TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Confronts Her Squirrel Stalker

The GOP has been sending someone dressed in a squirrel costume to the likely presidential contender's book tour events

While out on the campaign tra-….er, book tour Tuesday, Hillary Clinton took a moment to say hello to her most devoted groupie: a Republican squirrel.

The Republican National Committee has been sending an RNC staffer (or staffers rotating shifts) to follow Clinton around on her book tour wearing a squirrel costume and a shirt that says, “Another Clinton in the White House is Nuts.” The “HRC Squirrel” even has its own Twitter account.

On Tuesday, Clinton hopped out of her transport for a moment to deliver a copy of her book, Hard Choices, to the squirrel, which had been on her heels since last Friday.

TIME Foreign Policy

Hillary: Al-Maliki Must Go

"The Iraqi people need to think seriously about the kind of leader they need to try to unite Iraqis against what is a terrible, imminent threat," Clinton said

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step aside from his country as it gallops furiously toward civil war.

In recent days, Sunni extremist fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria moved within 50 miles of Baghdad, an alarming escalation that, the former Secretary of State told Fox News on Tuesday, the Iraqi politician had only exacerbated. Clinton said al-Maliki showed weak leadership by exhibiting a preference for Iraqi Shi‘ites and purging senior military leaders of the rival religious sect group.

Clinton added that she is “not in favor of any formal relationships or agreements with Iran at this time.”

In a separate appearance at a CNN town hall Tuesday, Clinton aimed more harsh words at al-Maliki, saying that in retrospect the Prime Minister should not have rejected an extended “status-of-forces agreement” with the U.S., which would have kept American troops in the country beyond 2011.

“I think it’s imperative that the government of Iraq, currently led by Maliki, be much more inclusive, much more willing to share power, involve all the different segments of Iraq,” she said on CNN. “And I believe strongly that, if Maliki is not the kind of leader who can do that, then the Iraqi people need to think seriously about the kind of leader they need to try to unite Iraqis against what is a terrible, imminent threat from these most extreme terrorists.”

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Says Opponents Of Gun Control Laws ‘Terrorize’ Americans

Jeh Johnson And Hillary Clinton Attend Naturalization Ceremony In DC
From left, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and designer Ralph Lauren say the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the National Museum of American History June 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee—Getty Images

Possible 2016 candidate wades into politically charged issue

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lashed out at opponents of gun control regulations Tuesday, saying they hold a viewpoint that “terrorizes” the majority of Americans.

“We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people, hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” Clinton said during a live CNN town hall. The comments were Clinton’s deepest foray into an exceedingly controversial political subject since leaving the State Department last year.

“I was disappointed that the Congress did not pass universal background checks after the horrors of the shootings at Sandy Hook,” she said in response to a question from a school teacher in the audience. “I don’t think any parent, or any person should have to fear about their child going to school or going to college because someone for whatever reason, psychological, emotional, political, ideological, whatever, could possibly enter that school property with an automatic weapon and murder innocent children, students, teachers.”

“I will speak out [on this subject] no matter what role I find myself in,” Clinton pledged, referring to her consideration of a presidential bid in 2016.

The outspoken position on gun control legislation is a clear appeal to the overwhelming majority of Americans who support expanding background check requirements before gun purchases, but it’s sure to inflame gun rights activists and the National Rifle Association, which blocked legislation in the Senate last year. It could also backfire by alienating moderate gun owners.

Responding to Sunday’s apprehension of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, allegedly a “key figure” in the 2012 attacks on an American consulate in Benghazi, Clinton said she hoped questioning would reveal more about what happened on the ground on the night of the attack. “There are answers, not all of them, not enough,” she said. “Frankly I’m still looking for answers because it was a confusing and difficult time.”

Clinton also waded into the ongoing policy crisis along the southern border, where thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America have crossed into the United States illegally, fleeing violence and economic hardship. Clinton expressed sympathy for the plight of the children, who she said should be sent back to their countries of origin as soon as practicable. “We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” she said, echoing the Obama Administration’s position on the subject.

