O’Malley “Steals” Furniture

Martin O’Malley couldn’t let Hillary Clinton have all the controversy spotlight. Because O’Malley took most of the Governor’s Mansion furniture with him, new governor Hogan had to move his 20 year old furniture into the mansion. Perhaps he should call Annapolis Clean Carpet for an upholstery cleaning so the furniture will look like new. Read more O’Malley “Steals” Furniture

People’s Feedback on Hillary

Recently we did an informal survey by driving around with clients of Annapolis Limo Service and their partner taxi service, we asked them what they thought of Hillary Clinton. Not a scientific poll, but it was interesting.

People felt that she had more experience and more pertinent experience than probably anyone else running for President. We did this in Annapolis, MD which is pretty blue, although we did run across some Republicans who couldn’t stand her no matter what her experience is. Read more People’s Feedback on Hillary

Hillary and Sanders

Bernie Sanders keeps pushing Hillary Clinton. He may never catch up and she may get the nomination, but he is giving it a valiant effort. While there has been absolute craziness and novelty on the Republican side, the Democrats have been more staid and conventional.

Will a Low Key Campaign Hurt?

The question is, will the low key Democratic primary hurt the Democrats in the long run. People aren’t as energized. The Republican primaries are seeing a lot of interest and getting a lot of new people involved in voting and taking part. Will the divisiveness hurt them or will the emotions and fervor carry over and help them in the general election.

Moving Away From the Middle

The Republicans seem to be racing further to the right and away from the middle. They were already pretty far that direction before the campaign started. Bernie Sanders has surprised Hillary Clinton and his popularity has forced her to move more to the left than she would probably like. She has co-opted some of his message and blunted his surge because of that. But perhaps that was what he was hoping for.

Sanders Successes

Currently Sanders has won 7 primaries versus 11 that Clinton has won. Clinton has tended to win in more populous states with more electoral votes than Sanders has. Bernie Sanders crushed Clinton in New Hampshire. Most recently, he also won Kansas and Nebraska in what some called Super Saturday. Clinton won Louisiana. Prior to that though, Clinton had taken most of the Super Tuesday states. She dominated in the South and also won Massachusetts which was thought would go to Sanders in a close vote before the primary.

Clinton won Iowa, then Sanders won New Hampshire. Not just won, but crushed Clinton. Probably not a surprise because he is from Vermont next door. Then Hillary won Nevada and South Carolina. Next up was Super Tuesday.  Sanders won Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and of course Vermont, his home state. Clinton won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Sanders has won in whiter states and dominates in more rural areas. Clinton has done better in urban and suburban areas and in places that have a greater ethnic mix. Most recently, Sanders won Nebraska and Kansas while Louisiana went to Clinton.

Currently Hillary has 1123 delegates compared to Sanders’ 484. She is about half way to the number she needs to win the nomination. But it will be interesting to see as the elections move to other states with different demographics how Sanders will do. He isn’t out of it yet, but it is getting more and more difficult for him to overcome her lead.


Hillary on Jimmy Kimmel Talks about Jeb

Hillary Clinton made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show recently and stayed on longer than most guests do. Kimmel asked her about what she thought of Bush’s struggles.

She was fairly gracious and said that she could identify and that running for President was tough and that there were bad days along with the good days. She said he was a very accomplished person and that he was trying to get his points across and make his case.

Then Kimmel asked her what she thought of Jeb Bush’s new campaign slogan, Jeb Can Fix It. In the clip she was obviously amused and trying not to laugh too hard. She said that running a campaign was hard and that campaign’s change all the time and that they won’t necessarily stick with the slogan.

Then Kimmel cracked her up by saying that it sounded like Jeb Bush was running a handyman business. Hillary Clinton said Bush had a number of options to fix things and then couldn’t resist and said maybe he could put his phone number on the side of a bus.

