TIME Hillary Clinton

What Hillary Clinton Learned From This 2013 Campaign

Hillary Clinton Addresses Virginia Democratic Party's Annual Jefferson-Jackson Party Dinner
Alex Wong—Getty Images Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful and former U.S. Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton comes on the stage with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe during the Democratic Party of Virginia Jefferson-Jackson dinner June 26, 2015 at George Mason University's Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia.

Her campaign manager, a number of staffers and her strategy all come from the successful Virginia gubernatorial race

When Terry McAuliffe stormed the stage at a Virginia Democrats’ rally at George Mason University on Friday, Hillary Clinton followed on with an arm around her decades-long friend and political partner.

“I’ll tell you an honest story. When we’re on vacation, come about 6 o’clock at night, I’m ready for a cold beer,” McAuliffe told the crowd of 1,800 supporters, heaping unscripted love on Clinton as she stood smiling by his side. “I don’t go looking for Bill Clinton. I go looking for Hillary Clinton. Because she’s a lot more fun than Bill Clinton is, and I love him too!”

“Woah!” said Clinton, taking the microphone and matching McAuliffe, gush for gush. “I love your governor and I love your first lady.”

Clinton and McAuliffe shared more than just a stage and some kind words on Friday: they are now splitting the spoils of his successful 2013 race for governor of Virginia. Now in its third month, Clinton’s campaign for president has adopted key strategic lessons from McAuliffe’s gubernatorial race, including the finer details of a data-driven field organization focused on turning out the Democratic base and unmarried women, leaning into progressive Democratic positions and hiring many of the same staff members that helped McAuliffe win the governor’s mansion. And Democrats say that McAuliffe’s 2013 victory sets the stage for the state to go blue in the 2016 general election, when Hillary Clinton is the likely candidate.

Bill and Hillary Clinton took a keen interest in the 2013 race—and campaign manager Robby Mook—beyond their role as longtime friends of McAuliffe, her 2008 presidential campaign chairman and his 1996 presidential co-chair. McAuliffe’s staffers recall their candidate receiving excited late-night calls from Bill with stump speech pointers and campaign advice. And shortly after McAuliffe was sworn in on Jan. 11, 2014, the Clintons met with Mook at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond to discuss the race, seen by people familiar with the meeting as an early audition for his role as Hillary’s campaign manager.

Former McAuliffe aides are quick to say that their energy in 2013 was focused on getting their man to the governor’s house. But since then, the victorious McAuliffe campaign has become a ex post facto lab experiment for Clinton’s current bid for the White House.

A purple state that is trending blue, Virginia bears similarities to the general American electorate: its nonwhite population is growing and its voters are increasingly adopting liberal stances social issues. The swing state offered an ideal test run for the Clinton operation, combining vast rural tracts with midsized cities and expansive suburbs.

More alike than the voters, though, is the ethos, spirit and strategy of the campaigns themselves, much of it coming from Mook, the general on McAuliffe’s campaign who is now leading Clinton’s army.

“I can’t think of a state campaign where the esprit was as good as it was in Terry’s campaign. It was not just a minimal amount of backbiting: there was no backbiting,” said Geoff Garin, the pollster for McAuliffe’s campaign who is now working on the pro-Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA Action. “And part of Robby’s strength as a leader is he does get people engaged and pulling in the same direction.”

Central to McAuliffe’s campaign was his embrace of staunch Democratic positions on gay rights, abortion, gun control and healthcare a hard play for the Democratic base in Virginia that capitalized on the left-shifting electorate in his 2013 race for governor. Clinton has likewise embraced gay marriage, making it a central platform of her campaign messaging this year, just as public support has reached an all-time high. And she has fervently called for action on gun control at a time when a majority of Americans are in favor of universal background checks. Both have also embraced the Affordable Care Act, the controversial law that is growing in acceptance among the general populace but remains anathema to Republicans.

Those progressive positions succeeded in energizing the Democratic base without alienating Virginia moderates, also a central organizing tack of Clinton’s campaign.

To turn out Democrats, McAuliffe adopted and expanded the Obama grassroots vision, bringing on a huge staff of field organizers and signed up volunteers to knock on doors and work the phones from the very beginning of his campaign. Clinton hired about 100 field staff across all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for a two-month intensive effort after her announcement, and at least half the staff remains on the payroll.

Both the 2013 and the current presidential campaigns will rely on an army of volunteers, a flurry of commit-to-vote cards, targeted door-to-door canvassing and plenty of money to fund the efforts.

“The hallmarks of what Robby did in Virginia, and what he’s building now, is that the organizing occurred on the ground very early in the campaign,” Garin said.