Responding to another audience question, Clinton said she supported the availability of medical marijuana, but wanted to adopt a wait-and-see approach before endorsing recreational uses of the drug. Clinton ruled out sampling marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, where it is legal for recreational use. “I didn’t do it when I was young—I’m not going to start now,” she said with a laugh.

See more of Clinton’s comments below.

On Gun Control:


On the Abu Khatallah Arrest:

On Immigration Reform:

On Marijuana:

TIME 2016 Election

Clinton Wants the U.S. to ‘Have a Woman Leader Soon’

Hillary Clinton Discusses New Book
Hillary Clinton discusses her new book, 'Hard Choices: A Memoir,' in Washington, DC. on June 13. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Says the U.S. is behind Germany

Hillary Clinton says in a new interview that she “will do all [she] can” to see that the U.S. gets a female president—even if it’s not her.

“We are way behind you in Germany on this,” Clinton, referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told the German magazine Stern in an interview to be published Wednesday. “Of course I want the U.S.A. to have a woman leader soon as well and I will do all I can for that to happen, though I don’t know yet if it will be me.”

The former Secretary of State has said she won’t make a decision about whether to run for president again until later this year.

TIME 2016 Election

Clinton Does Better Than Obama on Every Issue, Poll Says

A good sign for the potential 2016 candidate

+ READ ARTICLE

Americans give former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton higher marks than President Barack Obama on every major issue, according to a new poll.

The CNN survey released Monday found that 63% of Americans think Clinton would do a good job handling the economy if elected President in 2016—25% points higher than Obama, who bested her in 2008. Similarly, 63% of Americans think she’d handle foreign policy well, compared to 40% who think Obama is doing a good job on foreign policy, according to the poll. Clinton also outpolled Obama gun policy, immigration, and helping the middle class.

“It suggests that the President’s low marks on most issues might not drag Clinton down if she runs for the White House again,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll of 1,003 Americans, conducted May 29-June 1, has a margin of error of three percentage points.

TIME 2016 presidential election

Romney: How Republicans Will Take Back the White House

Romney criticized Clinton's response to Bergdahl's release and expressed confidence that a Republican will take back the White House in 2016

+ READ ARTICLE

After hosting a high-profile summit over the weekend that included many Republican presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to discuss politics within the G.O.P. and the 2016 election.

When asked by host David Gregory what he would do if he were a presidential candidate running against Hillary Clinton in 2016, Romney pointed to Clinton’s past political record as her weakness.

“I think you have to consider what’s happened around the world during the years that she was secretary of State,” Romney said. “And you have to say it’s been a monumental bust.”

Romney also referred to Clinton’s comments regarding the exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, in which she said the released Taliban leaders did not pose a threat to the U.S.

“And she came back with a clueless answer,” Romney said. “She was clueless.”

According to Romney, those points will be “the foundation of how a Republican candidate is able to take back the White House.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Sonia Sotomayor Ran into Hillary Clinton While Shopping at Costco

The Supreme Court Justice accidentally crashed Clinton's book signing

Costco is apparently the new place to be to rub elbows with the nation’s political elite.

While browsing at the members-only retailer in Arlington, Va., on Saturday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stumbled upon former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was appearing at a book-signing event to promote her new memoir, Hard Choices.

Sotomayor, who said she was “just shopping,” promised Clinton that she would read the new book, to which Clinton said, “You better! I read yours!” according to tweets from observers.

Government leaders, they’re just like us — they buy in bulk.

TIME politics

No, Hillary Clinton Didn’t Lose Her Cool on NPR

Hillary Rodham Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Memoir "Hard Choices"
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes "Hard Choices" at Barnes & Noble Union Square on June 10, 2014 in New York City. John Lamparski—WireImage/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton refused to be pigeonholed in an conversation about gay marriage, and that's okay

NPR’s Terry Gross tried to get Hillary Clinton to make some hard choices in an interview on Fresh Air Thursday, asking her if her opinions on gay marriage had changed from against to for, or if she had always supported gay marriage but had kept her views concealed until 2013 for political reasons. Neither answer is particularly flattering, and the Hard Choices author and possible presidential hopeful knew that. So she evaded, and then towards the end of the interview, she pushed back.

