a rational GOP alternative, but… it just ain’t gonna happen.

Some might say, “Isn’t too early to talk about 2016?  Shouldn’t we focus on the 2014 elections?”

No one cares about 2014.  It’s like minor league baseball.

Minor League Baseball clip: “Bull Durham.”

No one can beat Hillary.

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor

Why Not The Best?

I couldn’t be more thrilled that Jim Webb acknowledged in a radio interview that he might, maybe, possibly consider a bid for the presidency.

webbIn my lifetime he’s the only real deal I’ve come across in politics since Jimmy Carter. Okay, for some that’s a bad comparison, but here’s hoping Carter’s post presidency has proved he was better than we thought at the time. Webb would be a better president than Carter because he’s been to the Washington rodeo and would know the score once in office. By “real deal” I mean someone who isn’t a player, a poser, an actor — but someone who would risk everything to protect and save those who need it most, just as he did in Vietnam with phenomenal acts of bravery that earned him medals (Navy Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart) and that reportedly served as the model for “Rambo.” Webb strikes me as what we need most, a fearless defender of the middle class who would take on the vultures. A straight shooter, a brilliant thinker and author, this dude is the only viable contender on the horizon who can get it done. I hope he does run because I can say with total conviction he’ll prove me right. The only thing I could get more excited about is if we could amend the Constitution and make him Emperor.

Maybe She Won’t?

Of all the current and former Clinton aides who yak about Hillary’s 2016 plans, former White House press secretary Mike McCurry’s opinions are worth noting. No grandstander is he. And with no plans of his own to get back into high-profile politics, McCurry has no incentive to insert himself into the fray. But in video interview for Real Clear Politics he casts doubt on the chances she will run.

I’d like to say I’m the only person left – the last person in Washington who’d be willing to take some bet that she might not run.”

mccurryMcCurry said he wasn’t sure Hillary would want to go through the hassle of running again at this stage in her life, especially when “she’s doing terrific work” and “finding other ways to make a contribution.”

We all know what running for president is like. It’s kind of hanging around in Manchester, New Hampshire… at the local Denny’s shaking hands with a lot of sometimes less-than-interesting local political people. She’s going to do that for the next two and a half years at age 65 when she could be doing all this great stuff on a global stage? I don’t know. I think that’s why she hasn’t said, ‘I’m doing it.'”

Wall Street for Hillary?

Politico’s Ben White and Maggie Haberman interview two dozen Republican Wall Streeters and discover a surprising consensus — they’ll accept Hillary if they have to. That is, if Jeb Bush doesn’t run, Chris Christie doesn’t recover politically and no other establishment candidate gets traction.

from Politico

If it turns out to be Jeb versus Hillary we would love that and either outcome would be fine. We could live with either one. Jeb versus Joe Biden would also be fine. It’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody’s worst nightmare.” — a top Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer (Politico)

HRC at NASDAQ
HRC at NASDAQ

Most people in the industry find her approachable and have a track record with her. They wouldn’t align with her on every policy, but they won’t view her as hostile to the sector. If it turns out to be Hillary walking away with it, there would not be any panic.” — a Republican financial services executive (Politico)

Jeb Doubles Down on Immigration

How about that? Jeb Bush not only doesn’t back away from his call for immigration reform but goes on to provoke the anti-reform crowd by showing just what he means in saying immigrants deserve compassion.

Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love, it’s an act of commitment to your family.” – Jeb Bush

That’s a long way from Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan for those here illegally, whatever that meant. And for his trouble Romney won just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote, the lowest portion for a Republican in 16 years.

GOP right-wingers are having none of this love and compassion silliness.

“Pandering,” said Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas chided Bush for opposing enforcement of the “rule of law.” Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin went for the heavy artillery, creating a new Twitter hashtag: #CancelJebBush. Just the mention of his name provoked boos from the crowd at a gathering of New Hampshire conservatives.

Bush responded by sticking to his guns: “The simple fact is, there is no conflict between enforcing our laws, believing in the rule of law and having some sensitivity to the immigrant experience, which is part of who we are as a country.”

It is tough to imagine how such reasonable words can get Bush past the alien haters in the early Republican primaries. Give him some credit for trying.

Perry Framed

McConnellrifleWhile the CPAC photo-op of the week must so far go to Mitch McConnell’s rifle shot (take that Tea Party challenger), a close second would be Rick Perry’s new Swifty Lazar glasses.

swiftylazarLazar, the iconic Hollywood agent, made his thick black eyeglass frames a lasting signature. (By the way it was Humphrey Bogart who came up with the “Swifty” nickname for getting him three movie deals in a single day).

Perry is not known for being swift at anything other than his brief 2012 presidential campaign, which lasted about as long as it takes to chew a stick of gum. It turned out the much-heralded lion from Texas couldn’t help gnawing off his own limbs with dumb remarks, or in the case of a memorably embarrassing debate performance, forgetting top lines from his own stump speech, followed by his famous “Oops.”

perryglassesIt is a scientific fact that stupid people think glasses make you look smart. And if nothing else Perry does know his constituency.

Perry aides insist they are prescription glasses, not a fashion statement. We’ll have to wait for the medical records to be sure.