Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling, Wins Nomination

PHILADELPHIA – Hillary Rodham Clinton overcame one of the greatest barriers in a quarter-millennium of American political history on Monday, when the Democratic National Convention formally selected her as the first woman presidential nominee of a major political party.

Her shattering of the glass ceiling, which became foreordained two months ago, was something of an anticlimactic afterthought for many delegates still caught in the party’s latest bout with internal strife .

But the momentous sense of occasion swept over the convention hall at 6:38 p.m. when the roll call of the states produced more than enough votes to guarantee her nomination.

[ Full Coverage of the Democratic National Convention ]

In the end, Clinton secured the nomination with the votes of 2,995 delegates when South Dakota announced its votes, nearly twice Sanders' total at the time. Despite securing the nomination, the roll call continued through the alphabet, with Sanders' Vermont delegation passing.

Her margin of victory was greater than that based on the delegates committed during the caucuses and primaries, but she was able to expand her hold on her triumph with the support of the vast majority of the 714 elected officials and other Democratic insiders known as super delegates.

It was a system the Sanders camp complained bitterly all year, and as a result the process will give less power to the party leaders in 2020. But, either way, Clinton won solidly if hardly resoundingly by every objective measure. Between January and June she was the choice of 16.6 million voters, or 55 percent of the total and 3.8 million more than Sanders, while capturing 34 of the nominating contests.

Many delegates on the convention floor delighted in the historic moment.

"I never thought I would live to see this moment in time, the first African-American president about to be followed by the first woman president, said 70-year-old Frederica Wilson of Florida. "As a former school principal I just can't tell me what kind of a signal that is going to send to our nation's kids."

After the roll call, her nomination was to be officially pronounced from the podium with the pound of an enormous gavel by Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a former national party chairman and topflight Clinton family fixer and fundraiser for decades.

He claimed the honor after Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida resigned the chairmanship and was effectively banished from the Wells Fargo center because a trove of leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee abandoned its publicly promised neutrality and considered various ways to tip the scales in Clinton’s favor.

Clinton watched the moment from her home in Chappaqua, in the New York suburbs, purchased after she left the White House but before she became the only first lady to win an election by securing an open Senate seat 16 years ago.

By that time, she had been deeply connected to both of her husband Bill’s winning presidential campaigns , and after a term a s a senator she first set her sights on claiming the Oval Office for herself, narrowly losing to Barack Obama in 2008 in one of the bigger upsets in modern presidential history.

[ Obama Endorses Clinton ]

So only now, in her fourth contest for national office and after four years as secretary of state, has she secured the prize for herself – a triumph of tenacity and discipline that has so far proven greater than her record-high unfavorability ratings for a Democratic nominee and sustained skepticism about her ideological sincerity and personal trustworthiness.

[ Will Sanders Supporters Vote for Clinton? ]

If she defeats Republican nominee Donald Trump , the billionaire real estate tycoon and reality TV star, her presidential term would culminate in 2020, the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women nationwide the right to vote.

This year’s election, though, comes 100 years after the first woman was elected to federal office: Montana Republican Jeannette Rankin, who won her only term in the House that year.

Clinton was nominated by two members of Congress chosen to reflect the symbolic resonance of the moment: Sen. Barbara A Mikulski of Maryland, the longest-serving woman in congressional history, and Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, one of the icons of the civil rights movement.

Mikulski said she was acting "On behalf of all the women who've broken down barriers for others, and with an eye toward the barriers still ahead.”

Having been formally installed as the head of her party, Clinton's next task is to further unite her historically fractious party in the next hundred days so she might not only be elected the first woman president, but also lead the Democrats to their third consecutive presidential victory for the first time since the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

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Politics

Capitol Ink | Letter From The Future

By Robert Matson
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Politics

Democrats' Law and Order Tightrope

By Eric Garcia
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PHILADELPHIA – As anyone who has caught the DNC on television knows, this even more than the RNC in Cleveland has already been one unconventional nominating convention, with some boos for the nominee and a couple of “Knock it off!” remonstrations from the podium.