Kimmel then teased her and said he appreciated her leaving him for last after Steven Colbert and Jimmy Fallon. Then he started asking about Bill Clinton. He said that first ladies usually redecorated the white house. He asked if Bill would be picking out a new china pattern. Hillary said that she would use his expertise and ask for advice on increasing employment and raising wages.

Interestingly, she admitted that if it were possible, Bill Clinton would run for president again. Then Kimmel asked her if she had to run against Bill, who would win. Of course she said that she would beat him.

When asked about the Republican candidates she said that they seemed to be beholden to fossil fuel companies and that is why they were denying climate change. She wasn’t sure if they really believed it or if they just didn’t want to alienate a funding source.

Kimmel mentioned that Hillary had gone to Donald Trump’s wedding and asked what wedding gift she had given. She smiled and said “I went to the wedding”. She also pointed out that Trump supported her until he decided to run himself.

Then Kimmel spoke to 4 kids and asked them what they thought about a woman being president. The two boys were worried she would paint the White House pink and do other girly things. The girls liked the idea. Then he introduced the kids to Hillary. They chatted a bit and then he asked the boys if they had changed their minds. They said no. Hillary suggested that we needed a woman president so they would have some facts and insights to base their opinions on.

Hillary and Benghazi

The Benghazi probe has now been going on for a longer time than Watergate. That seems kind of ridiculous. The Republicans have sunk their teeth into this like a pit bull and won’t let go. They felt they could ride it all the way to the White House.

Kevin McCarthy Helps the Democrats

Many people feel that McCarthy, who was number 2 in the House at the time, implied that the Benghazi committee was a witch hunt to bring Hillary down. On reading what he said, it is not clear that is what he meant, but the damage was done. Now the Republicans are more on the defensive and seem to be a bit more careful.

Mills’ Testimony Released

Cheryl Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department. She was questioned by the committee in a closed door session.  Since then, there have been leaks of what she said, normally carefully selected and many say taken out of context to make Hillary Clinton look bad. So the Democrats released the 307 page transcript of her testimony.

A number of Republicans who are not on the committee have been claiming that Clinton told the military to stand down during the attacks on the consulate. There is nothing in the testimony of Mills that supports this. There is also nothing that indicates that Clinton ever denied requests for additional security.

Instead, it shows that Clinton was heavily involved during and after the attacks trying to ensure the safety of all personnel involved in any way.

Political Football

Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee basically said it is a $4.5 million witch hunt on the part of the Republicans. Trey Gowdy, the Republican leading the committee says they only want to provide an accurate account of the Benghazi attacks. He also felt that the release of the transcript showed that all the Democrats cared about was protecting Hillary Clinton. We doubt either side is likely to agree or back down. Unfortunate.

Mills denied there was any order to stand down, that Clinton denied requests for extra security, that Clinton ordered Ambassador Stevens to go to Benghazi, or that there was a gun-running scheme. We doubt her claims will satisfy the Republicans. Mills also said that Clinton was very involved that night and very concerned about everyone. She took the unusual step of attending a staff level meeting because of her concern. She had the highest regard for Stevens and was very upset about everything that was going on.


A Joe Biden Presidential Run?

Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are inexorably sliding and sliding. This is leading Joe Biden to take a closer look at running for President.

Biden’s Possible Contributors

Mr. Biden has had some discussions with President Obama contributors and his own long time network of donors consisting of trial lawyers, Jewish leaders and Greek Americans. One of these is George Tsunis who helped raise $750,000 for the Obama-Biden ticket and has said he would be there is Biden needed him.

More worrying for Hillary is that some Hillary supporters have said they might switch allegiance if Biden enters the race. One is Tom Daschle, a former Senate leader. Then there is the Draft Biden group that has gone beyond fundraising to hiring staff and field operatives. Biden is likely to portray himself as upholding Obama’s legacy more than Ms. Clinton would.

Poor Clinton Poll Numbers

Beyond possible problems with contributors are the poll numbers. Recent polls in 3 key states, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida showed 60% of the people having an unfavorable view of Hillary and felt that she wasn’t honest and trustworthy. Only 4 in 10 had a favorable view of her.


