Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016
|Hillary for America|
|Campaign||U.S. presidential election, 2016|
|Status||Announced: April 12, 2015
Official launch: June 13, 2015
|Headquarters||1 Pierrepont Plaza
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Chant||I'm with Her|
U.S. Secretary of State
U.S. Senator from New York
First Lady of the United States
The 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, the 67th United States Secretary of State, was announced in a YouTube video, on April 12, 2015. The wife of former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton was the United States Senator from New York prior to serving as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, an office she held from 2009 until 2013. The runner-up in the 2008 Democratic primaries, her candidacy in the 2016 election is her second bid for the presidency.
- 1 Background
- 2 Announcement
- 3 Platform
- 4 Strategy and tactics
- 5 Caucuses and primaries
- 6 Health
- 7 Email controversy
- 8 Benghazi hearings
- 9 Interest in extraterrestrials
- 10 Demographics and interest groups
- 11 Endorsements
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
2008 presidential run
Clinton announced her decision to run for the 2008 presidential election on January 20, 2007. Early in the race, she was considered the frontrunner for the Democratic Party, and actively sought her party's nomination. Clinton ran ahead in the polls, until Illinois Senator Barack Obama began pulling ahead following the South Carolina primary. In the prolonged primary battle that ensued, during which she received more than 18 million votes, Clinton lost the nomination to Obama. Obama won the general election against Arizona Republican Senator John McCain on November 4, 2008.
As soon as Clinton ended her 2008 campaign there was talk of her running again in 2012 or 2016. After she ended her tenure as Secretary of State in 2013, speculation picked up sharply, particularly when she listed her occupation on social media as "TBD". In the meantime, Clinton earned over $11 million giving 51 paid speeches to various organizations. Her paid speeches to Wall Street, and Goldman Sachs in particular, would later draw criticism from campaign opponent Bernie Sanders.
Anticipating a future run, a "campaign-in-waiting" began to take shape in 2014, including a large donor network, experienced operatives, the Ready for Hillary and Priorities USA Action campaign political action committees (PACs), and other campaign infrastructure.
By September 2013, amid continual political and media speculation, Clinton said she was considering a run but was in no hurry to decide. In late 2013, Clinton told ABC's Barbara Walters that she would, "look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year"; and told ABC's Diane Sawyer in June 2014 that she would, "be on the way to making a decision before the end of the year".
While many political analysts came to assume during this time that Clinton would run, she took a long time to make the decision. While Clinton said she spent much of the two years following her tenure as Secretary of State thinking about the possibility of running for president again, she was also noncommittal about the prospect, and appeared to some as reluctant to experience again the unpleasant aspects of a major political campaign. Those around her were split in their opinions, reportedly, with Bill Clinton said to be the most in favor of her running again, Chelsea Clinton leaning towards it, but several of her closest aides against it. She reportedly studied Obama's 2008 campaign to see what had gone right for Obama as compared to her own campaign. Not until December 2014, around the time of the Clintons' annual winter vacation in the Dominican Republic, did she say she decided for sure that she would indeed run again.
According to nationwide opinion polls in early 2015, Clinton was considered the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. She had gained a broader sweep of early endorsements from the Democratic Party establishment in the 2016 race than she did in 2008, although she did face several primary election challengers, and, in August 2015 Vice President Joe Biden was reported to be seriously considering a possible challenge to Clinton.
Clinton has a very high name recognition of an estimated 99% (only 11% of all voters said they did not know enough about her to form an opinion) and according to Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, she has had strong support from African-Americans, and among college-educated women and single women.
In Time magazine's 2015 list of "The 100 Most Influential People", Clinton praised Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who herself was considered as a potential challenger to Clinton, for being a "progressive champion". Warren has repeatedly stated that she is not running for president, despite pressure from some progressives who have expressed concerns about Clinton's ties with Wall Street.
On April 3, 2015, it was reported that Clinton had taken a lease on a small office at 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn, New York City. It was widely speculated that the space would serve as her campaign headquarters. Morgan Stanley has a major office in the building, which is also the home of the law office of Loretta E. Lynch, who at the time was the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and who in 2015 was sworn in as Attorney General of the United States.