Some of the early speeches soared , like Michelle Obama’s when she said, “Don’t let anyone tell you this country isn’t great.” (And thanks, Mrs. O, for inspiring my 20-year-old daughter to notice that you refrained from being “mean about Melania” Trump’s speech that borrowed from your own, when that would have been so easy but so unnecessary: “I’m going to remember,” my daughter said, ‘When they go low, we go high .’ ’’)

Other addresses on Night One were so larded with high-cholesterol hyperbole that they had the opposite of the desired effect on me. (No, Hillary Clinton has not been fighting all her life for every issue in the platform.)

It was three of the less remarked-upon, non-primetime speakers, though, who highlighted some of the themes that I think will be crucial to a Hillary Clinton victory in November.

Among them, direct from San Antonio, Texas, where she heads the local chapter of Gold Star Wives, was Cheryl Lankford , a war widow who said she was bilked by Trump University out of $35,000 of the insurance money the Army gave her after her husband was killed in Baghdad in 2007.

[ Michelle Obama, a Unifying Force in Philadelphia ]

She was embarrassed to stand up there on the stage and admit she got taken, she said, in what to me was the single most effective moment of the night in terms of its potential to sway voters. But she’s willing to be embarrassed, she said, because she doesn’t want the country to fall for empty promises the same way she did.

After her husband, Jonathan M. Lankford, a command sergeant major in the Army, died, she said, she put a lot of thought into how to spend the insurance money in a way that would put her back on her feet and make her husband proud of her. So in 2009, she signed up for Trump U classes hoping to learn some of the tips that had made Donald Trump so successful in business, but almost immediately realized that the course would do no such thing.

“They broke their promises…stopped taking my calls…the whole thing was a lie…Donald Trump made big promises about Trump University. And I was fooled into believing him. Now he’s making big promises about America. Please don’t make the same mistake.”

Another potential ka-boom theme for the fall was laid out by home state Senator Bob Casey , who pointed out just where the products manufactured by the candidate who talks so much about bringing jobs back to America are actually produced.

“Donald Trump says he stands for workers and they he’ll put America first,’’ Casey said, “but that’s not how he conducted himself in business. Where are his “tremendous” Trump products made? Dress shirts? Bangladesh. Furniture? Turkey. Picture frames? India. Wine glasses? Slovenia. Neck ties? China. Why would Donald Trump make his products in every corner of the globe but not in Altoona, Erie or here in Philadelphia?”

Answering his own question, Casey continued, “Well, this is what he said: ‘Outsourcing is not always a terrible thing. Wages in America are too high.’ And then he complained about companies moving jobs overseas because, ‘We don’t make things anymore.’ Really?”

[ The Latest From the DNC ]

Another gut-punch of a speech came from disability rights activist Anastasia Somoza , who has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia and uses a wheelchair. She has interned for Hillary Clinton, and worked on her Senate campaign, and she quite effectively answered Trump’s jaw-droppingly cruel imitation of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski , who has arthrogryposis, which limits the functioning of his joints.

“Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy,” Mr. Trump said last November, imitating Kovaleski in a way that Sister Mary Edna warned us against in the first grade, with the story of a boy who made fun of a disabled classmate but wasn’t laughing it up at all after God froze him in that position. Trump’s Kovaleski impersonation, which he has said was no such thing, was shown in the hall, along with shocked commentary from Fox News hosts, before Somoza spoke.

"I fear the day we elect a president who defines being an American in the narrowest possible of terms, who shouts, bullies and profits off of the vulnerable Americans," Somoza told the crowd. In mocking the reporter, she said, "Donald Trump has shown us who he really he is. I honestly feel bad for anyone with that much hate in their heart."

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The Democratic National Committee was warned by federal investigators about a potential hack months before the committee sought outside help to look into the problem.