The media reaction was instantaneous: “Hillary Clinton gets testy over gay marriage,” the Politico headline reads. Similar accounts of Clinton “snapping at” or “sparring with” interviewer Terry Gross over her position abound.

It’s bad enough that she has to answer for her husband’s decisions as president. Hillary Clinton did not sign the Defense of Marriage Act; Bill Clinton did. And, as Hillary Clinton points out at the end of her NPR discussion, 1996 was a different time: “I did not grow up even imagining gay marriage and I don’t think you did either. This was an incredible new and important idea that people on the front lines of the gay right movement began to talk about, and slowly but surely convinced others about the rightness of that position. When I was ready to say what I said, I said it.”

And yet Clinton was asked to defend DOMA when Gross asked, “And DOMA was actually signed by your husband when he was president. In spite of the fact that he signed it, were you glad at this point that the Supreme Court struck some of it down?”

Clinton of course began by evading the question—as many politicians do. And then Gross asked her to clarify—as many reporters do. That’s when things got tense.

But before we become too critical of Clinton, let’s remember that she used the same rhetoric that President Obama used as well, when defending the “evolution” of his stance on gay marriage. Clinton said, “I think that we have all evolved, and it’s been one of the fastest, most sweeping transformations that I’m aware of.”

Obama said something similar in 2010: “My feelings about this are constantly evolving.” In 2004, the president said he believed marriage was “something sanctified between a man and a woman” and that the difference between civil unions and marriages were an issue of “semantics.”

I understand the desire to nail down when Clinton’s views on gay marriage changed and whether they changed for purely political reasons. Though the movement has moved quickly, in a historical perspective, to LGBT activists and allies, and to those who have suffered under discriminatory policies for many years, it’s not moving quickly enough. However, Clinton, as an interviewee, had every right to push back against being boxed into a simple narrative, one in which she is either a reformed homophobe or a political animal.

Some are taking the Gross interview as a sign that Clinton has gotten rusty—that she’s not quite ready for the campaign trail again. But in another light, the fact that she was bold enough to push back suggests that she’s more ready than she was in 2008.

Here’s the entire interview:

TIME politics

Hillary Clinton Wants You to Call Her a Feminist

Clinton Global Initiative America Meetings Begin In Chicago
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to guests at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) on June 13, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The CGI was established in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton with the intention of convening world leaders to address pressing global issues. Scott Olson--Getty Images

During an appearance in Chicago, the "Hard Choices" author and potential 2016 Presidential candidate revealed she doesn't believe there's "anything controversial" about being a feminist

Though we live in an era in which women in the public eye seem to waffle over whether or not they consider themselves feminists, Hillary Clinton has made it perfectly clear: she’s a feminist and she has no problem with letting the world know.

During an appearance in Chicago’s Harris Theater with Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday night, Clinton defined the ‘f-word’ simply as supporting equal rights for women, before adding, perhaps pointedly, “I don’t see anything controversial about that at all.” She also addressed the women — and men! — who view feminism as old-fashioned or out of date, saying, “I don’t think you’ve lived long enough.”

As the former U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton discussed how feminism plays a key role in the U.S.’s foreign policy. “[W]omen and girls … [are] central to our foreign policy,” she said, explaining that nations that support women are more stable and “less likely to breed extremism.”

Clinton — who is widely thought to be the leading Democratic contender for the 2016 presidential race though she hasn’t committed to running — is busy promoting her new book Hard Choices, which was released this week. The 656-page political memoir goes into detail about the many difficult decisions she’s already made throughout her career in politics. Evidently, deciding to call herself a feminist wasn’t one of them.

 

 

TIME politics

Are You There, Angela Merkel? It’s Me, Hillary!

Hillary Clinton Addresses National Council for Behavioral Health Conference
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MAY 06: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks during the National Council for Behavioral Health's Annual Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on May 6, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. Patrick Smith—Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's new book is not as boring as you think. It's actually kind of funny.

Who knew Hillary could be so hill-arious?