On April 12, 2015, Clinton released a YouTube video formally announcing her candidacy via email. She stated that, "Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion." The week following her announcement, she traveled to early primary states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Clinton was the third candidate with support in national polls to announce her candidacy, following Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, while Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced his candidacy on April 13, the day after Clinton. Some Democrats saw the proximity of Clinton's campaign announcement to Rubio's as advantageous, as Clinton's announcement might overshadow Rubio's.
Clinton began her campaign by making short trips to early primary and caucus states. Immediately following her announcement, she made a two-day road trip in a customized Chevrolet Express van, nicknamed after Scooby-Doo, going from New York to Iowa, and stopping several times along the way, including a much publicized stop at a Chipotle Mexican Grill outside Toledo, Ohio, where Clinton was not recognized by the staff. The trip gained considerable media attention and was, according her campaign, intended as a bit of political theater.
Clinton responded to very few questions from the press during the first month of her campaign. During her visits to early primary and caucus states, she did not hold any formal press conferences, and did not participate in any media interviews. On May 19, 2015, after 28 days, Clinton answered some questions from reporters at an event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Clinton's campaign announced she would make additional stops in Florida, Texas, and Missouri in May and June.
In her speech, Clinton addressed income inequality in the United States, specifically endorsed universal pre-kindergarten, paid family leave, equal pay for women, college affordability, and incentives for companies that provide profit sharing to employees. She did not address free trade agreements during the kickoff speech, but made statements the next day suggesting that the current negotiations should be abandoned unless improved.
The campaign said more than 5,500 people were in attendance, but estimates of crowd size by the press in attendance were less.
While many of you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, you see the top twenty-five hedge-fund managers making more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined. And often paying a lower tax rate. So, you have to wonder, ‘When does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead? When?’
Prosperity can’t be just for C.E.O.s and hedge-fund managers. Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations. Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain, too. You brought our country back. Now it’s time—your time—to secure the gains and move ahead.
In August 2015, the Clinton campaign began a $2 million television advertising buy in Iowa and New Hampshire. The ads featured footage of Clinton's late mother, Dorothy Rodham, and of Clinton herself, and featured women, family, and children.
Clinton has focused her candidacy on several themes, including raising middle class incomes, expanding women's rights, instituting campaign finance reform, and improving the Affordable Care Act.
In March 2016, she laid out a detailed economic plan, which The New York Times called "optimistic" and "wide-ranging". Basing her economic philosophy on inclusive capitalism, Clinton proposed a "clawback" which would rescind tax relief and other benefits for companies that move jobs overseas; providing incentives for companies that share profits with employees, communities and the environment, rather than focusing on short-term profits to increase stock value and rewarding shareholders; increasing collective bargaining rights; and placing an "exit tax" on companies that move their headquarters out of America in order to pay a lower tax rate overseas.
Given the climate of unlimited campaign contributions following the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, Clinton has called for a constitutional amendment to limit "unaccountable money" in politics.
She believes in equal pay for equal work, to address current shortfalls in how much women are paid to do the same jobs men do.
On LGBT rights, she supports the right to same-sex marriage enshrined in the constitution.
Clinton holds that allowing undocumented immigrants to have a path to citizenship "[i]s at its heart a family issue."
Clinton has expressed support for Common Core. She says, "The really unfortunate argument that's been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort. It was actually nonpartisan. It wasn’t politicized....Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time. And [speaking to Iowans] you see the value of it, you understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. And a lot of states unfortunately haven’t had that, and so don’t understand the value of a core, in this sense a Common Core."
On December 7, 2015, in The New York Times, Clinton presented her detailed plans for regulating Wall Street financial activities and related. She proposes reining in the largest institutions to limit risky behavior, appointing strong regulators, and holding executives accountable.
Clinton is in favor of maintaining American influence in the Middle East. She opposes and criticized Trump's call to ban Muslims from the United States. She told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, "America can’t ever be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security and survival."