Biden would need to make a decision before the first Democratic debate which is October 13th. He realizes that if she bounces back from the email and other problems she will be hard to beat and it is unlikely that he would enter. But, if she continues to struggle or things get worse, there is a good possibility he would join the race.

Biden has also put out feelers to the gay and lesbian communities since he came out in favor of gay marriage before either President Obama or Hillary Clinton did.

Hillary Crash and Burn?

Some see Hillary Clinton crashing and burning, not only because of the emails but also the funding she and President Clinton have received for speaking engagements. According to an article in the US News and World Report,  a Russian company needed State Department permission to corner the world uranium market. Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech by the Russian Investment Bank that was rating the stock of the company buying the uranium.

In addition, of $500 million given to the Clintons’ foundation, only 15% has gone to charities and $300 million has gone to “other expenses”.

A Biden Run Helps Hillary?

Others feel that Biden running would help Ms. Clinton’s campaign. They said she is a terrible front runner but does quite well when she is in the middle of a race. They feel Biden running will force her to run a better, more competitive campaign and hone her for the race against the Republican candidate.

Unsurprisingly, they weren’t sure where Biden would get his support from since Bernie Sanders is exciting the liberals and Obama supporters are mostly backing Hillary Clinton according to this line of thinking.

So, there is obviously a wide range of opinion about a Biden run, but it should be interesting to watch and see what happens.

Hillary’s Challengers

Hillary Clinton has been the frontrunner and presumed favorite to win the Democratic Party nomination for President. So far several people have decided to run and challenge her.

Martin O’Malley

One is Martin O’Malley the former governor of the state of Maryland. So far he has not gotten any traction and it is our guess that his aim is for the Vice President position and later for President.

Lincoln Chafee

Another is Lincoln Chafee a former senator and governor of the state of Rhode Island. Interestingly, when he was a senator, he was Republican. Some have described him as a Nelson Rockefeller Republican. So far, he too hasn’t gotten much traction.

Jim Webb

Jim Webb, a former senator from Virginia was the first to anounce an exploratory committee but just decided to declare. However, he has little name recognition and has a long way to go on the fundraising front.

Bernie Sanders

The final challenger to Clinton could be formidable. He is Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont. He recently spoke in front of the largest crowd so far of any candidate running. Over 10,000 people showed up to hear him speak in Madison, WI.

Some say that Hillary Clinton is the strongest front runner of any candidate in history who wasn’t an incumbent. She has experience as a senator and then as Secretary of State, plus the unusual experience of having been married to a President. However, Bernie Sanders could pose problems for the following reasons. ( The Huffington Post had an interesting article on this.)

Because of Sanders length of service in the Senate, he has a more substantial legislative history than any of the Republicans he would have  to run against if he won the nomination.

A majority of  Americans are on the side of the Democrats on a majority of issues from economic to immigration to climate change to gay marriage. If the issues that Sanders has pushed for over the years such as trade, the federal budget and middle class economics, resonate with voters in this election, then he will have a good chance. If you count all the electoral votes of states that are leaning Democratic, or are likely or safely Democratic then only 23 out of 85 toss up votes are needed to win.

This means that Bernie Sanders can stay true to his pricipals and beliefs and doesn’t have moderate or change them to appeal to conservatives. People for a while have been saying the Democrats had to use realism instead of progressive values to be able to win. Because of changes in the electorate, this seems to be much less the case and could leave Clinton in an outmoded paradigm.

Sanders is on 6 committees in the Senate and on many issues has more experience than Clinton or any of the Republican candidates.

Sanders beliefs haven’t changed over the years based on polling. He has stuck to his beliefs and has been fighting for the middle class and the poor for many years.

Despite Hillary’s war chest and fund raising capability, any more emails on Benghazi or other issues could really cripple Hillary and boost Bernie Sanders position. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.



