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Thread: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

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    Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    Harry Reid allies to Team Clinton: Don't slam Nevada's caucus

    Her campaign's attempt to downgrade expectations backfires in the pivotal caucus state.



    By Annie Karni
    02/15/16 05:20 AM EST

    With five days to go until the Nevada caucuses — once viewed as Hillary Clinton’s Western firewall — Sen. Harry Reid and his allies are incensed at the wounded Democratic front-runner.

    The reason: the Clinton campaign’s attempt to downgrade expectations there by whitewashing the diverse state.


    The campaign’s recent assertion that Nevada is “still a state that is 80 percent white voters” — in other words, a state that looks a lot like Bernie Sanders’ base — is simply wrong, Reid allies claim. But more galling than that, they say, it undermines the entire rationale for the caucuses’ existence: The state was pushed to the front of the election calendar eight years ago solely because Reid lobbied for better demographic representation than the overwhelmingly white early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

    “Harry Reid pushed hard to move Nevada near the front of the primary calendar precisely because of its diversity,” a source close to the Senate minority leader said last week after the Clinton team pushed the “white Nevada” narrative in a series of conferences calls to donors and lawmakers on the Hill, as well as in television interviews (Clinton operatives have since appeared to back off that argument).

    “Nevada is the early state that is truly representative of America, and we’re proud of that fact,” the source added. “It sounds like the Clinton team is worried about another embarrassing result.”

    A second source familiar with Reid’s thinking noted that “the Clinton strategy was too clever by half, but you can’t talk your way around basic facts. They want to show reasons why Bernie can do well, but that’s not the way to do it.”

    It’s a troublesome new dynamic for Clinton in Nevada, a state where she started out last spring leading by wide margin, according to campaign sources, and where Reid for most of last year talked her up as an all-star politician who had successfully cleared the field. But the onetime firewall has been crumbling under increased pressure from Sanders, as POLITICO first reported last month.

    Reid, the state’s most powerful Democrat, does not plan to endorse any candidate before Saturday’s caucus, in part because of his own parochial interests. Not only is a highly competitive race good for turning national attention toward Nevada, it helps increase Democratic voter registration just as Catherine Cortez Masto is running to fill the retiring Reid’s Senate seat.

    “A voter registration form submitted by a Sanders volunteer is as good as a voter registration form from a Clinton volunteer,” said the source familiar with Reid’s thinking.

    The soreness created by the Clinton campaign’s comments extends beyond Reid’s allies on the ground to operatives inside the state Democratic Party. With less than a week to go before the caucus, the Democratic party has been pushing back by highlighting the diversity of the state. A memo from the state party pointed out that the 2008 entrance polls had 33 percent nonwhite caucus-goers, and that roughly half of Nevada’s population is nonwhite.

    “With our vibrant Latino, African-American and Asian American/Pacific Islander communities and the strong presence of organized labor here, no other early state comes close to matching our demographic, regional and cultural diversity,” Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange said in a statement.

    Clinton operatives said they expect to lose white support to Sanders in northern Nevada around Reno and are aiming to make it up by increasing turnout in more diverse Clark County, home to Las Vegas and nearly three-quarters of the state’s population.

    “The more diverse it is, the better it will be for us,” Clinton’s Nevada state director Emmy Ruiz told POLITICO.

    The campaign, she said, has been reaching out to various groups since April, hosting round tables for DREAMers, African-American poetry slams for Hillary, and conducting caucus education training at black churches. It's indicative of the campaign’s national organizing strategy of trying to meet voters where they are.

    On Thursday night in Las Vegas, Clinton and Sanders will also participate in the first nationally televised presidential forum with a strong focus on immigration, airing on Telemundo. It offers both candidates a final attempt to make their pitch to Latino voters.

    But the momentum on the ground now in Nevada appears to be with Sanders. Aside from the demographic differences, the story of the Nevada caucuses appears to be unfolding along the same trajectory as Iowa.

    Clinton’s team was on the ground first and began organizing back in April. Ruiz is a Nevada pro: When campaign manager Robby Mook ran Clinton’s Nevada operation eight years ago, Ruiz was his first hire. In 2012, she served as President Barack Obama’s general election director in Nevada. By all accounts, Ruiz and her team have done everything right when it comes to organizing, spending weeks during the summer conducting rural listening tours across 1,250 miles of the state and activating volunteers who have been logging 40-hour workweeks since the spring.

    Donna West, a retired state administrator at the Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, signed up to volunteer with Clinton’s campaign on the day the former secretary of state announced she was running — way back in April 2015.

    As a precinct captain, West has been sending handwritten letters to her neighbors, inviting them into her home to talk about Clinton. She set up the East Las Vegas Facebook and Twitter pages for the campaign and also hosted mock caucuses at her home.

    For nine months, she has participated in phone banking and canvassing sessions three times a week. Neighbors who identified themselves as undecided voters, West said with some pride, finally agreed to sign a “commit to caucus” card after months of her hounding, swayed as much West’s devotion to her cause than by anything they’ve seen from the candidate herself.

    “I got a woman the other day,” West said. “It was the third time I came to her door, she said, ‘You keep coming back.’ I told her, ‘I’m coming back until you say I’ll see you at the caucus with your husband.’”