The FBI warned the DNC of the intrusions but the warning was not clear or specific about the extent of the hack, CNN reported .

[ The Latest from the Democratic National Convention ]

Donna Brazile. who took over the chairwoman's role after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email dump, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that "the general counsel of the DNC today and he assures me that every step along the way when we were notified of these issues that we changed systems, changed procedures."

"But these hackers are so sophisticated that they changed procedures," Brazile said. "So yes, it went on for more than a year, but at no time did we ignore the warning from the FBI or any other federal officials."

[ Sanders to Back Clinton, Despite DNC Email Leak ]

Wikileaks published last week just over 19,000 emails from the DNC that showed there was a concerted effort to attack and potentially derail Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign.

After public criticism and calls from the Sanders campaign, Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation as the head of the DNC on Sunday later decided not to gavel in the opening night of the Democratic National Convention.

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PHILADELPHIA — Senate Democrats have a message for President Barack Obama: We want to see you on the campaign trail this year.

The party's leading strategists say that unlike in 2014, when Obama avoided campaigning with vulnerable incumbents in his own party, the president can be an asset in the coming three months before Election Day.

"Month after month, his numbers go up," said Matt Canter, a former deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "He is at potentially the most popular point in his presidency. He's going to be an incredible asset to Democrats in these big battleground states."

Canter was speaking in Philadelphia, site of this week's Democratic National Convention, at a Tuesday panel hosted by the DSCC.

[ Complete Coverage of the Democratic National Convention as it Happens ]

Obama's approval has topped 50 percent in many polls this year, a relative high after he had sunk into the low 40s for much of his second term.

The map has also changed dramatically for Democrats since the midterm election, which featured a handful of red-state incumbents seeking re-election.

This year, Democrats are by and large trying to defeat GOP incumbents in blue and purple states like Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

"Certainly you'll see a lot of President Obama sand Vice President [Joe] Biden stumping for Senate candidates," said Christie Roberts, the DSCC's research director.

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Opinion

Bernie Struggling to Contain His Revolution

By Patricia Murphy
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PHILADELPHIA — It was Bernie Sanders' moment of sweet victory. Not a convention triumph —for that was never in the cards. But the moment when he could say with pride to a cheering Democratic convention, "Together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution — our revolution — continues."

In speaking those words, Sanders undoubtedly remembered Ted Kennedy's defiant concession speech at the 1980 Democratic convention that ended with the words, "And the dream shall never die." Kennedy, along with his two martyred brothers, had built that dream over two decades. It was the hope of a restoration, a return to Camelot.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders — a 74-year-old backbench senator with a Brooklyn accent and an unruly shock of white hair — had stoked the fires of his revolution in less than a year. He had fought the Clintons, the most powerful Democratic family since the Kennedys, almost to a draw.

Whatever happens in November 2016 will be remembered as the year when the traditional structures of politics tottered and, in the case of the Republicans, toppled. Bernie Sanders, who won 13 million primary votes, wasn't even a Democrat until the start of this campaign.

But even as he claimed victory for the cause (no Democratic president is going to rush to sign a trade treaty for decades to come), Sanders also acknowledged political reality. Rather than fume or sulk, Sanders gave his victorious rival the most full-throated endorsement that he could muster: "Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president."

[ Sanders Needs to Figure Out Whose Side He's On ]

Sanders, whose dreams of being more than a gadfly depend on a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate, will probably spend the fall doing whatever he's ask to do by Hillary and the party. He can claim, with some justice, that he inspired the forced resignation of Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz .

But Sanders steps out of the limelight in Philadelphia knowing that he has left his imprint on 2016. Without Bernie Sanders, phrases like "free college" and words like "socialist" would never have left the political fringe.

For the rest of the convention week — and maybe the rest of the campaign year — we will hear about the Bernie diehards who cannot bring themselves to vote for Clinton. In a close election, these stay-at-home progressives and these protest voters for Green Party candidate Jill Stein could make a difference.