Clinton’s Emails

As many people know, Hillary Clinton, in addition to people complaining about her role in not getting aid in time to our compound in Benghazi in Libya are also concerned about her emails.

Everyone agrees that regarding the emails, she did nothing illegal. It is a matter of the perception of what she did. It would be illegal now because the law has changed.

Private Server

Clinton used the federal encrypted email system for emails that needed to be secure. But she had her own email system that she used. It was run from a server in her home. It was a private account used exclusively for official business. It did give her more control than normal over access to the emails.

It is not clear why Hillary Clinton chose to set up her own server. It probably gives her more protection from subpoenas but less protection from hackers and viruses than in a data center. The server itself was probably safe because her home is guarded by the Secret Service. Although, it would have been susceptible to fire or flood.

The Scientific American has a nice article on why it isn’t that odd for Hillary Clinton to have her own server. It almost made us want to go out and get our own.

Federal Records Act and Freedom of Information Act

According to the New York Times she used a private email account for official business. This could be a potential problem because the Federal Records Act requires all employees to save emails and other correspondence. So the question they asked was whether this private email account saved all of her work related emails.

The AP has requested the government under the Freedom of Information Act to see the emails but has been waiting a year. The private account first came to public attention because of emails of Sidney Blumenthal’s that were released by a convicted Romanian hacker. Then Trey Gowdy, the Republican leading the investigation into Benghazi became aware of the separate email accounts.

Clinton Calls for Release

Clinton now wants the State Department make available 55,000 pages of emails from the time she was at the Department. She made the statement at a campaign stop in Iowa. Her reason was probably because a judge overruled the State Department. They were going to release them all at one time by January (which seems like a long way away). But the judge says they need to be release as they become available. So there will be constant small releases. This is probably not to Hillary’s liking since it won’t hit the news and then die, but keep the information constantly coming up in the news. But, as she pointed out, it is up to the State Department, Clinton no longer has control over the emails, they are government property.

In some ways, she has made the situation worse. Her statement Tuesday that she wanted the emails release was the first time she had taken questions from reporters in a month. This has given Republicans ammunition, saying that she has something to hide.

She also answered some questions about the $25 million she and Bill Clinton have made from speeches since January of 2014, along with even more money contributed to their charitable foundation. She also said she now felt voting for the Iraq War was a mistake.

Hillary’s Early Years

Most people first became aware of Hillary Clinton as Bill Clinton’s wife. Probably the next thing they remember is the disaster of the Health Care reforms that she spearheaded at the time. Also, the controversy about Whitewater and Vince Foster’s Death. Then they were aware of her as a Senator from New York, followed by Secretary of State after losing to Barack Obama or the Presidency. But most people don’t know much about her early years.


She grew up on Park Ridge, IL near Chicago. It was a middle class community. Her father served in World War II in the Navy and had a drapery business after that. Interestingly, he not only sold them, but designed and printed them. He was a died in the wool Republican. Hillary had two brothers and they and their mother helped out in her father’s business when possible.

Hillary’s life growing up was very stable, unlike her mother’s. Her mother’s parents abandoned her and she was sent to live with relatives who also didn’t really want her. That would make you or break you. It seems to have made her because when she was 14 she started working and trying to support herself so she could be independent and didn’t have to worry about these other people. But it also made her want a different life for her own children.


Hillary went to public schools and was in the Brownies and Girl Scouts. She also played girls softball. Her mother, Dorothy taught Sunday School in the Methodist Church which is what Hillary was brought up as. Through the youth program, Hillary got to see Martin Luther King speak and the youth minister was a key reason that Hillary became a lifelong advocate for social justice.

College, Law School and After

Hillary went to Wellesley College and then to Yale Law School where she met Bill Clinton. After law school, instead of working for a law firm, she worked for the Children’s Defense Fund.

She then served on a congressional committee investigating Richard Nixon. She then moved to Arkansas and started Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. In 1975, she married Bill Clinton. As first lady of Arkansas, she pushed for better health care access and to improve educational standards and performance.