Clinton on Climate

September 7, 2016

Make no mistake, modern presidential campaigns like Hillary Clinton’s, are data driven, and respond to public pressure and opinion.  They seek out hot button issues to get ahead of parades and movements.

They also are intensely aware of targeting key constituencies in electorally critical areas.
So it’s of more than a little interest that Hillary Clinton came out of the labor day weekend – traditional “beginning” of the home stretch Presidential campaign, in the crucial state of Florida, with a strong message on sea level rise and climate change.

Although Clinton has multiple electoral college pathways to victory in this year’s election, and theoretically could win without a victory in  Florida – for her Republican opponent, or any republican in any year, Florida is an absolutely critical must-win to take the Presidency.

The speech tells us that climate change is now an issue to put on the front burner in this key state.  The physics of this tidal shift in public opinion will continue to ratchet the pressure on climate-denying Republicans.

26 Responses to “Clinton on Climate”

  1. Glen Bennett Says:

    Democrats acknowledge the challenge of Climate change, but are owned lock,stock and barrel by the corporations. Addressing anthropogenic global warming is a long range project. CEOs only deal in the short term. Also, the oil companies will fight any effort, no matter how scientific or necessary, that threatens their profits. They behave like heroine addicts who steal to support their habit. Just like tobacco company executives. Deniers of global warming buy politicians of the Republican and Democrat parties to do their bidding.
    The only political party willing to seriously work towards a society free from the tyranny of fossil fuels, is The Green Party. Dr. Jill Stein has a plan, the Green New Deal to transition to renewable energy quickly.

    • Yes, yes. Reminds me of late 1999 when I was canvassing for Al Gore in St. Louis and some media people (you know their names) were saying over and over that there was no difference between Gore and Bush–both are in the pockets of corporate interests. Vote for Nader. Look what that got us–Iraq, tax cuts for the wealthy, Afghanistan, ignoring global warming, etc., etc. Voting for a minority party in American politics is a mistake. As much as I admire Dr. Stein, she should do what Sanders did: approach the democrats with an offer to throw her support to Clinton in exchange for a promise of Clinton’s explicit support for stronger climate and environmental policies. Of course, I know that is not going to happen, but that would be a rational course of action.
      It is actually very disheartening to read this comment and most of the others in response to this post, which seem oblivious to the reality of electoral politics in the U.S.

      • jimbills Says:

        The truth of U.S. politics is this: no one party stays in power forever. Gore lost MORE because Americans were tired of the Bill Clinton Presidency and because of Gore’s weaknesses than because a few voters in one state voted for Nader. If Americans were thrilled to Gore, they would have voted him in without any problems, just like they did with Obama, when Americans were sick of the Bush Presidency.

        If Clinton loses, it won’t be because Stein “stole” a few votes. It will be because Americans didn’t want Clinton – based on her own weaknesses and on a general weariness of Democrats in the Presidency. Trump is a historically bad candidate. There’s no other reason for the race to be close. Stein is getting 1% in Florida, and Johnson (who would get more votes from Republicans than Democrats) is polling at 5% there.

        But, say Hillary Clinton is elected. I’d still put higher odds on that than Trump. The reality is that Americans will grow tired of her and her policies in short order, and we WILL get some barbarian Republican elected in 4-8 years. Or, Trump gets elected now, likely makes a total botch of it, and Americans tire of him and his policies in 4-8 years.

        That’s the actual reality. We got Bill Clinton because of Reagan/Bush, we got Bush II because of Clinton, we got Obama because of Bush II, and on and on.

        The only job of the individual citizen is to vote for the candidate they feel most adequately represents them. It’s the job of the candidate to win those votes by supporting the positions important to voters.

        Clinton SHOULDN’T need ANY prompting about making climate change a top priority. She could cut any votes for Stein off at the knees if she actually made it and other important issues actually “front burner” issues. She doesn’t have the heart for it, though. She hearts other things more.

        • Do you remember the 2000 election? If people were fed up with Dems why did Gore win the popular vote by a large margin? He even won in Florida as was later determined, but there would have been no question of his win in Florida early on had Nader not taken a percentage of the votes and there would have been no SCOTUS stealing of the election. On your theory, we should all just give up. Each party gets eight years and that’s it. No use trying to persuade voters.

          What I was trying to say is that we should not think of U.S. presidential elections like a parliamentary system where minority parties can negotiate and form coalitions in selecting a prime minister. All negotiations in our selection of presidents must take place before the winner-take-all votes are cast.