They were on display Monday afternoon marching peacefully along the sweat-soaked streets around Philadelphia's City Hall with their hand-lettered signs conveying their uncompromising mood: "Bernie or Bust" and "Going Green — Come With Us Bernie."

The mostly youthful protesters could easily be reduced to stereotypes as innocents who didn't remember left-wing protest votes for Ralph Nader helping elect George W. Bush in 2000. Or truculent dead-enders who didn't understand the threat that Donald Trump poses to the norms of American democracy.

But people are rarely as easily cubby-holed as political commentary might have you expect.

[ That Vast Chasm Between Sanders and Clinton Still Mostly Stylistic ]

Shana Lin, 46, a housewife from Virginia Beach, Virginia, was seated in a folding chair in front of the Ritz-Carlton hotel (a favored bunkhouse for Clinton bundlers) holding a sign: "You Lost Me at Hillary."

Lin admits that she is part of "the 1 percent" as the wife of a physician raising two children in elementary school. Planning to vote for Jill Stein, she argues, "How long do we accept the corruption that's going on in this country? There's going to be a serious third-party movement. And I don't care if it elects Donald Trump."

Standing next to her with a "Never Hillary" sign, 35-year-old Jacinta Mack from Queens, New York (Donald Trump's home borough) tried to explain the sources of her rage at politics as usual. Saddled with $85,000 in student loans from Hunter College in Manhattan (which originally was part of tuition-free City University), Mack is convinced that she will never get out of debt.

"It's not fair the way things are," said Mack, an executive assistant at a social service agency. "It's not fair. Bernie is the first person who ran for president in my life who really cared. Hillary doesn't care."

As she spoke these passionate words about her dashed political dreams and her economic hardship, tears began to spill down her cheeks. I felt for her and all those like her trapped in an endless cycle of student debt and low-paying jobs.

And watching those tears, I thought about the impoverished farmers — with their mortgages held by callous Eastern bankers — whose rage about perpetual debt fueled the populist movement of the late 19th century. I thought about all those on breadlines 80 years ago when Franklin Roosevelt was nominated for a second term here in Philadelphia.

[ Bernie Sanders' Superdelegate Chutzpah ]

In his 1936 acceptance speech, FDR railed against "the economic royalists." The greatest Democratic president in history declared at the height of his political powers, "These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power."

These are words that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and maybe even Hillary Clinton can understand. And for one day, at least, the New Deal coalition came back to life on the nation's TV screens.

Roll Call columnist Walter Shapiro is a veteran of Politics Daily, USA Today, Time, Newsweek and the Washington Post. His book on his con-man great-uncle was just published: "Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Fuhrer." Follow him on Twitter @MrWalterShapiro.

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PHILADELPHIA — All those hacked DNC emails showing the joy of backstabbing , the self-absorption of DWS and the price of sitting next to the president have, alas, distracted us from another shocking/not that shocking revelation, this one from the GOP nominee.

On "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Donald Trump stuck up for his old friend Roger Ailes, the ousted (but still well-compensated) head of Fox News, who’s been accused by some two dozen women of trying to pressure them into sex by promising jobs and advancement if they complied and professional consequences if they did not. (Through his famous feminist lawyer, Susan Estrich , he has denied doing any such thing.)

According to The Washington Post, these accusations go all the way back to the '60s — decades before Ailes helped build a network that perseverates on sexual misconduct.

Yet — and I’m not sure how this jibes with Ivanka Trump’s RNC speech about what a champion of women her dad is — Trump at a minimum doesn’t mind leaving the impression that Ailes might soon be running his presidential campaign.

“Is he helping you?” MTP moderator Chuck Todd asked Trump. “Is he advising you?”

“Well, I don't want to comment,” the new nominee responded.“But he's been a friend of mine for a long time. And I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them. And even recently. And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him.

