Review Category : Poltics

Richard Nixon Biographer: Hillary Clinton Has ‘Nixonian Attributes’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — It’s become almost cliché in American politics to call a politician Nixonian or “like Nixon” — and it’s rarely a positive to compare an officeholder or candidate to the only U.S. president to resign from office.

Yet to Evan Thomas, the author of a new Nixon biography who also covered the Clinton White House, comparing Hillary Clinton to Nixon works — to an extent.

“Mrs. Clinton does have some Nixonian attributes. She can be guarded and defensive, a little bit too tough on her enemies,” Thomas told ABC News. “I saw this firsthand. She needs to watch that.”

“She’s not involved in anything like Watergate. She’s not Nixon,” he continued. “If you think you can manipulate the press and stonewall forever, [when] you’re running for president and you’re president, I don’t think that works.”

Thomas’ book, Being Nixon: A Man Divided, captures the contradictions of the 37th president, a profane and often bitter man who was also an optimist (he always thought even bad movies would get better, Thomas writes) who won four elections on national tickets.

Thomas describes Nixon’s habit of working out of the Executive Office Building on the White House conflict — he didn’t like the Oval Office — in overnight hours, when he couldn’t sleep.

“Here’s the guy who’s the most powerful political person in the universe at the time — didn’t like people. He was shy,” Thomas said. “Mostly he wanted to be alone.”

The Nixon that comes through on the famous Watergate tapes — vindictive, racist, anti-Semitic, angry — doesn’t capture the full man, he said.

“He showed off. He was trying to be like [Lyndon Johnson]. LBJ was good at swearing, Nixon was bad at it,” Thomas said. “It just wasn’t natural to Nixon. He did a lot of it — I’m not minimizing what’s on those tapes, it’s terrible. But you know if you listen to a lot of the tapes — he talks about the world. He’s a very intellectual, intelligent man, It’s just that he would show off by yelling too much.”

Representatives for Hillary Clinton did not immediately respond to a request for comment by ABC News.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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What the 2016 Presidential Campaign Looks Like on Snapchat

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Before Chris Christie announced his presidential candidacy, he posted a picture on Instagram and Twitter with his Snapchat handle.

He immediately made use of the app during his campaign trek through New Hampshire. Users who follow Christie on Instagram can currently access his snap story, a nearly 3-minute long series of videos showing bits of his stops across the state, talking to voters and greeting them after his speeches.

Christie may be the 14th GOP candidate to enter the presidential race, but he is the seventh from either side of the aisle to join Snapchat, the popular social messaging app which allows users to send “snaps” and “stories” — photos and videos that only stay on users’ feeds temporarily.

Christie’s new username definitely reinforces a trend: If 2012 highlighted the importance of Twitter in forming perception of the candidates, and, to an extent, the debates, we may be seeing the same thing with Snapchat in 2016.

Much like Twitter and Facebook, candidates have made use of the tool to broadcast news about their campaigns. Martin O’Malley used the platform to tell users when he would make his presidential announcement. Rick Perry used it to show voters “extra” behind the scenes moments during his announcement in May.

But Snapchat itself seems to be gaining momentum among all candidates, even the ones who don’t (yet) have accounts. The same day Jeb Bush officially launched his candidacy, for instance, his campaign also announced that he would be the first candidate to partner with Snapchat.

As a result of this partnership, Snapchat had representatives on the ground at Bush’s announcement who curated photos and videos, turning them into a live story that was available to the platform’s millions of users, many of whom are millennials.

At first glance, Snapchat may seem like an odd platform to promote political content from campaigns. With “snaps,” users take photos or videos that can last up to 10 seconds and send them to their friends, but they disappear from the server after the allotted time.

The ‘temporary’ component may partially explain the appeal — a snap with a gaffe will permanently erase itself in the way a tweet or Facebook post can’t.

But the bigger appeal may lie in Snapchat’s “story tool” where users can send photos and videos in chronological order. For politicians attempting to connect with voters, this particular tool allows them to broadcast their event in a way that enables remote viewers to feel like they are part of it.