Beyond Mook, a bevy of key McAuliffe alumni have migrated to the Clinton camp. Brynne Craig, Clinton’s deputy political director, was the political director on McAuliffe’s campaign. Josh Schwerin, a spokesman on Clinton’s campaign, was the press secretary in the 2013 gubernatorial race. And some of the key players organizing Hillary’s large ground operations in Iowa are former McAuliffe staffers as well, including Clinton caucus director Michael Halle and organizing director Michelle Kleppe. In fact, when Clinton announced on April 12, about a dozen McAuliffe veterans were already on the ground in Iowa, having arrived quietly days before to help lay the groundwork for her campaign in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

Despite the talk of focusing on the race at hand, it was clear that whatever happened during the gubernatorial campaign would matter in 2016.

“Everybody knew Robby was in the running for that job” of running the top 2016 Democratic operation, said someone close to the McAuliffe campaign. “But there was a real sense of cream rising to the top broadly: nobody could do well if this campaign didn’t go well.”

Clinton and McAuliffe have had long and closely entwined careers. McAuliffe put up $1.35 million as collateral on Clinton’s mortgage to buy their home in Chappaqua, N.Y. The Clintons, in turn, have provided McAuliffe a large network for his business and political enterprises.

And together, they are magnets for controversy. On the campaign trail in Virginia in 2013, McAuliffe’s strategy was to sidestep the accusations of shady business deals, including a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of an electric car company he founded. Clinton, similarly, has herself largely tried to skirt questions about the Clinton Foundation and her private email server during her time as Secretary of State. Both are reflection of Mook’s long-held strategy “to keep the principals in their box and away from making mistakes, giving the rest of the campaign room to do its job,” says a McAuliffe confidant.

“People who have a lot of history—that needs to be managed when you’re messaging to voters,” said another former McAuliffe campaign staffer. “The campaign in Virginia relied on us not taking the bait on fights on anything in his public record. And you may see that with Clinton campaign.”

McAuliffe, for his part, acknowledged as much in an interview with TIME earlier this year, crediting Mook for keeping his campaign’s eye on the prize.

“In Clinton world there are a lot of friends, a lot of people who want to help, and what he is able to do is direct all of their energy in a positive way. He can make sure campaign staff can do their jobs without losing focus,” McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe’s victory was due in no small part to unmarried women voters, whom he won by a huge margin of 67% to just 25% for Cuccinelli. McAuliffe blasted ads during the campaign framing Cuccinelli as a right-wing zealot on contraception and abortion issues. That demographic is crucial for Clinton, who tops unmarried woman over a generic Republican candidate with 66% of the vote to 29%, according to a recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll.

For all the similarities, there are fundamental differences in the two campaigns. McAuliffe outraised his opponent for the governor’s office by about $15 million—a large margin for a gubernatorial race that Clinton is unlikely to replicate in 2016.

“It’s easy to be the smartest guy in the room when you are able to spend at least $15 million more than your opponent in a statewide race,” said a former advisor to McAuliffe opponent Ken Cuccinelli. “One of the other major differences between 2013 and 2016 is that the huge funding disparity between the two candidates won’t be present again.”

TIME Supreme Court

Why Conservatives Are Nervous About Church Tax Breaks

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Gay Marriage
Mark Wilson—Getty Images People celebrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the ruling in favor of same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court’s ruling last week guaranteeing same-sex marriage in all 50 states was a cause for celebration for many across the country.

But many social conservatives saw the ruling as a threat to religious institutions like churches and schools, whose tax-exempt status as non-profits they believe could be at risk.

Why are conservative groups nervous? In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled that a fundamentalist Christian university in South Carolina that barred interracial marriage and dating, Bob Jones University, could not hold onto its tax-exempt status.

That case came up in an exchange during the same-sex marriage arguments between Justice Samuel Alito and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. in April.

Justice Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-­exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same­-sex marriage?

General Verrilli: You know, ­­I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is –it is going to be an issue.

Many conservatives argue that churches and other religious institutions that hold marriage is between a man and a woman could be subject to scrutiny. They could have their tax-exempt status revoked by the same standard as Bob Jones—for violating a “fundamental national public policy.”

Who’s nervous about it? Some members of Congress, churches, and religious schools. Earlier this month, officials from more than 70 schools sent a letter to congressional leaders warning that a Supreme Court ruling would endanger tax-exempt status for all schools “adhering to traditional religious and moral values.” Among the signatories were Catholic high schools and colleges, evangelical universities and associations of Christian schools.

In anticipation of the ruling, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah introduced a bill that would “clarify and strengthen religious liberty protections.” He told leaders of conservative Christian groups recently that “if the government recognizes a right to same-sex marriage, you could at some point have a move by the government, a move perhaps by the IRS, to remove the tax exempt status of any religiously affiliated educational institution.”

The Home School Legal Defense Association’s chairman and chancellor of the conservative Patrick Henry College, Michael Farris wrote in an op-ed published Friday that the IRS implications won’t stop with colleges: “religious high schools, grade schools and any other religious institution will face the same outcome. And this includes churches,” he wrote.

