Politics

Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling, Wins Nomination

Convention overcomes strife to nominate first woman as major party presidential nominee

By David Hawkings
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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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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday that presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton's gender is "no reason to vote for her."

Clinton wants to be elected president based on her qualifications and because she's the best person for the job, the California Democrat said in an interview with Yahoo News's Katie Couric.

Pelosi, who was the first woman speaker of the House, said she would never have wanted her whips to ask someone to vote for her based on the fact she was a women and that Clinton wouldn't either.

"That she happens to be a woman is so exciting it just gives me goosebumps," Pelosi added. Having a woman president would send a message to children that they can do anything they aspire to do, and a message globally that the United States respects the judgement of a women.

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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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Philadelphia last hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1948 and the Republican National Convention in 2000. Who were the chairs of each of those conventions?

A) Scoop Jackson / Phil Gramm

B) Sam Rayburn / Trent Lott

C) Adlai Stevenson / Mitch McConnell

D) Alben Barkley / Rudy Giuliani

Hillary Clinton, barring the unforeseen, will officially clinch the Democratic nomination this week in Philadelphia. Besides her 2008 performance, which woman won the most delegates at a national convention?

A) Pat Schroeder, 1992 DNC

B) Shirley Chisholm, 1972 DNC

C) Ellen McCormack, 1976 DNC

D) Margaret Chase Smith, 1964 RNC

[ Last week's Trivia Tuesday: GOP Convention Edition ]

Email your answer to HOH@rollcall.com and the first correct answer will get a shout out!

Alex Clearfield contributed to this report.

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Opinion

Hillary's Honesty and Trump's Temperament

By Jonathan Allen
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Even though Sen. Bernie Sanders is supporting Hillary Clinton after the Democratic National Committee email scandal , Donald Trump is using it as a way to try to pry supporters way from Sanders.

Trump is fanning the flames of the DNC email scandal by saying Clinton rigged the system from the beginning and Sanders did not have a chance to win, a refrain among Sanders supporter that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had rigged the system: Crooked Hillary Clinton knew everything that her "servant" was doing at the DNC - they just got caught, that's all! They laughed at Bernie. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

Here we go again with another Clinton scandal, and e-mails yet (can you believe). Crooked Hillary knew the fix was in, B never had a chance! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

The State of Florida is so embarrassed by the antics of Crooked Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz that they will vote for CHANGE! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

In a series of tweets, Trump has said Sanders has turned into a "pathetic figure" as a way to wedge Sanders supporters away from their candidate:

There is no longer a Bernie Sanders "political revolution." He is turning out to be a weak and somewhat pathetic figure,wants it all to end! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016

Sorry folks, but Bernie Sanders is exhausted, just can't go on any longer. He is trying to dismiss the new e-mails and DNC disrespect. SAD! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016

Even though Bernie Sanders has lost his energy and his strength, I don't believe that his supporters will let Crooked Hillary off the hook! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016

If Bernie Sanders, after seeing the just released e-mails, continues to look exhausted and done, then his legacy will never be the same. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016

But Sanders didn't take Trump's bait and he thinks neither will most of his supporters.

Sanders live tweeted some of his anger towards Trump during the Republican nominee speech before the Republican National Convention: What a hypocrite! If Trump wants to "fix" trade he can start by making his products in the US, not low-wage countries abroad. #RNCwithBernie — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 22, 2016

Trump’s economic plan: same old, same old trickle-down economics. Pathetic. #RNCwithBernie — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 22, 2016

Sanders also went on "This Week" on Sunday to unequivocally state that "Trump has got to be defeated." .@BernieSanders: "Most of my supporters understand Trump has got to be defeated" #ThisWeek https://t.co/bCfWE3Rsvt — ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 24, 2016

"I think the vast majority of our supporters understand that in Donald Trump, and I say this not happily, somebody who lies all of the time. Somebody who wins his campaign by viscious attacks against his opponents," Sanders said.

"But I think most of my supporters think most of my supporters understand Trump has got to be defeated," Sanders said. "We need to elect as many progressive as possible and we need to continue the fight to create an agenda which works for working families and not just for wealthy campaign contributors."

The Vermont Democrat is going to speak to the Democratic National Convention Monday night to outline his progressive agenda and is expected to reaffirm his support for Clinton.

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PHILADELPHIA — With his white-knuckle approach to speechwriting — making changes in the text until the final millisecond — Bill Clinton as president always courted disaster. And then transcended it.