          • jimbills Says:

            Stop being condescending – of course I remember the 2000 election. Gore lost the election because he couldn’t pick up his home state of Tennessee as well as several other states. He didn’t need Florida at all if he had made his case elsewhere. But, people were sick of Clinton, mostly, and Gore was far from inspiring. He also didn’t contest Florida like he should have.

            You found your scapegoat in Nader for 2000, and you’ve pre-selected your scapegoat, just in case, for 2016, Stein. Maybe look at what the Democrats do WRONG, instead.

            “On your theory, we should all just give up.”

            Fact is not theory. And no, we shouldn’t give up. We should each vote according to our own conscience, and give up the delusion that we have any more control over historical events than that.

          • Mike Male Says:

            Oh please. Come to Australia buddy and see the shambles we’ve got now. You make our system sound reasonable but what we’ve got is a situation where a handful of fringe-dwelling uber-conservative right wing nutjobs have a say over everything and all with a small percentage of the vote. These nutjobs will NEVER negotiate or compromise. In fact the only compromise they will ever make is to not wear tinfoil hats into the parliament and I mean that literally, not figuratively.

        • Also, I happen to agree with Greenman’s point below. The Republican’s are going to have to change their tune, as more and more extreme weather events occur and ocean levels increase. But I would like to see the Democrats pushed harder to embrace solutions.

        • ubrew12 Says:

          “We got Bill Clinton because of Reagan/Bush” No. We got Clinton because of Ross Perot (19% of the popular vote, no points for realizing where those voters came from). It’s a winner-take-all democracy. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Put a Nader in there, and in a close race he will cost the Democrat the election. And, he did.

          • jimbills Says:

            But, WHY was it a close race? I’m not saying Nader was a non-factor. I’m saying there are other MORE important factors than Nader himself, which boil down to national mood and a candidate’s strengths/weaknesses. There would have been no Nader running if Bill Clinton hadn’t have sold his soul to corporations and other moneyed interests. There wouldn’t have been the level of support for Bush if Bill Clinton could have kept his peter in his pants, and if Gore hadn’t been the complete snore he is as a politician.

            Look – the want here is to find a scapegoat. It’s convenient, especially if one is a partisan, and one doesn’t have to question why Gore lost other than to say, oh, it was Nader’s effin’ fault, and it wasn’t. Anyone is allowed to run for President if they want, and anyone is allowed to vote for whomever they want.

            Another consideration not factored is whether or not Nader (or Perot) pulled from people who were never going to vote for either of the main candidates in the first place. There are a lot of Jill Stein voters who wouldn’t vote, period, if she didn’t give an alternative choice. One can judge those people if one chooses, but it’s funny how the judgment always comes from someone who supports one of the main candidates in the first place.

  2. She talks the talk, but is incapable of walking the walk… she is bought and paid for by her corporate handlers…. just like Obama…. nothing will change with this election cycle.

    • The GOP/Trump platform on climate will “forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide”, “reject the agenda of the Paris Agreement”, “rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule”, “save the coal industry and other industries”, “ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline”, “lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas”, and “stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs”. The Dem/Clinton platform is at least not too spinelessly simple-minded to critique.

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    “Democrats are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the corporations”—–(followed by some observations by Doctor Obvious)—-and finishing with “Deniers of global warming buy politicians of the Republican and Democrat parties to do their bidding”?. Lord love a duck!

    Thank you Doctor Obvious (or are you Doctor Hyperbole?). You grossly exaggerate the degree to which the Democrats are “owned”. What you said DOES apply to the Repugnants, however, who seem to have forgotten working for the benefit of any Americans but the 1%. Your biased diatribe is both a waste of time and quite dangerous for the future of the country.

    The ONLY party in a position right now to SERIOUSLY work towards (and actually BRING ABOUT) a society “free from fossil fuels” is the Democratic Party. Has the Green Party ever managed to elect even ONE member of Congress? The answer is NO—-they have never even come close—-here’s a link showing the results in 2014, when the Green party contested 71 0f the 535 seats:

    Anyone who votes for Jill Stein because Hillary and the Democrats aren’t “perfect” is in effect voting for Trump and the disaster he will bring upon both the country at large and efforts to combat AGW. DO NOT forget what Nader did in 2000—-we CANNOT afford to take the chance of that happening again.