Strategy and tactics
Clinton campaign strategists reportedly believed that a strong liberal campaign would mobilize the same voters who swept Barack Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012. Her strategy of embracing Obama's policies proved highly effective with African American Democratic voters in the South Carolina Democratic primary.
By March 2016 Clinton's nomination seemed likely, so efforts turned to structuring a campaign against Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, and determining how to generate enthusiasm for Clinton among the Democratic electorate, which had not turned out in large numbers for primaries.
Focus on local issues
When Clinton campaigns in a state such as Mississippi she identifies local issues of interest to the Democratic voters of the state. For example, in Mississippi, she has expressed her concern about lead levels in the water in Jackson, the capital, where it is a hot issue. In other states there are other issues, whatever is the focus of attention.
Viewed as a brand, Hillary Clinton is considered to be well-established and well-known, having been First Lady and Secretary of State. Professionals in branding and marketing, such as Wendy Clark of Coca Cola, and Roy Spence of GSD&M, have been brought into the campaign to assist with "re-branding" Clinton.
Clinton has had an uneasy, and at times adversarial relationship with the press throughout her life in public service. Weeks before her official entry as a presidential candidate, Clinton attended a political press corps event, pledging to start fresh on what she described as a "complicated" relationship with political reporters. Clinton was initially criticized by the press for avoiding taking their questions, after which she provided more interviews.
Celebrity and security
Due to the presence of a large Secret Service detail protecting her, as well as large numbers of members of the media, there are practical obstacles to Clinton mixing and interacting with the public at events such as the Iowa State Fair; the press of people drawn to her and the size of her entourage interact badly.
In anticipation of the release of Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer on May 5, 2015, an investigative book which suggested impropriety in donations and speaking fees paid to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton Foundation, Clinton campaign strategists obtained a copy of the book in late April, and selectively released chapters of the book to the media, forestalling the effect of exclusive arrangements with The New York Times and The Washington Post made by the author. Opposition to the book's allegations were prepared and published on Medium, YouTube, and the candidate's website.
According to an article in The Washington Post, Clinton's presidential campaign is benefiting from a network of donors, whom the Post says: "Bill and Hillary Clinton have methodically cultivated donors over 40 years, from Little Rock to Washington and then across the globe. Their fundraising methods have created a new blueprint for politicians and their donors." According to the Post, by the end of September 2015, the campaign's fundraising effort for "Clinton’s 2016 White House run ... has already drawn $110 million in support".
In response to the article, a campaign spokesman said that "it would be misleading, at best, to conflate donations to a philanthropy with political giving.... And regarding the campaign contributions, the breadth and depth of their support is a testament to the fact that they have both dedicated their lives to public service and fighting to make this country stronger." As the Post article points out, fundraising for the 2016 presidential campaign exists "in a dramatically different environment" than in the past, and the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision and ruling by "the Supreme Court has made it easier for wealthy individuals, corporations and unions to spend huge, unregulated sums on political activity". In the fall of 2015, the Clinton campaign "set up a joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee and 32 state committees that can accept up to $356,100 per year from an individual donor – the first 2016 candidate to pursue such a tactic. Unlike Sanders, [Clinton's campaign] has sanctioned big-money super PACs working on her behalf, including one coordinating directly with her campaign."
In the debate between Sanders and Clinton in New Hampshire prior to the New Hampshire primary Clinton, objecting to the inference that campaign contributions or speaking fees from the financial sector would influence her political decisions, characterized Sanders's references to her Wall Street connections as "'very artful smear' campaign." He responded by saying, "It’s a fact. When in the last reporting period her super PAC received $25 million and $15 million came from Wall Street, what is the smear? That is the fact."
Affiliated Super PACs
The Clinton campaign lags behind opposing Republican campaigns in gaining large donations from wealthy donors to supportive Super PACs. Many potential liberal big-money donors have not yet committed to support Clinton.
- Ready for Hillary, founded by Clinton supporters in January 2013, raised more than $5.75 million for the presumptive candidate and paid Clinton to rent the email list from her unsuccessful 2008 campaign. The Super PAC "received $133,246 from lobbying firms linked to" the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America.[how?]