“On Snapchat, if you’re looking at a birthday party, you get to watch the birthday party unfold from beginning, middle to end which really gives a familiar feeling,” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said in a YouTube explanation.

The same can be said for a political event. The snap story surrounding Bush’s announcement not only included traditional components like excerpts of his speech, but showed his mother Barbara getting ready for her son’s announcement, and Bush after his announcement, serving meatballs and interacting with supporters.

Traditionally, these types of “behind the scenes moments” have largely only been available to people like candidates’ campaign operatives and family members. There is even a case to make that Snapchat viewers had better access to these types of moments than the people who were actually on the ground. Even for people at the event, it’s highly unlikely they saw Barbara Bush in the crowd of people.

Snapchat provided similar snap stories in their live feeds during two other major events in the campaign cycle, Joni Ernst’s “Roast and Ride” in June and Hillary Clinton’s kickoff campaign rally on June 13 in Roosevelt Island, New York.

And from a demographic standpoint, the platform is particularly important in reaching millennial voters, a crucial voting block candidates are targeting in 2016.

“Snapchat offered huge reach to a younger audience. Jeb just watched it and he thought it was fantastic,” Jeb Bush’s communications director, Tim Miller, told ABC News after his announcement.

A Snapchat representative declined to provide figures on the number of views on Bush’s announcement.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Did the US Spy on German Journalists?

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Just how far did American spying on Germany go?

Berlin is looking into whether the U.S. was monitoring German journalists at places like the magazine Der Spiegel.

The White House’s national security team didn’t deny the reports, but said the U.S. only does surveillance when there is a national security or intelligence concern at stake.

A senior intelligence official added that U.S. intelligence activities are not intended to inhibit or intimidate journalists.

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Secret Santa Mystery in Hillary Clinton’s Emails May Be Solved

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Was it really Christmas in July for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or did it just seem that way because she happened to need a haircut?

That’s the question in the air as one of the biggest mysteries from the Clinton emails may be close to being solved.

Two emails released by the State Department earlier this week revealed that Clinton had meetings with an unidentified person referred to as “Santa.”

In July 2009, Clinton wrote in an email to her aide, Huma Abedin, “I’m seeing Santa at 8:30 so won’t take off until closer to 9:30. Is that ok?” And she wrote another email in September 2009: “The timing, however, is hard for a visit since I need to see Santa around 7:45 after seeing Lisa.”

The emails raised eyebrows. The New York Post wrote about Clinton’s “mysterious Christmas in July.”

But the “Santa” in the emails may have nothing to do with the holiday and may not be a code name for some high-powered Clinton associate.

Santa actually may be Clinton’s longtime hairdresser, Santa Nikkels.

Nikkels owns a small salon in Chappaqua, New York, where the Clintons live. In fact, former President Bill Clinton was spotted regaling customers in the shop last weekend, and People magazine interviewed Nikkels just before Clinton announced her campaign in April.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the identity of her still-secret Santa.

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How Bernie Sanders Is Attracting Monster Crowds (and Whether Hillary Should Be Worried)

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) — “Bernie-mentum.” No one is quite sure how to spell it, but Bernie Sanders supporters definitely feel the growing momentum for their underdog candidate.

“Hopefully, Webster dictionary will recognize it as a new word soon,” said volunteer Tyson Manker of Jacksonville, Illinois, who drove five hours to help at Sanders’s massive rally in Madison, Wisconsin, on Wednesday night.

Campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs called the turn-out impressive but not a surprise. “We had been getting indications all along that there was that much interest,” Briggs told ABC News over the phone Thursday morning.

The event was not an anomaly either. In June, 5,500 people came out to see Sen. Sanders in Denver, Colorado. In May, another 3,500 people attended a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Sanders. And approximately 5,000 people gathered in April in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, for his campaign launch, roughly the same number who attended frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign kickoff event in New York City.

“Also impressive,” Briggs added, “In Rochester, Minnesota, this morning — on a Thursday morning — we had 600 people for an hour-long town hall meeting,” The list of these smaller, but still relatively impressively well-attended events goes on and on. In the end of May, 300 people turned up for an event for Sanders in Kensett, Iowa, a rural town where only around 240 people live.

