** Reality Chek. Paul Krugman: Pay no attention to the personalities of the presidential candidates. "The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins." CW: Read the whole column, especially the part near the end on how the media will treat the nominees of each party.
Second Most Annoying Campaign Launch Ever
Honestly, this beats Ted Cruz by a long shot & loses only to Ronald Reagan's outreach to racists:
... Amy Chozick of the New York Times: "Ending two years of speculation and coy denials, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on Sunday that she would seek the presidency for a second time, immediately establishing herself as the likely 2016 Democratic nominee. 'I'm running for president,' she said with a smile near the end of a two-minute video released just after 3 p.m." CW: I don't know what Juanito will do, but it couldn't be dumber unless he just held up a sign that read, "Yes, I'm a total phony. Send money." ...
... CW: For the first 30 seconds of the vid, I thought I was watching an ad for an unspecified something -- mortgage loans, home insurance maybe -- & was annoyed there was no Skip Ad arrow. Hillary must be using the same Mad Men as Goldman Sachs or CitiBank. ...
... Maggie Haberman & Patrick Healy of the New York Times discuss the video, making Krugman's point, & a few minor ones of mine.
Jaime Fuller of New York: "Her campaign's Facebook page is live too.... However, the news first broke -- the news of her announcement, not the obvious fact that she was going to run -- via emails that John Podesta, the chair of Clinton's campaign, sent to former Hillary '08 campaigners and potential donors." ... Which inspired James Poniewozik of Time to tweet, "Possibly the most stirring piece of American political rhetoric since Lincoln's Second Inaugural Message to Top Donors Through an Aide." Clinton's Facebook page is here.
Jesse Byrnes of the Hill: "While Clinton sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 primarily on her record as a lawmaker, early moves indicate her campaign will work this time to reintroduce her by embracing her earlier history. Clinton's biography posted to her campaign website is written in an unusually personal tone, describing her father, Hugh, as a 'rock-ribbed Republican' and highlighting her own position on a girls softball team."
Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico: "When Hillary Clinton said she was going to hit the road, she meant it. The newly declared presidential candidate is on her way to Iowa, from New York, in a van after announcing her candidacy online Sunday afternoon." ...
... CW: She should have asked me. I would have suggested a used blue GM Silverado pick-up pulling a dented Airstream, with a couple of Hillary-for-America "Hospital This Way" signs slapped on the sides. And she definitely should do the driving. (For folks along the road actually looking for a hospital, Hillary's roadshow could be fatal, what with the sign on the left side of the vehicle facing north & the sign on the right facing left.) ...
(... BTW, the logo wasn't something some over-the-hill staffer knocked out at the last minute on MSPaint. Philip Rucker & Anne Gearan of the Washington Post, February 21, 2015: "In their mission to present voters with a winning picture of the likely candidate, no detail is too big or too small -- from her economic opportunity agenda to the design of the 'H' in her future campaign logo.")
Here's Amy Davidson's take on Hillary's rollout.
** Bill Curry, Salon, writing before the actual "launch": "For months Clinton has run a front-porch campaign -- if by porch you mean Boo Radley's. Getting her outdoors is hard enough; when she does get out it's often to give paid speeches to people who look just like her: educated, prosperous and privileged. Needing desperately to connect with the broader public, she opts for the virtual reality of a pre-taped video delivered via social media." Read the whole post.
Jonathan Chait: "Unless the economy goes into a recession over the next year and a half, Hillary Clinton is probably going to win the presidential election. The United States has polarized into stable voting blocs, and the Democratic bloc is a bit larger and growing at a faster rate."
Nate Silver: "The truth is that a general election win by Clinton -- she's very likely to become the Democratic nominee -- is roughly a 50/50 proposition. And we're not likely to learn a lot over the rest of 2015 to change that."