Are the fears exaggerated? In his majority opinion for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy assured people of faith that they would still be allowed “to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”

Legally, it’s unclear that the Bob Jones decision from 1983 could be applied broadly beyond race. At the time of the case, discrimination based on race was enshrined in federal law and constitutional interpretation. Today, discrimination based on sexual orientation has not been banned by federal law.

Gender discrimination, on the other hand, is prohibited by federal law. Even so, gender-based religious discrimination is often permitted: the government doesn’t force Catholic Churches to ordain women as priests, for example.

TIME

John Oliver: Here’s How to Make Use of Your Spare ‘Leap Second’ Tomorrow

The comedian weighs in on the addition of one second to the world's calendar

Everyone’s day will be a second longer on Tuesday, thanks to the “leap second” added to our clocks to compensate for the gradual slowing in the Earth’s rotation.

With 86,401 seconds in your day instead of 86,400 seconds, what are you going to do with all that extra time?

John Oliver shared some ideas on Sunday on Last Week Tonight.

 

TIME

Why Tomorrow is Going to Be One Second Longer than Today

GERMANY-TRANSPORT-RAIL-STRIKE-CORRECTION
Patrik Stollarz—AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, June 30, the Earth will get a bonus second as a way to compensate for the gradual slowing down of the Earth's rotation

For all those who wish there were more time in the day, your prayers have been answered.

On Tuesday, June 30, the Earth will get a bonus second as a way to compensate for the gradual slowing down of the Earth’s rotation: at 8 p.m., Eastern time, the entire planet will relax for one extra second longer. Instead of the customary, 86,400-second Earth rotation, Tuesday will make the day 86,401 seconds long.

The last time we had a ‘leap second,” TIME explained why:

Leap seconds were introduced to keep our notion of time in line with an ongoing slowdown in Earth’s rotation, caused by volcanoes, earthquakes and other natural phenomena. While that slowing rotation is extraordinarily gradual, over long periods it adds up to notable chunks of time, potentially throwing our concept of time off from Earth’s day-and-night cycle — or even seasonal schedules.

The “leap second” attempts to rectify this by inserting an extra second into a day to give the Earth time to “catch up” to where it’s supposed to be based on the traditional solar cycle. The leap second was established as an international standard in 1972, and there have been 25 such seconds added since that year.

 

TIME Courts

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Affirmative Action in Colleges

Abigail Fisher
Charles Dharapak — AP Abigail Fisher, who sued the University of Texas when she was not offered a spot at the university's flagship Austin campus in 2008.

Abigail Fisher, who is white, was denied admission at the University of Texas

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to a second hearing of a major affirmative action case next term about a public university that uses race as a factor in its admissions process.

Brought by Texas woman Abigail Fisher, the challenge targets the admissions policies at the University of Texas at Austin. High school seniors in Texas who graduate in the top 10% of their class are automatically admitted to any Texas state university, but race is considered as one factor among applicants not in the top 10% as part of a drive to increase racial diversity on campus.

Fisher, who is white and was not in the top 10% of students, applied to the University of Texas and was denied admission. The Court should “strike down UT’s unjustified use of race,” Fisher’s lawyers said in Court briefs.

The Supreme Court heard the same case in 2012, but remanded it back to the lower court with the university’s admissions policies unchanged.

Justice Elena Kagan, who dealt with the case in her former job as Solicitor General, took no part in considering the petition. That raises the possibility of the justices splitting evenly, resulting in no precedence over whether race can be considered by colleges in admissions.

TIME

How McDonald’s Is Classing Up Its Menu in New England

McDonald's Reports Poor Quarterly Earnings
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Signs are posted on the exterior of a McDonald's restaurant on April 22, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

McLobster, anyone?

McDonald’s in New England has adopted a touch of class.

Participating restaurants in New England have been selling a lobster roll as of June 27 made of 100 percent North Atlantic lobster and mayonnaise, layered with lettuce and stuffed into a home-style toasted role, reports Fox Connecticut.

The Lobster Roll is selling for $7.99 and has 290 calories, and is the first time in a decade New England-area McDonald’s restaurants have offered the seafood special.

“The return of the Lobster Roll is exciting because we have requests for it every summer. It’s a delicious sandwich and we are thrilled to offer this regional favorite at a great value,” says Nicole Garvey, a McDonald’s Boston region spokesperson.

[Fox]

TIME movies

Top Gun Sequel Will Feature Tom Cruise Versus Drones

Top Gun
Paramount Pictures Tom Cruise in 'Top Gun,' 1986.

The movie will explore "the end of an era of dogfighting," says producer David Ellison

Top Gun‘s Maverick will return — and this time, he’s going to be fighting drones.