The campaign gauges interest in upcoming events based on RSVPs through their website and has had to change venues on more than one occasion based on a large number of people signed up to attend. It has already changed its venue for an event in Portland, Maine, on Monday, where the campaign expecting over 5,000 people to attend.

All this buzz is translating to movement in the polls, too. According to a Quinnipiac poll out Thursday, the independent Vermont senator now trails Clinton (52–33 percent) among likely Democratic Iowa caucus goers. And in New Hampshire, WMUR has Sanders within eight points of Clinton (43-35), when just two months ago a previous poll there had him down by over 20 points.

Sanders does not have a PAC and he says he does not want donations from corporations. Still, according to a note out from the campaign today, he has raised an impressive $15 million since launching his campaign on April 30. They say that total comes from 250,000 individual donors, with the average donation size around $33 dollars.

“Some campaigns have a machine, Sanders has a ground swell of support where people are doing their part,” Mankner said.

“Fundamentally different kind of campaign,” he continued. “People are taking ownership. … There is no centralized leader.”

Sanders likes to tell the crowds that come out to see him that his campaign is not about him, but is instead “a political revolution.” It is a message that resonates with grassroots organizers from labor groups, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the former “Ready for Warren” campaign that has now pivoted to Sanders. These organizers used their online networking experience to amplify his message and effectively get the word out for upcoming events.

“A lot of people have been disenfranchised from the system and Bernie is a candidate that people can rally behind,” said Shana East, an artist and activist from Chicago who helped organize the website and social media campaign “People for Bernie,” which now has sub-chapters for almost every state and major city.

“Bernie is a candidate that people can rally behind. He has a lot of integrity. They feel like he is not just another political puppet,” she added. “People are coming out of the woodwork who want to get involved. We are helping to empower them so they feel like their role is important.”

Through the group’s website, those interested in Sanders can organize a “meetup” event and “People for Bernie” will help promote it. They are also taking the time to train people on how to use Twitter and Facebook. The group successfully facilitated 99 events (symbolic of “the 99 percent”) in the first week of Sanders’ campaign and have held nationwide conference calls every two weeks since.

Super volunteers like East see themselves as playing a key role traditionally reserved for a paid campaign staffer. “We knew how important it was for the media to see how many people are backing Bernie,” she said about the event in Madison. “We have artists making memes, making video and sharing it.”

“We can show visually this isn’t some crackpot candidate. He has a following. It is a movement,” she said.

Although Sanders would be the oldest president ever elected, he has an impressive social media presence himself. His Senate Facebook page has over 1.3 million likes and his campaign page is catching up, with over 700,000. In addition, his campaign has adopted a method of signing up supporters at events for text message alerts.

Sanders’s Iowa director, Pete D’Allesandro, said the mega-events and his on-the-ground effort in the Hawkeye State go hand-in-hand. “They help build enthusiasm for us here,” he said. “Because of social media, you can see the increase in the Bernie and Iowa supporter pages.”

Last Sunday, Sanders told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos he was riding the momentum all the way to the White House.

“We are going to win New Hampshire. We’re going to win Iowa and I think we’re going to win the Democratic nomination, and I think we’re going to win the presidency,” he said.

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President Obama Mocks GOP Nominating Contest as Political “Hunger Games”

ABC News(LACROSSE, Wis.) — What if the presidential nominating process were like Hunger Games?

Well, President Obama suggested on Thursday that the GOP field has enough candidates to try it out.

“I’ve lost count how many Republicans are running for this job. They’ll have enough for an actual Hunger Games,” Obama joked during a speech in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

The president was in Wisconsin to outline a proposal to update a Department of Labor rule that would giving some 5 million Americans a pay raise through raising the threshold for employees required to receive overtime pay. But the speech also became one of the president’s most aggressive offensives yet against the Republican 2016 field.

The president called the GOP field of presidential hopefuls “an interesting bunch” and said that while they are good people, their ideas are bad. He even compared them to the sort of wacky “Uncle Harry” who joins the family for Thanksgiving dinner.