    The Green Party HAS won some few seats at the state and local government level—-they should continue to work at that level and NOT clutter up national elections—the stakes are too high..

  4. dumboldguy Says:

    Tried to post a comment in response to Doctor Hyperbole (aka Glen Bennett) and it disappeared into WordPress land—perhaps it will show up days from now. In the meantime, Louise has appeared like a good Republican to spout some mindless and biased BS.

    The Dems and Hillary may not be perfect—-no politicians are any more— but they are our only hope at the present time if we want to keep the country moving in any sort of positive direction, and particularly on AGW. Any vote for Jill Stein is in effect a vote for Trump—-remember 2000 and Nader—–we can not take the chance of that happening again because we want to “send a message” .

    The Green party contested 71 of 535 seats in 2012 and didn’t come close to winning one. They HAVE won some seats at the local and state level—-that’s where they need to stay—-they need to keep building the party from the ground up, and not try to jump to the head of the line at the national level.

    Grow up kiddies—-you don’t bring in a pitcher from the local Little League team when you’re in the World Series.

  5. dumboldguy Says:

    Tried two comments now—-neither “took” (??????) Testing——-

  6. jimbills Says:

    Sigh. We all know Clinton would be better than Trump on the environment. The problem I have is when anyone cherry picks data to support a worldview they prefer. It’s dishonest personally, and it leads to faulty judgements.

    Here the full Clinton speech in Tampa:

    She spends way, way more time talking terrorism and defense. She finally gets to climate change (41:50) towards the end, after speaking lengthily about the military and host of other issues. It’s not on the “front burner” at all.

  7. greenman3610 Says:

    “Climate change is treated MORE seriously in Florida, as compared to the States as a whole, though:”

    My point.
    Presidency is unwinnable for GOP without Florida. They can whip up the rednecks all they want, but that doesn’t change it. Do the math.
    They either change or never take the presidency again.

    • jimbills Says:

      I’d like to agree, but can’t. The urge here is to feel better about this Presidential race, and about climate change in general, assuming that Florida is a must win for Trump (not true), that he can’t win Florida without switching his position on climate change (not true), and that Clinton is on the forefront of the issue of climate change (also, not true). (I won’t talk about the completely historically unprecedented matter of the GOP never winning the Presidency again because of one issue.)

      I am doing the math. The polls show that American care far more about the economy and stoopid sheet like ISIS than they care about climate change. They care slightly more about climate change in Florida, but they still care far more about the economy and ISIS even there, and that will largely determine their vote. Clinton will pick up a few votes because of the climate change issue, but then she’ll lose some because of her email strategies, and it will all get mixed hodge-podge into the election data.

      Climate change is the whole ball game to us, of course, but we lose perspective because of that. We think everyone thinks that way, or should, and they just don’t.

      I figure Clinton is balancing what she talks about in each place roughly according to their importance for that area. Clinton gave climate change a nod at the end of a speech in a coastal city in Florida to a crowd that was always going to vote for her in the first place. She isn’t getting ahead of the issue by any stretch. She’s firmly in the middle of the pack, calculating her moves by careful polling, and the pack itself is way behind on the science and the urgency of the issue.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        well then, vote for Trump. fuck it.

        • jimbills Says:

          I personally won’t. We’ll see what America does.

          • jpcowdrey Says:

            “The urge here is to feel better about this Presidential race…” Not true. The urge is to defeat Donald Trump, in Florida or wherever the polling is close. Trump is so awful, there is nothing that can make me feel good about this election. Even if he were trailing by thirty points, I’d still be horrified by the fact he is the nominee of one of the two parties in a two party system, and I’ve been disquieted about the direction of Republican politics for a long time.

            What horrifies me more is the general perception that everything important is determined by the top of the ticket. Down ballot races are absolutely determinative of any future legislation enabling consequent executive action.

          • jimbills Says:

            The top of the ticket tends to influence Congress in the following ways: a landslide winner will get coat tail winners from the same party, then an incumbent President will more often lose seats within 2-4 years. Clinton will not win by a landslide unless the debates are a complete wipeout in her favor. She’ll gain a few seats in House, but the probability is still low that she’ll win the House back. It’s about 60/40 that the Democrats will win back the Senate. Trump is definitely not helping, but it’s unlikely a Clinton win will also result in a fully Democratic Congress. Historical patterns have the incumbent then losing seats in Congress by years 2-4. We like to think things will be different each time, and are constantly surprised when they aren’t.

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