Her new book Hard Choices isn’t as dour as the title suggests or as long and boring as it looks. It’s actually really funny. It probably would sell better if it were called something like Richard Holbrooke Wore Yellow Pajamas or Are You There, Angela Merkel? It’s Me, Hillary, but neither of those titles sound quite as presidential.

Hillary comes off as smart, tough, and kind of… cool. Maybe even cooler than 1980s-Obama-with-cigarette, if you factor in her Normcore advantage. It’s probably part of a highly calculated personal branding move in anticipation of some kind of big national announcement (touring with Katy Perry?) but it’s appealing nonetheless.

She told Diane Sawyer in an interview Sunday night that she’s finished being the scripted, guarded cautious Hillary we saw in the 2008 campaign, when Obama sneered that she was “likable enough.” But she also says she’s sick of the whole “likability” question altogether. “I’m done with that, I’m just done,” she said. “I think I have changed, I’m not worried so much about what other people are thinking…I’m going to say what I know, what I believe, and let the chips fall. For me, it’s time. I don’t know if I could have done it earlier, because I was trying to find my way.”

So in Hard Choices, she shows much more personality than we’ve seen from her before. For example, when she talks about being compared to William H. Seward, who was Secretary of State under Lincoln and part of his “team of rivals,” she says “I hope no one ever describes me as a ‘wise macaw,’ which is how Seward appeared to the historian Henry Adams.”

Or when she says her first meeting with Obama after her 2008 defeat was “like two teenagers on an awkward first date,” but later describes the moment she and the President became official BFFs:

Before one of our meetings in Prague, on that same April trip, [Obama] pulled me aside and said, “Hillary, I need to talk to you.” He put his arm around me and walked me over toward a window. I wondered what sensitive policy matter he wanted to discuss. Instead he whispered in my ear, “You’ve got something in your teeth.”

The book is funny in a way that only the unexpectedly personal observations of an unfunny person can be. For example, this is how she explains her “Texts from Hillary” meme to her fellow olds:

“Her photo, to everyone’s surprise, became an internet sensation many months later and the basis for a ‘meme’ known as ‘Texts from Hillary.’ The idea was simple: an internet user would pair the photo of me holding my phone with a picture of another famous person holding a phone and add funny captions to narrate the texts we supposedly sent back and forth. The first one posted showed President Obama lounging on a couch, with the caption ‘Hey, Hil, Watchu doing?’ the imagined response from me: ‘running the world.’ Eventually I decided to get in on the fun myself. I submitted my own version full of internet slang: ‘ROFL @ ur tumblr! g2g–scrunchie time. ttyl?'”

Somewhere a lightbulb just went off over Dianne Feinstein’s head.

Hillary chuckles at the German newspaper that featured her and Angela Merkel as interchangeable faceless pantsuits, and wonders aloud whether Putin was messing with her when he told her a sad story about his childhood. She admitted she’s “no Condi Rice on the piano” but still tried to play along with Bono after Nelson Mandela’s funeral. She calls former French President Nicolas Sarkozy her “Prince Charming” for helping her when her shoe fell off. She reveals they sometimes watched romantic comedies on the State jet, and that Richard Holbrooke wore yellow PJs on long flights. She even talks about America’s foreign policy using a quote from A League of Their Own: “it’s supposed to be hard… the hard is what makes it great.”

“In politics a sense of humor is essential,” she writes. “There are countless reasons why you have to laugh at yourself.” And it may be that this enormous behemoth of a book is just the kind of controlled environment where Hillary can let her freak flag fly. She’s too calculated to get funny in off-the-cuff interview, and she’s too serious to crack jokes in speeches or debates. Obviously every joke and story in the book is carefully crafted to be as unobjectionable as possible (I’d love to read the uncensored version), and the fact that nobody comes off badly is probably even more proof that she’s trying not to annoy anyone before she *maybe* runs for President.

Hard Choices isn’t likely to convert any Hillary-haters or get her a job writing for Parks & Rec, but it’s still kind of funny, which is funnier than I thought it would be.

 

 

 

 

 

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,909 other followers