Hillary Clinton’s latest emails: ‘Homeland’ and the Bon Jovis
By the numbers
Welcome to Trail Guide, your host through the wilds of the 2016 presidential campaign. It's Monday, Nov. 30, and here's what we're talking about:
- The newest release of Hillary Clinton's emails once again reveals little of substance.
- The presidential campaign has focused heavily on national security in recent weeks -- should climate change be part of that discussion?
- Marco Rubio picks up an endorsement from Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista.
- Donald Trump calls the suspect in the Planned Parenthood shooting a "maniac," and Hillary Clinton pushes for stronger gun laws.
- Chris Christie wins the support of the influential Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire.
Hillary Clinton's emails reveal more about her TV habits than her diplomacy style
The State Department released another 7,800 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails Monday, and they revealed about as much insight into her thinking on matters of national security and diplomacy as the thousands of other pages State had released earlier – which is to say, very little.
The messages do, however, shed light on the nicknames Clinton has coined for a couple of her GOP rivals, her ineptitude at locating a premium cable station on her television, and that the Bon Jovis of New Jersey wished her well.
The emails are being made public under a court order connected to lawsuits filed under the Freedom of Information Act. They were among the 55,000 messages sent or received through the private server Clinton kept in her home. The department was ordered to publicly release any of the messages that dealt with government business, except in the cases where information in them has been deemed classified.
The monthly releases of Clinton’s emails began in late June, and with Monday’s batch, some two-thirds of the material has now been made public. They show that Clinton was an extremely cautious user of email, someone who was well aware that every word she typed could ultimately be published. So on important matters of state, they hardly reveal new insight into her thinking, though they do, at times, show the jockeying, peacocking and genuflecting that her inner circle of advisors engage in, as the messages they send to get her attention tend to be less carefully written.
But in this latest batch, the most revealing note Clinton tapped out is probably the one where she referred to Mitt Romney as “Mittens” and Newt Gingrich as “Grinch” as the two battled to be the GOP nominee to take on President Obama in 2012. Also notable in the note is Clinton’s bashing of the caucuses as “creatures of the parties’ extremes”:
Don’t expect her to say that these days, as she competes for the Democratic nomination in several caucus states. But it was the Iowa caucus that helped sink Clinton’s White House bid in 2008.
The emails also reveal that Clinton thought a personal note from the Bon Jovis shouldn't go unanswered:
And that the former secretary of State was at a loss for what to write to the star of the HBO hit series “Veep."
The note suggests Clinton may not have been the most attentive watcher of the show. But “Homeland” was another matter. If only she could find it on her television. Apparently, that’s one of the reasons to keep press aides around :
Jeb Bush coming to California to mingle with former ambassadors
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush continues to return to California to fundraise. He’ll hit Brentwood and Pasadena the day after next month's debate in Las Vegas, according to an invitation to a Dec. 16 luncheon and a dinner obtained by Times reporter Seema Mehta.
The event sounds like a reunion of top George W. Bush administration officials and Republicans who were prominent during that era.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and former U.S. Rep. David Dreier are listed as Southern California Finance Committee members, along with the former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration Rob Bonner, former U.S. Ambassador to Britain Bob Tuttle, former Ambassador to Uruguay Frank Baxter, former Ambassador to Austria Susan McCaw and former Ambassador to Italy and San Marino Ron Spogli. Also on the committee are Marc and Eva Stern, major education donors in Los Angeles.
Brad Freeman, a top California-based George W. Bush fundraiser, is hosting the $2,700-per-guest luncheon at his Brentwood home.
The dinner -- also $2,700 per guest -- is at the Pasadena home of Jeanine and John Cushman, a commercial real estate mogul.
In her note soliciting attendees, Renee Croce wrote last week that Bush had "a very strong week on the campaign trail."
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Cyber Monday comes to the campaign trail
Sitting at your work computer, on the hunt for the perfect holiday gift for a loved one? Or a hated one? Either way, the presidential campaigns have you covered. Whether it's a perfectly charming ugly sweater featuring Ted Cruz's mug or a Marco Polo (yes), you can stuff stockings with gifts that show your allegiance to the candidate of your choice.
Of course, it all has to be reported.
Here's who Californians in Congress are backing for president
The Times' Sarah D. Wire runs down the endorsements made by California's congressional delegation, with nearly three-quarters of Democrats lining up behind front-runner Hillary Clinton. Among Republicans, about half have announced their support for a candidate. The list so far:
No more Mr. Nice Guy? Marco Rubio picks up endorsement from Darrell Issa
Sen. Marco Rubio has so far run a mostly upbeat “new generation” campaign as he vies for the Republican nomination for president. But the tone shifted Monday with an endorsement from the GOP’s top bulldog, Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista.
Rubio had been collecting a younger band of Republican lawmakers to back his effort, most prominently Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), whose youthful energy and swing-state electoral success reflected Rubio’s own political style.
But in Issa, Rubio picks up support from the party’s combative wing. Issa is the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, best known for hammering the Obama administration with investigations into various topics, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Benghazi attacks.