- Priorities USA Action, focused mainly on high-dollar donors, as of May 2015, had raised about $15 million in support of the Clinton campaign. Top contributors include George Soros, Haim Saban and Thomas Tull. Other major donors include Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Following Clinton's loss in the New Hampshire primary Priorities USA Action committed $500,000 to a radio campaign in South Carolina and $4.5 million to Super Tuesday primaries. As if late January the fund had $45 million.
- Correct the Record, a campaign of Democratic Super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, has a rapid-response team which collaborates with the campaign's own rapid-response team at campaign headquarters in an effort to support positive information about Clinton posted on their website while issuing quick reactions challenging negative statements made about her on their website. Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the super PAC, said "the coordination restriction would not apply because Correct the Record’s defense of Mrs. Clinton would be built around material posted on the group’s own website, not paid media."
Other campaign staff include John Podesta as campaign chairman, Joel Benenson as chief strategist and pollster, Jennifer Palmieri as communications director, and Amanda Renteria as policy director. Longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin is the vice chairwoman of the campaign, and continues in the role she has long played for Clinton as traveling chief of staff and "body woman".
Caucuses and primaries
Clinton won the Iowa Democratic caucuses on February 1, 2016 with 23 delegates of the 44 delegates available. She won an estimated 49.9% of the vote, narrowly beating Bernie Sanders. This win made her the first woman to win the Iowa caucuses.
- New Hampshire
- South Carolina
Clinton won the South Carolina Democratic primary on February 27, 2016, receiving 39 of the available 52 delegates and 73.5% of the vote. Clinton received a larger percentage of the African American vote than Obama, the first black President, did in 2008.
- American Samoa
With 99% of precincts reporting, Clinton lost the Colorado Democratic caucuses on March 1, 2016, receiving 25 of the available 66 delegates and 40.3% of the vote. A larger-than-expected turnout created delays and problems at a number of precincts, with some caucus-goers turned away. Chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party Rick Palacio said the problems were "further proof that Colorado has probably outgrown the caucus system."
- Democrats Abroad
- Northern Mariana Islands
- North Carolina
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
As of May 27, 2016, according to the AP delegate count, Clinton had 1,769 pledged delegates, plus the support of 541 super delegates for a total of 2,310 delegates (73 delegates short). Sanders had 1,499 pledged delegates plus the support of 43 super delegates for a total of 1,542 delegates (841 delegates short). 2,383 delegates are required for the nomination.
As of May 30, 2016, according to the CNN delegate count, Clinton had 1,768 pledged delegates, plus the support of 542 super delegates for a total of 2,310 delegates. Sanders had 1,499 pledged delegates, plus the support of 43 super delegates for a total of 1,542 delegates.
In July 2015, Clinton became the first 2016 presidential candidate to publicly release a medical history. The Clinton campaign released a letter from her physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco, New York, attesting to her good health based on a full medical evaluation. The letter noted that there has been a "complete resolution" of a brain concussion that Clinton suffered in 2012 and "total dissolution" of prior blood clots. Bardack concluded that Clinton had no serious health issues that would interfere with her fitness to serve as president.
In March 2015, Clinton's practice of using her own private email address and server during her time as Secretary of State, in lieu of State Department servers, gained widespread public attention. Concerns were raised about security and preservation of emails, and the possibility that laws may have been violated. Nearly 2,100 emails contained in Clinton's server were determined to be classified when the state department had an opportunity to review them. According to Clinton they were not marked classified at the time she handled them. 65 emails were found to contain information classified as "Secret", more than 20 contained "Top-Secret" information, and the rest contained "Confidential" information. Government policy, reiterated in the nondisclosure agreement signed by Clinton as part of gaining her security clearance, is that sensitive information should be considered and handled as classified even if not marked as such. After allegations were raised that some of the emails in question fell into this so-called "born classified" category, an FBI probe was initiated regarding how classified information was handled on the Clinton server.
