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AP Sources: Clinton VP Search Focus Is Kaine, Vilsack, Perez – The New York Times

20 Jul

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential search is centering on three main contenders, with an announcement expected as soon as Friday as the Democrat prepares for her party’s national convention next week in Philadelphia.

Democrats familiar with the search say Clinton’s campaign has focused in recent days on Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a former governor, mayor and one-time Catholic missionary fluent in Spanish; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, an ex-Iowa governor and longtime Clinton ally; and Labor Secretary Tom Perez, a progressive champion who would be the first Hispanic on a major-party ticket.

The Democrats cautioned that Clinton had not yet reached a final decision and was weighing a number of factors, including the person’s readiness to be president, personal compatibility and ability to help her administration govern.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of liberals, remains in the mix and offers the campaign a fundraising juggernaut and the tantalizing prospect of an all-female ticket. But Warren is not expected to be the final choice, said the Democrats familiar with the process. They spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private discussions about the search process.

Clinton’s choice will be the culmination of a closely held search for a running mate, run by a small group of longtime advisers and confidantes.

Preparing for a showdown with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Clinton has sought to project an inclusive campaign aimed at “breaking down barriers and building bridges” to mobilize the diverse coalition of voters who twice elected President Barack Obama.

Clinton is expected to announce her decision during a two-day campaign swing in Florida later this week. The vice presidential rollout could come at either a Friday rally at the state fairgrounds in Tampa or at a Saturday rally at Florida International University in Miami, where two-thirds of the student body is Hispanic.

Following next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the newly minted ticket is expected to embark on a campaign bus tour, reminiscent of the “First 1,000 Miles” convoy that took Bill Clinton, Al Gore and their spouses across eight states after the party’s 1992 convention.

Democrats familiar with the process said Trump’s choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a conservative former congressman, for the GOP ticket was not viewed as requiring her to choose a specific running mate in response. Campaign officials declined to comment.

Kaine has been considered a leading contender for weeks based on his broad experience in Virginia, a presidential battleground state, as governor, senator and mayor of Richmond. He also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as a lawyer working on fair housing and civil rights issues.

Vilsack, the longest-serving member of Obama’s Cabinet, has known Clinton for many years — his late brother-in-law worked with her in the early 1970s — and she was among his most prominent surrogates in his come-from-behind gubernatorial victory in 1998.

Perez, meanwhile, is highly regarded by the White House for his policy chops and could potentially galvanize Latinos who have been turned off by Trump’s harsh rhetoric about Hispanics. The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Perez played a behind-the-scenes role as a federal prosecutor, a top aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

Both Vilsack and Kaine have been through the process before. Vilsack was among the final group considered by John Kerry in 2004 and Kaine was vetted by Obama’s team four years later. If either Vilsack or Perez were selected, they would be required to resign from Obama’s Cabinet.

Clinton’s decision will be steeped in her personal experience. She was involved in her husband’s selection of Gore in 1992 and has the unique vantage point of having seen up close the various roles played by the vice president.

In an interview this week with Charlie Rose of CBS News, Clinton said her main criterion was “would this person be a good president? You know, I am afflicted with the responsibility gene and I know what it’s like being president.”

Quizzed on potential running mates, Clinton noted that Kaine had “never lost an election” and was a “world-class mayor, governor and senator.” She said Warren had “put the agenda of inequality front and center.”

Clinton also praised retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former NATO supreme allied commander, calling him “exceptional.”

Other possible choices include Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Clinton met with Castro, Hickenlooper and Warren at her Washington home on Friday.

Source: AP Sources: Clinton VP Search Focus Is Kaine, Vilsack, Perez – The New York Times


Education Matters: I can’t stand it when the entitled son of a billionaire complains about teachers

20 Jul

I sincerely and seriously doubt Donald Trump Jr has ever stepped foot in a public school and the depth of his knowledge comes from his hedge fund manager friends looking to profit off of them. The thing I wonder is why he chose to attack public school teachers and public schools, the institution that has arguably led to America’s greatness.

During his speech he could have tackled a whole host of red meat to the base subjects but instead he went after school teachers. He blamed them for many of the nation’s problems. You know all those middle class workers with their ten year old cars, crippling student loans and practically no say in the education process, they are the ones and selfishly at that letting America down.

He and sadly he is not alone does not understand that teachers and public schools are often put in no-win situations where success is elusive. Trump blaming them does not address the problems. Neither does funneling children into profit centers charter schools and unregulated and mostly religious voucher schools, Trumps solution is nothing but a recipe for disaster.

Are there issues in education? Yes, but the truth is most of them, high stakes testing, a lack of resources, unproven curriculums and blame the teacher policies are all to often initiated by those who would dismantle public schools. It’s not public schools that are letting America down, it is America that is letting its public schools and its children down.

Donald Trump Jr on day two of the republican national convention went after school teachers, he made them the enemy and I hope they all remember that come the election.

Source: Education Matters: I can’t stand it when the entitled son of a billionaire complains about teachers

Teachers union endorses Hillary Clinton in Democratic race – The Washington Post

11 Jul

The American Federation of Teachers endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination on Saturday, the first national union to back a candidate for the 2016 primary.

The endorsement was not a surprise to close observers – the AFT had supported Clinton in 2008 instead of Barack Obama – but the early timing may be designed to give Clinton a boost against her surging rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“In vision, in experience and in leadership, Hillary Clinton is the champion of working families need in the White House,” AFT president and longtime Clinton ally Randi Weingarten said.

In a statement released by the union, Clinton said she was “honored” by the nod. “I know from my own family that teachers have the power to change lives, ” she said. “We need to make sure every child has access for a quality public education and to the teachers with the tools to help them succeed.”

Weingarten and Clinton have been friends since their days in New York, when Weingarten led the city’s teachers union and Clinton ran successfully for the U.S. Senate. Weingarten sits on the board of the pro-Clinton PAC Priorities USA.

The 1.6 million-member AFT, along with its sister union, the 3 million-member National Education Association, have been under siege from both elements within the Democratic and Republican parties.

The unions have been fighting the expansion of public charter schools, which are largely not unionized, as well as teacher evaluations based on test scores and challenges to tenure and other workplace protections.

The unions have both been critical of many of the education policies of the Obama administration, saying they have led to a “blame the teacher” culture. They argue that evaluating teachers based on student test scores does not recognize the complexities of teaching students who often come from impoverished homes or struggle with disabilities and language barriers that affect their achievement.

[Even as Congress moves to strip his power, Education Secretary Arne Duncan holds his ground]

Clinton, Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley all met with both the AFT and NEA leadership last month in an effort to win their backing.

via Teachers union endorses Hillary Clinton in Democratic race – The Washington Post.

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