Jamelle Bouie sees Clinton as the Democrats' last hope. "The simple fact is that even if everything goes well for Democrats in 2016, even if they hold the presidency and pick up the Senate as well, their long-term prospects are dire. After eight years in the White House, the party has atrophied, and given the partisan and demographic trends that are driving American politics -- in particular, the demographic divergence in midterm and presidential elections -- it's not clear what Democrats can do to fix the problem. Here's where we are: Far more than its competitor, the Democratic Party is at a crossroads. At the moment, it's being held together by its president and his potential successor, Hillary Clinton. But this obscures intraparty conflict and the extent to which the party is in desperate need of rebuilding for the second and third decades of the 21st century."
Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast: The economic issues are monumental now. Hillary should throw caution to the wind & go big, something she is not accustomed to doing.
Elmo! Rebecca Traister of the New Republic: No, Hillary is not a dynastic heir.
Mark Hensch of the Hill: GOP candidates spent Sunday knocking Hillary Clinton.
Marco Rubio will announce something today. Margaret Hartmann of New York: "Hours after Hillary posted her elaborate campaign video, featuring a montage of almost every type of American who could conceivably vote Democrat, Rubio shared [a] ... grainy 9-second video shot on a windswept street behind the Freedom Tower does not scream 'professional campaign operation.' On the other hand, if the backdrop for tomorrow's speech is anything other than 'Miami traffic,' it will look great by comparison." Post includes grainy video with hurricane-like audio. CW: Sorry I couldn't get hold of the actual video, but this one is close enough: ...
(... Remember that Marco, who is not a scientist, man, is not qualified to be a local weatherman. ...)
... Tim Mak of the Daily Beast: Tea partiers "helped propel Marco Rubio into the Senate -- but many say they feel betrayed by him, and they won't support his presidential bid, expected to launch Monday." ...
... Here's one reason Marco doesn't know squat about foreign policy even though he's served on the Senate Foreign Relations & Intelligence Committees. Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: "In 2011, just months after joining the Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) missed three hearings called in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to a review of attendance records. Rubio has kept a busy political travel schedule since arriving in Washington -- and his activities off the Hill have made him the most-absent senator, according to a review of records by GovTrack, a nonpartisan group that catalogs government activity."
... AND in Other News
Jordan Fabian of the Hill: "The White House this week will make a messaging push on two key Democratic economic issues, income inequality and equal pay for women, as Hillary Clinton ramps up her presidential campaign. President Obama will travel to Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday to meet with working women and plug his budget proposal, which would increase taxes on the wealthy while upping tax credits for middle-class and low-income families...."
Seung Min Kim & Burgess Everett of Politico: "Senators return this week to a familiar fight over abortion and Loretta Lynch's long-stalled confirmation to be attorney general -- and the partisan gridlock shows no signs of easing. Both sides are confident they have the upper hand politically, and neither party wants to relent in a fight over abortion ahead of the 2016 election."
Matea Gold of the Washington Post: "A cadre of wealthy liberal donors aims to pour tens of millions of dollars into rebuilding the left's political might in the states, racing to catch up with a decades-old conservative effort that has reshaped statehouses across the country."
Beyond the Beltway
Melissa Chan of the New York Daily News: "It was a mistake. That's the blasé explanation Oklahoma officials gave after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white deputy who accidentally pulled his gun when he meant to use his Taser. The botched encounter was captured on a disturbing video released by police on Friday -- nine days after the fatal Tulsa shooting." ...
... See also this post by Judd Legum of Think Progress. ...
... "'Pay to Play' Cop. Kate Briquelet of the Daily Beast: "The volunteer cop in Tulsa, Okla., who killed an unarmed black man was forking over thousands in donations and equipment after becoming an unpaid sheriff's deputy. Robert Bates, a 73-year-old insurance executive-turned-deputy, accidentally fired his gun instead of a Taser -- costing Eric Harris, 44, his life and adding to the tally of deadly police shootings against minorities nationwide.... [Bates] also chaired Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz's reelection campaign in 2012."
New York Times: "Günter Grass, the German novelist, social critic and Nobel Prize winner whom many called his country's moral conscience but who stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II, died on Monday. He was 87."