“And now all of a sudden they're saying these horrible things about him. It's very sad. Because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he's done. So I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he's going to run my campaign.”

For a candidate who only has to do something to mitigate his historically low standing among women if he wants to win the election, this is bold talk even from him.

But it is hardly out of nowhere for a man who, as Fox’s Megyn Kelly noted at an early GOP debate, has called women he doesn’t like fat pigs … dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” — a man who’s obsessed with looks and youth, has made a creepy comment about his own daughter’s attractiveness, and with cameras rolling, mocked his then-rival Carly Fiorina’s appearance: “Look at that face!”

Another of Trump’s friends, and one he has in common with Bill Clinton, is Jeffrey Epstein , a convicted pedophile. Years before Epstein’s conviction, in 2002, Trump spoke glowingly — and in retrospect, tellingly — about him to New York magazine for a profile that cast Epstein as “Gatsbyesque” and a “collector of beautiful minds.”

“I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told the magazine writer. “He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

One reason Trump may feel so bad for his buddy Roger Ailes is that he can relate. Because another thing Donald Trump has in common with Bill Clinton is that they’ve both been accused of, and strenuously denied, committing rape.

One more thing they have in common: Neither accusation got as much mainstream attention as you’d think such a serious allegation would attract.

I’ve said for years that we’ve been wrong not to want to know whether the Big Dog was not just a hound dog, but a man credibly accused of violating a campaign volunteer in 1978. The woman involved, Juanita Broaddrick , has also said that Hillary Clinton soon thereafter thanked her for all she’d done for her husband in a way that made Broaddrick think the candidate’s wife was really pressuring her to stay silent.

To me, Trump’s refrain that Hillary Clinton enabled her husband’s treatment of women is indeed relevant as she campaigns on her record as a global encourager of women and their rights. But it was so long ago, when we knew so much less, my friends tell me.

Those who suspect that a prominent Republican accused of rape would be treated differently have so far been proven wrong, because the lawsuit filed last month by a woman who charges that Trump raped her at a 1994 Epstein party when she was 13 years old has been even more widely ignored.

That’s at least in part because the anonymous woman has never given an interview, and neither has another woman who reportedly worked for Epstein procuring adolescent girls as party favors and who has filed a sworn statement saying she witnessed the attack.

It’s also because the woman who filed the suit has gotten financial support from a conservative anti-abortion donor and a former "Jerry Springer" producer who say outright that they’re motivated by hatred of Trump.

In other words, not enough is on the record to assess the facts of the case, and the people who’ve taken it on don’t inspire confidence. The nominee's first wife, Ivana Trump, also said years ago that he had raped her in a fury as they were divorcing, but she later said she didn't mean the charge literally.

A third woman, Jill Harth , filed a 1997 lawsuit alleging Trump had sexually assaulted her but made the charges amid a business dispute and soon dropped the suit. She recently renewed her allegations.

Yet there is more than enough from the innocent-until-proven-guilty candidate’s own lips — including his victim-blaming defense of Ailes and admiring view of Epstein — to convict him of holding a view of women that is not just politically incorrect but all wrong. He used to defend Bill Clinton, too — and smeared our 42nd president's accusers, too, back in the day.

Those, including me, who have thought some pro-choice feminists have been too willing to look the other way on piggery by politicians who happen agree with them on abortion rights should now admit that some pro-life feminists come off as similarly craven in supporting Trump because he’s pledged to appoint Scalia-like conservatives to the Supreme Court; this is their issue, but it isn't the only issue.

And as long as our discussion of the treatment of women never gets beyond forest-for-the-trees arguments over whether the R or D team’s sins are worse, none of the above will change.

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You're with her but not actually with her in Philadelphia? Still writing constituent letters while your boss is at the convention? Good news for you, you’re not alone.

Here is the HOH calendar of Democratic convention fun this week in D.C..

