Chad’s Morning Brief: New Book Raises More Questions About Hillary Clinton’s Campaign, Can Republicans Take Anything Away From California, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for April 21, 2015.
New Book Could Rock Clinton Campaign
A new book that focuses attention on foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation could have the Clinton campaign in damage control mode according to FOX News. The book claims that foreign donors received favors from the State Department while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
The Clinton campaign dismissed the book on Monday.
A Clinton spokesman also told the Times the book is "twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories."
The book, "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich," could nevertheless mark the second major political headache for Clinton's budding campaign. Weeks before she announced her candidacy, reports surfaced that she exclusively used a personal email account, and server, while secretary of state. Under pressure, Clinton held a press conference to explain her actions, but transparency questions continue to loom over her bid after she announced it a week ago.
Critics have long questioned, as well, the family foundation's history of foreign donations and whether donors got any benefits in return. Republicans are eagerly anticipating the release of the book.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., himself a 2016 White House candidate, claimed earlier this month that "big news" is coming on the foundation.
"I think there are things that went on at the Clinton Foundation that are going to shock people," he said, in response to a question from Fox News in New Hampshire. "And I think they're going to make people question whether or not she ought to run for president."
The book will be released on May 5th and while it is already generating some buzz, I would expect that the buzz and serious questions would continue after the release. There is only so long that Hillary Clinton can avoid questions from the press.
California and the Republican Party
E.J. Dionne Jr. has written a piece for the Washington Post warning Republicans that California could show the Republican Party what is in store for them in the future.
If they don’t learn from what happened to the GOP here, they may doom themselves to repeating its decidedly unpleasant experience.
“California is the leading edge of the country’s demographic changes,” Brulte said in an interview. “Frankly, Republicans in California did not react quickly enough to them, and we have paid a horrible price.”
One measure of the cost: In the three presidential elections of the 1980s, California voted twice for Ronald Reagan and once for George H. W. Bush. The state has not gone Republican since, and it won’t get any easier in 2016.
The hole is deep enough that Brulte has concentrated his own energies on rebuilding the party from the bottom up. He has enjoyed some real successes at the local and county levels, and the GOP eliminated the Democrats’ veto-proof majorities in the state legislature in the 2014 mid-terms.
But the Republicans are still vastly outnumbered in both houses — 25-14 in the state Senate, 52-28 in the Assembly — and the Democrats picked up a seat in 2014 in the U.S. House of Representatives. They have won all of California’s statewide offices in three of the past four elections. The last Democratic sweep before that: 1882.
The principal cause of the GOP’s troubles is its alienation of Latinos, Asian Americans and African Americans in a state whose population is now majority nonwhite. Republicans can win in 2016 without carrying California, but the party’s struggles here highlight the extent to which the GOP is making its life in presidential years very difficult with its increasingly hard line on immigration, its image as a bastion for older, white conservatives and its solicitude for Americans with very high incomes. When House Republicans in Washington voted to repeal the estate tax last week, they were helping all of 5,400 of the wealthiest households in America, not exactly a move with mass appeal.
Republicans can learn from California, but not in the way the writer says. Republicans should enforce immigration laws and they should secure the border. The problem for Republicans is that they stink when it comes to messaging. The writer discusses the GOP as on old white guy party when two of the GOP's most popular candidates for President are young and Hispanic.
Should Republicans do some outreach? Sure, but it comes down to messaging and battling the left for control of that message.
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