The sequel to the 1980s hit will examine the clash between manned and unmanned aircraft, the film’s producer told the Guardian, in an age when remotely operated flight increasingly becomes the mainstay of the U.S. Air Force.

“When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out,” Ellison said. “So really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots, and what that culture is today, are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.”

David Ellison of production company Skydance confirmed that Tom Cruise will be featured in his role as star fighter pilot Maverick. Cruise said last year he was interested in the role.

It’s almost enough to take your breath away.

[Guardian]

TIME States

Texas Attorney General Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Gerald Gafford Jeff Sralla
Eric Gay—AP Gerald Gafford, right, comforts his partner of 28 years, Jeff Sralla, left, as they stand before Judge Amy Clark Meachum to receive a time waiver before marrying at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas on June 26, 2015.

Gives county clerks right to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

In defiance of the Supreme Court decision on Friday guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to wed nationwide, Texas’ attorney general said Sunday that county clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if they object on religious grounds.

“Friday, the United States Supreme Court again ignored the text and spirit of the Constitution to manufacture a right that simply does not exist,” Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a formal opinion. “Texas must speak with one voice against this lawlessness.”

Paxton said that religious freedom clauses in state and federal constitutions and statues would protect clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses. He pointed to the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges case decided on Friday that recognizes there may be some religious liberty protections.

Clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples could be sued, Paxton said, but “numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs,” often without charge.

The Austin American-Statesman first reported Paxton’s opinion.

TIME Infectious Disease

California Lawmakers to Vote on Tougher Vaccine Measures

The bill would end exemptions from vaccinations for personal beliefs

California lawmakers are expected to vote Monday on a measure that would require most children in public schools to get vaccinations.

The bill, which is headed for a final vote in the California state Senate, would end exemptions from vaccinations for personal belief, and would excuse only children with serious health issues from vaccines, reports the Associated Press. Other unvaccinated children would need to be homeschooled.

An outbreak of measles at Disneyland in December infected over 100 people in the U.S. and Mexico, largely due to pockets of unvaccinated Californians.

Gov. Jerry Brown has not said whether he would sign the bill. If it becomes law, California, Mississippi and West Virginia would be the only states with such strict vaccination requirements.

[AP]

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Praises Gay Marriage Decision and Hounds GOP

"Equality triumphed, and America triumphed"

Hillary Clinton praised the Supreme Court decision to guarantee same-sex marriages on Friday night and forcefully condemned the Republicans’ response to the ruling, warning the GOP presidential field not to turn LGBT issues into a “political football for this 2016 campaign.”

“It was an emotional roller coaster of a day, Clinton said. “This morning, love triumphed in the highest court in our land. Equality triumphed, and America triumphed.”

“Instead of trying to turn back the clock,” Clinton continued, Republicans “should be joining us in saying no to discrimination once and for all.”

Clinton’s comments on Friday evening were her first public remarks in the wake of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry. Her campaign issued a statement Friday in support of the decision and touted it on social media.

Nearly all the Republican presidential hopefuls have criticized the Supreme Court’s decision, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker calling it a “grave mistake” and Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee naming the Supreme Court “an imperial court.” The Republicans have said the issue should be decided by the states, and several called for a constitutional amendment.

Among the general electorate, the issue of gay marriage favors the Democrats: nearly 60% of Americans support same-sex marriage, a count that has grown rapidly in recent years. It is likely to be a boon for Democrats in a general election.

Clinton called Friday’s Supreme Court decision a ruling that reinforced American values. “Today was not about discovering new rights—it was about getting closer to the ideals that have defined our nation from the very beginning,” she said.

Much of the former secretary of state’s address was a preview of what her stump speech in a general election might sound like. Clinton ticked off a list of issues that she said made the Republicans sounds like the “party of the past,” including gun control, immigration reform, same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act.

She praised the Supreme Court for upholding the Obamacare subsidies in states with federal-run exchanges, and called on all states to accept funding for Medicaid expansion.

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, bringing an end to a patchwork of marriage laws across the U.S. and decades of activism pushing for marriage equality.

Friday was Clinton’s first stop of her presidential election campaign in Virginia, a purple state that Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012. It will be a key state for Clinton in the 2016 election if she wins the Democratic nomination, one that she will likely need to defeat a Republican opponent.

Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuliffe is a close ally of the Clintons and will be a key player for her in the state. McAuliffe introduced Clinton with an effusive speech, calling her a “tenacious fighter.”

“You know why else I love this woman? She’s been beaten up, she’s been knocked down, but every time she does she gets right back up,” said McAuliffe, echoing an oft-repeated theme of Clinton’s campaign stump speech.

McAuliffe, who vacations with the Clintons, told the crowd when he’s traveling with them and wants a pre-dinner cocktail, “I don’t go looking for Bill Clinton: I go looking for Hillary Clinton, because she’s a lot more fun than him.”

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