On October 22, 2015, Clinton testified for a second time before the Benghazi Committee and answered members' questions for more than eight hours in a public hearing. The New York Times reported that "the long day of often-testy exchanges between committee members and their prominent witness revealed little new information about an episode that has been the subject of seven previous investigations...Perhaps stung by recent admissions that the pursuit of Mrs. Clinton's emails was politically motivated, Republican lawmakers on the panel for the most part avoided any mention of her use of a private email server." The email issue did arise shortly before lunch, in a "a shouting match" between Republican committee chair Trey Gowdy and two Democrats, Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings. Late in the hearing, Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, accused Clinton of changing her accounts of the email service, leading to a "heated exchange" in which Clinton "repeated that she had made a mistake in using a private email account, but maintained that she had never sent or received anything marked classified and had sought to be transparent by publicly releasing her emails."
According to The Hill, the hearings provided a positive momentum for Clinton's 2016 campaign, with her performance generating headlines such as "Marathon Benghazi hearing leaves Hillary Clinton largely unscathed" (CNN), and "GOP lands no solid punches while sparring with Clinton over Benghazi" (The Washington Post). Her campaign received a windfall of donations, mostly coming from new donors.
Interest in extraterrestrials
Clinton has spoken openly of her interest in Extraterrestrial life during her 2016 campaign. It is an interest she shares with her campaign chairman John D. Podesta. In late 2015, Clinton told the the Conway, New Hampshire Daily Sun that, “I think we may have been” visited already. “We don’t know for sure.”
Demographics and interest groups
Relationship with African-American community
In the South Carolina Democratic primary, 6 out of 7 African American Democrats voted for Clinton. Clinton has advocated criminal justice reform as well as support for African-American youth. She has been criticized by Michelle Alexander, a professor at Ohio State University and the author of The New Jim Crow, for positions she has taken in the past, particularly those taken in support of her husband while he was president. In February 2016 Clinton was confronted at a fundraiser in Charleston, South Carolina by a Black Lives Matter activist who brought up her past statements in support of incarceration of "super predators" which she made in support of the 1994 crime bill signed by her husband. The activist asked for an apology. Clinton later reaffirmed her support for criminal justice reform and stated that she would not use such language today.
Relationship with the LGBT community
Clinton has made LGBT rights a central issue in her campaign, in part because of the political and financial clout of the LGBT community. In addition to promoting broader LGBT, she also advocates for the right for transgender people to serve in the military. In the past few years, her public position on same sex marriage has evolved.
Clinton has been supportive of many LGBT-rights issues over much of her career, but opposed same-sex marriage, "favoring arrangements like civil unions", a position which "largely tracked public opinion". In 2004, she opposed a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and in 2006 she said she would not oppose an effort by New York State officials to legalize same-sex marriage. In March 2013, she formally stated her support for same-sex marriage after stepping down as Secretary of State, stating she supported it "personally and as a matter of policy and law."
In December 2015, Clinton revealed a comprehensive plan for LGBT rights.[better source needed] The next month, the Human Rights Campaign endorsed her for president. She criticized Bernie Sanders for calling the Human Rights Campaign "part of the establishment."
In an interview with MSNBC at Nancy Reagan's funeral service, Clinton credited Reagan with starting the national conversation about AIDS. Clinton's comments drew heavy criticism from LGBT groups and the media, who said that the Reagans had ignored the issue, causing Clinton to apologize and retract her statement.
Clinton is strongly supported by older Democrats, many of whom volunteer to work in her campaign.
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Clinton’s . . . staffers . . . setting up . . . at 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights.
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Despite being bombarded with press questions at every chance, Clinton has only personally answered a handful of inquiries since formally launching her campaign April 12.
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They chose her over Mr. Sanders by more than six to one...
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Recognizing that Democrats had to be galvanized to show up at the polls, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers used surveys and focus groups to assess the risks of running a strongly liberal campaign. They concluded that there were few.
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The reason is the Electoral College, a winner-take-all system that rewards candidates who focus almost exclusively on closely contested states.
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In that speech, I was talking about the impact violent crime and vicious drug cartels were having on communities across the country and the particular danger they posed to children and families. Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today.
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...on same-sex marriage we give Clinton a Full Flop
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...she captured voters 65 and older by large margins...
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