Issa indicated on Monday that he found in Rubio a fellow-traveler, as he announced his endorsement on “Fox & Friends.”
“He's been fighting for a lot of things I believe in,” said Issa, who is the wealthiest member of Congress. “And look, he's not afraid to engage on the hottest subjects.”
A Democratic National Committee spokesman suggested the endorsement was fitting for Rubio, who has been trying to tap into voters’ security concerns in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
How the Paris talks play into 2016: The debate over climate change as a security issue
As world leaders convene in Paris this week to confront the long-term threat of global warming, the fact that their talks are taking place in a city still recovering from a deadly terrorist attack has amped up a long-running debate about how much climate change contributes to extremist violence.
The question is playing prominently in the U.S. presidential race. The bitter disagreement it has spawned underscores the challenge climate activists face in selling their broader message to the public.
Activists consider climate change an existential crisis that demands immediate attention. But its link to any specific occurrence, whether an individual storm or an act of terrorism, is tough to pin down. That makes the activists' case harder to sell to the public.
On the other side, conservative critics of climate activism have ridiculed suggestions that global warming is a prime security issue.
Democrats condemn Planned Parenthood shooting
All three Democratic presidential candidates stood up over the weekend at a party dinner in New Hampshire and condemned the shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs that killed three, and Hillary Clinton attacked Republicans for their rejection of tougher gun laws.
Clinton pushed her support of stronger gun laws and protection of clinics that provide services including STD testing, breast exams, contraception and abortions.
“This is truly unbelievable, that after what we’ve seen in Paris and other places, Republicans will not bring up a bill that will prohibit anyone on the no-fly list from buying a gun in America," Clinton said at the dinner. "If you are too dangerous to fly in America, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.”
“How many more Americans need to die before we take action?” she said.
Clinton continued her assault on the Republican platform with pointed remarks about what she views as the party's lack of support for vital social services.
“When I talk like this, some people, especially of the Republican persuasion, say I’m playing the gender card. Well, if talking about women’s health, equal pay, paid family leave and affordable child care is playing the gender card, deal me in,” she said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley spoke mostly on other topics such as finance and marriage rights, but both offered condolences to the people in Colorado Springs.
"I am running for president because, in these difficult times, against vitriolic Republican rhetoric, we must protect a woman's right to choose and we must defend Planned Parenthood," Sanders said.
O’Malley also spent time reassuring reporters that his campaign remains viable and that he continues to fight for the nomination as much as Sanders and Clinton.
"This most recent act of terrorism took place at a Planned Parenthood office. Others have taken place in classrooms, schools, in church basements," O’Malley said. "We have to call them out for what they are; they are acts motivated by intolerance, racism and hate. They are designed to prey upon the vulnerable and the unsuspecting. They are in fact acts of murder and acts of terror. And wherever it happens, it is an assault on all of us."
N.H. Union Leader endorses Christie
Chris Christie won the support of the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper over the weekend, but the gain for his presidential campaign is far from making him a sure bet in the wide GOP field of candidates.
Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid wrote the editorial endorsing the New Jersey governor and highlighted Christie’s background as a U.S. attorney prosecuting criminals as a strong marker of how he would fight terrorism as president. McQuaid also said Christie reaches out to voters in a straightforward, blunt manner that the country needs.
"Other candidates have gained public and media attention by speaking bluntly. But it's important when you are telling it like it is to actually know what you are talking about," the editorial said.
Historically, the paper’s endorsement has led to an increase in poll standing for the selected candidate going into the New Hampshire primary. But only Ronald Reagan, whom the paper supported in 1980, won the presidency. The Union Leader endorsed Republican Newt Gingrich in 2012, John McCain in 2008 and Steve Forbes in 2000. McCain won the GOP nomination; Gingrich and Forbes did not.
In his editorial, McQuaid also swung punches at the rival campaigns of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
"We don't need another fast-talking, well-meaning freshman U.S. senator trying to run the government," McQuaid wrote, an implicit rebuke of Rubio. "We are still seeing the disastrous effects of the last such choice," he added, referring to President Obama.
"We don't need as president some well-meaning person from the private sector who has no public experience," he wrote of Trump.
Mark Halperin, managing editor for Bloomberg Politics, said Monday on NBC's "Today" show that Christie, along with Cruz, is set to go far in the fight for the GOP nomination.
“Jeb Bush is stalled. Donald Trump is in neutral, but headed uphill. Backwards is Ben Carson,” Halperin said.
Donald Trump cancels endorsement event after black pastors object
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled a Monday news conference in which his campaign had said he would be endorsed by as many as 100 black evangelical leaders.
Many of those invited to the event say they had no intention of endorsing the billionaire businessman and former reality television star.
“It's a miscommunication,” said Darrell Scott, the senior pastor of New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, who has helped arrange meetings between Trump and black pastors in recent months.
Trump's campaign “thought it was going to be a news conference for an endorsement when it wasn't,” Scott told the Associated Press.
By the numbers
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