    Just as in Iowa, Sanders is the late arrival, but he’s coming in fast and furious and this time with momentum on his side after a decisive victory in New Hampshire. He lacked offices or staffers on the ground here until last fall, but after transferring a huge portion of his Iowa field organization in Nevada, including communications director Rania Batrice, the Sanders campaign now has over 100 staffers on the ground and has more than doubled its paid staff here since last month.

    Clinton, in contrast, had about 55 staffers on the ground here a few months ago but has stopped releasing that number publicly. Sanders also has also spent twice as much on television ads — $2.93 million compared to $1.46 million for Clinton, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

    Since January, local party officials say, caucus training sessions run by the Nevada Democratic Party have been flooded by Sanders supporters. Ruiz said that’s actually indicative of Clinton’s team being better organized.

    “We got started last April, so a lot of our people are already trained,” she said. “For campaigns that are just now starting to show up, there’s probably an increased number of people that need to be caught up to speed.”

    But organizers like West have noticed the influx of Sanders muscle. “I know they’re here now,” she said. “I’ve seen them when I’m out canvassing, they came to our door even though I’ve got Hillary signs everywhere. They bused out-of-staters in for a weekend. I’ve seen their ads on television. I know they’re here now, but we’ve been here since April. I’m not going to say we’ve got this,” said West, “but we’re working every day.”

    Polling in Nevada is considered virtually useless — the population is too transient, a high percentage of caucus-goers do not have landlines, and same-day registration for the caucus complicates the picture — which makes it difficult to get a picture of where things stand.

    Reid’s office has not been conducting any polling itself, but after watching the race unfold for months, sources close to his operation say the senator and his staffers came to the realization that the state was no Clinton firewall. One piece of confirming evidence: A large turnout for Sanders at the First in the West Democratic dinner early last month, which was seen as a testament to Sanders’ ability to organize local enthusiasm for his campaign (many still have the night ringing in their ears after the senator’s supporters, who came equipped with ear-piercing vuvuzelas, overwhelmed the room).

    Another problem for Clinton is that the powerful Culinary Union has chosen to sit out the race, claiming it can’t get involved in a political process while it’s beginning contract negotiations for 48,000 of its members.

    “We have to prioritize our union work above our political work,” political director Yvanna Cancela said. But it’s not an argument anyone is buying after the union endorsed Ruben Kihuen, a Democrat running for Congress, last week. Democratic operatives on the ground think it has more to do with the union not wanting to pick a horse in a tight race. But it means that their ability to provide transportation and information to a diverse membership of 60,000 workers is money left on the table.

    Over the weekend, Clinton tried to pick up some of that support on her own. She met with employees in the Caesars Palace cafeteria after hitting up Lee’s, a Vietnamese sandwich shop, and sat down with a group of DREAMers at a campaign office. Even without the backing of the Culinary Union, Clinton has union muscle helping her: The SEIU, according to a new filing, is spending $100,000 in Nevada and South Carolina backing Clinton. And Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, was campaigning for Clinton in Nevada over the weekend.

    On Monday, Clinton canceled an appearance in Florida to spend an extra day campaigning in Nevada. Her campaign seems to have recognized the bad blood created by their recent framing of the race and has stopped characterizing it as being dominated by white voters. But some of the damage on the ground has been done.

    “I was offended by it,” said Jon Ralston, an influential Nevada journalist and television host. “They made a push from Day One saying it’s a diverse state, moving to the left of Obama on immigration, holding events with DREAMers. I smell fear. I think they’re very worried that the race here has tightened.”


    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/0...#ixzz40H8l3gsm


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  2. #2
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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    No one can help Clinton - too many people dislike her.

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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg in Dallas View Post
    No one can help Clinton - too many people dislike her.
    So you refuse to comment on the obvious racial pandering? Usually, that's one of the first things you like to point out and exploit.......oh wait, this is the Democrat Nevada caucus.................


    "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." - John Adams

    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." - Winston Churchill

    "Inside every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out." - David Horowitz

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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    I am sorry EC, I agree she is pandering. It is her best hope.

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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    On Thursday night in Las Vegas, Clinton and Sanders will also participate in the first nationally televised presidential forum with a strong focus on immigration, airing on Telemundo. It offers both candidates a final attempt to make their pitch to Latino voters.
    I can't wait to see how they debase themselves on this issue.
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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    Quote Originally Posted by Herchel View Post
    I can't wait to see how they debase themselves on this issue.
    You have to be in the minority looking forward to watching a debate...

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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg in Dallas View Post
    You have to be in the minority looking forward to watching a debate...
    I will just read about it.
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    confused

    Quote Originally Posted by ECDawg78 View Post

    Her campaign's attempt to downgrade expectations backfires in the pivotal caucus state.
    Since when was Nevada considered a "pivotal state"?

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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.SwineSmeller View Post
    Since when was Nevada considered a "pivotal state"?
    In the primaries, because it is early.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Democrats latest attempt at racial pandering: "White Nevada"

    I thought Ms Clinton already had the super-delegates locked up in Nevada and would also get a proportional number of delegates from the caucus, so what's the concern?

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