He ad-libbed the first seven minutes of a 1993 speech to Congress on health care because the wrong speech had been inserted into the teleprompter. His 1997 State of the Union address somehow went into the teleprompter as a James Joycean single paragraph because Clinton had been tweaking the speech in the limousine on his way to the Capitol.

That is not — to put it mildly — Hillary Clinton's style. She is more likely to give her Thursday night acceptance speech while juggling bowling pins than she is to emulate the high-wire rhetorical acts of her husband.

But Hillary's orderly, unflappable approach brings with it a different kind of risk. She often gives the impression that her approach to campaigning is to check off boxes.

Remind the world that she's a grandmother for likability, check. Arouse women voters with talk of the glass ceiling, check. Reach out to Latinos with a Spanish-speaking running mate, check. Stress her years of advocacy for children's rights to show she has a heart, check.

It is her take on the New Deal Democratic coalition — run for president by offering a little something for every winnable constituency group. Putting it in baseball terms (and remember Hillary is a Cubs and a Yankee fan), it is creating an offense based entirely on hitting singles.

Running for president with an incumbent of your own party in the White House can be a daunting challenge. In the shadow of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush admitted his bafflement at "the vision thing. Al Gore in 2000 was the pretzel candidate — tying himself in knots trying to avoid a tarnished Bill Clinton while still claiming credit for the achievements of Clintonism.

Still, there is an inescapable mushiness to Hillary Clinton's vision. In her Sunday night "60 Minutes" interview along with Tim Kaine, she described her policy agenda in these stirring terms: "I think we can create more economic opportunity. I think we can improve education, make college affordable, deal with the myriad of issues that we confront."

You can see the bumper-stickers now: "Deal with the Myriad of Issues — Vote Hillary."

Later in the interview, Scott Pelley gave Clinton another chance to summarize her ambitions as president. But, again, Hillary opted for the warm and very fuzzy: "I care most about getting the economy working for everybody. Not just those at the top. I care deeply about rebuilding the ladders of opportunity that have been battered, and broken, and knocked over — so that people can get an education that'll equip them for the future."

Make no mistake, this is not Ted Kennedy being unable to articulate a coherent reason why he was running for president in his 1979 interview with Roger Mudd . But this is also not the crisp answer that might be expected from a well-rehearsed woman who will deliver the biggest speech of her many-faceted career Thursday night.

Even if she were not running against a bilious billionaire and apprentice authoritarian, Hillary Clinton brings obvious strengths to this campaign. Strengths like competence and professionalism.

The rollout of Tim Kaine as her running mate was a textbook political operation — devoid of leaks or hints of indecisiveness. Watching Clinton and Kaine in Miami Saturday, I thought of the slogan "Better Together," last used to keep Scotland as part of Great Britain.

The hacking of the internal emails of the Democratic National Committee and their release by Wikileaks was an embarrassment. But the Clinton campaign acted promptly to provide DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz with an exit strategy — straight out an open window. And the choice of Donna Brazile as the acting DNC chair was pitch perfect since the CNN commentator is well liked, soothing and experienced.

This convention is also the last time that Hillary has a chance to win the battle of False Equivalence. Her secrecy mania (the home-brew email servers), her greed (those Goldman-Sachs speeches) and her husband's questionable fund-raising for the Clinton Foundation have produced nods of agreement when Donald Trump mocks her as "Crooked Hillary."

For all of Hillary's missteps and for all the Clinton family's sense of entitlement, there is no comparison between the former secretary of state and the former reality-show host. Hillary does not threaten America's alliances, advocate war crimes, demean Muslims and Latinos, consort with white supremacists and display a total contempt for the norms of democracy.

It seems an open-and-shut case — and it is central to Clinton's need to win the votes of independents and Republicans appalled by Donald Trump.

But asked on "60 Minutes" about her image as someone who is unethical, Hillary quickly retreated to her familiar "vast rightwing conspiracy" tone of martyrdom. As she put it, "I often feel like there's the Hillary standard and then there's the standard for everybody else."

Yes, Hillary has been the victim of partisan witch-hunts from Whitewater to Benghazi. But she has also played fast and loose from her miraculous commodities trading record in the 1980s to her State Department emails.

In her battle against the most dangerous presidential candidate of my lifetime, it is vital to eliminate the counter-argument that "Hillary Is Worse." Sadly, though, I see no signs that this talented, dedicated and exasperating almost-nominee can pull it off.

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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Politics

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

By Simone Pathé
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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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