Union Pub: $5 Hill Yes! Crush; $3 Dem Jell-O shot; $7 Jell-O Shot/Crush Combo.

201 Bar: New Liberty whiskeys available with titles: "Madam President," "First Dude" and "Feel the Bern."

Mission: $4 Tecate and $7 Madame president margaritas (blue).

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Union Pub: $1 Dem Jell-O shots during acceptance speech.

Mission: $6 El Jimador shots during acceptance speech.

Hawthorne: $4 Coronas , $7 Blue State Smash.

Anything to add? Email HOH@cqrollcall.com

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Opinion

Hillary's Honesty and Trump's Temperament

By Jonathan Allen
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PHILADELPHIA – In politics, nuance is often a negative, particularly in the middle of a cutthroat presidential campaign. So while Hillary Clinton’s position — supporting and sympathizing with both police officers and the mothers of African Americans killed in encounters with police — is a reasonable one, it doesn’t quite fit on a bumper sticker. It’s about criminal justice and race and trust and perceptions it would take a pile of history books to start to untangle.

On the other hand, “law and order,” the mantra often repeated by GOP nominee Donald Trump in Cleveland at the Republican convention, fits just fine.

Before the Democratic convened its first session in Philadelphia, the city’s police union took one look at the lineup of speakers and was not pleased.

In a statement, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 said that it was "insulted by the exclusion of police widows and family members" from the speaking roster.

No doubt noting the Tuesday inclusion of members of Mothers of the Movement , a group that includes Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; and Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, the statement went on to say, “It is sad that to win an election, Mrs. Clinton must pander to the interests of people who do not know all the facts, while the men and women they seek to destroy are outside protecting the political institutions of this country.”

After this month's murders of police in Baton Rouge and Dallas (where the department had won praise for improving relationships with the community), law enforcement officers are understandably on the defensive and sensitive to suggestions of police reform. They would like to return home safely to their families after a day on the job, one they believe they know how to do.

But as long as videos continue to surface, such as the recent one out of North Miami after an officer shot and wounded an unarmed African-American health-care worker with hands up as he protected an autistic charge, the calls for reform will persist. Those calls will come not from people who want to “destroy” law enforcement but from those who want to make officers responsive to all communities equally, and make them subject to due process when they cross the line.

When the facts are viewed through a clear lens, I’d wager few actual police officers feel much solidarity with Trayvon Martin’s killer, a wannabe who since has been in trouble with the law. Also among those on the DNC program is Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, shot for playing his music too loud in a Florida gas station by a criminal now locked up. That man ran before he was caught and charged.

But those are complications in a flawed yet entrenched narrative that’s too perfect to discard, that Black Lives Matter’s protests for responsible policing translates into an anti-police message.

That's the picture painted by Trump, of America on the edge of the abyss, with lawlessness rampant. When Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke , who is African-American, announced to the RNC crowd another acquittal of a police officer charged in connection with the death of Baltimore’s Freddie Gray, calling it “good news,” there were cheers and celebration. Is there no longer room for humanity in modern politics? For, perhaps, a moment of respectful silence acknowledging that while one believes justice was served, a spine was severed and a life was lost?

The Clinton campaign responded to the police union’s charge by pointing out other DNC speakers — former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and Joe Sweeney, a former New York detective working on 9/11 the day the World Trade Center was hit. It won’t be enough and the charge will probably make its way into an attack ad designed to stoke anger and halt serious efforts toward resolution and compromise, that dirty word.

That's because real questions about the criminal justice system — ones that reach from studies about the school-to-prison pipeline, disparate suspension rates for children of color that start in pre-school, decisions of whom to charge and how to sentence — are no match for the visceral call-and-response that drowns out reasonable voices.

Trump has staked out his position, carving up America into pieces and hoping to grab the biggest slice while Clinton is trying so hard not to make a mistake. The question, spotlighted by the dust-up with police union leaders, is, can she remain above the fray?

Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and The Charlotte Observer. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3

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