“You still love him, he’s still a member of your family, right? But you’ve got to correct him, you don’t want to put him in charge of stuff. That’s all I’m saying,” he said.

The president also directly dinged Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who filed Thruday with the Federal Election Commission as a presidential candidate, ahead of an official campaign launch on July 13.

Without mentioning directly Walker by name, Obama took a swing at the governor’s policies in the state he was addressing.

“We’ve seen what happens when top-down economics meets the real world,” Obama said. “We’ve got proof right here in Wisconsin. You had a statewide fair pay law that was repealed. Your right to organize and bargain collectively was attacked, per student education funding was cut, your minimum wage has been stuck in place.”

On the topic of his new overtime pay policy, President Obama said it will ensure that people are getting a “fair day’s pay” for “a hard day’s work.”

“It’s one of the single most important steps we can take to help grow middle-class wages,” Obama said. “It’s going to give as many as 5 million Americans, including 80,000 folks right here in Wisconsin, the overtime protections they deserve. It’s the right thing to do. The right thing to do.”

Under the new rule, employers will be required to pay employees earning less than $50,440 time-and-a-half when their work week exceeds 40 hours, up from the current threshold of $23,660.

ABC US News | World News

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Jim Webb Announces 2016 Democratic Presidential Bid, Challenging Hillary Clinton

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(FALLS CHURCH, Va.) — Former Virginia senator and author Jim Webb will officially seek the Democratic presidential nomination, he announced on Thursday, acknowledging that he will face an uphill battle against Hillary Clinton.

“After many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States,” he wrote in a more than 2,000-word statement posted on his campaign website.

The letter highlighted Webb’s military experience. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was awarded two Purple Hearts and several other distinctions in the Vietnam War. Webb also served as Secretary of the Navy and as an Assistant Secretary of Defense.

“There is no greater responsibility for our President than the vital role of Commander in Chief,” he wrote. “Let me assure you, as President I would not have urged an invasion of Iraq, nor as a Senator would I have voted to authorize it,” he continued drawing a clear distinction between himself and Clinton, who voted for the war.

He also criticized several other initiatives from the Obama White House.

“I would not have been the President who used military force in Libya during the Arab Spring,” he wrote, adding: “I would not be the President to sign an executive order establishing a long-term relationship with Iran if it accepts Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.”

He has been traveling the country in recent weeks, speaking to voters in several of the state, including Iowa, that hold early nominating contests.

But Webb faces long odds. A poll out on Thursday from Quinnipiac University shows Webb barely registering among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa. According to the poll, he garners the support of around 1 percent of Democrats.

“I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money,” he wrote. “But our country needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us.”

Webb also the author of five books, including Fields of Fire, a novel published in 1978 about the Vietnam War.

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Rick Perry: Democrats Have Failed African Americans

Stewart F. House/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Rick Perry was in Washington, D.C. Thursday, taking on the issue of race.

The former Texas governor told the National Press Club that the Democratic party has failed African Americans.

“I am here to tell you that it is Republicans, not Democrats, who are truly offering black Americans the hope of a better life for themselves,” Perry said.

The presidential hopeful invoked President Obama several times, saying the country’s first black president has left black voters behind by focusing on big budget programs and not jobs.

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Today on the Trail — 7/2/15

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Where will the 2016 presidential candidates be on Thursday?

Read on below to find out their campaign schedules:

Bernie Sanders

The Vermont senator will be in Iowa, where he’ll hold town-halls at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge at 4 p.m. ET and Morningside College in Sioux City at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Chris Christie

The New Jersey governor will be in New Hampshire for a town-hall at the Pink Cadillac Diner in Rochester Thursday morning, a roundtable in Portsmouth at 12 p.m. ET, an endorsement event at Martha’s Exchange in Nashua at 3 p.m. ET, and a house party in Spofford at 5:15 p.m. ET.

Rick Santorum

The former Pennsylvania senator will respond to the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling in a keynote speech to a National Organization for Marriage gala in Washington, D.C. at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Rand Paul

The Kentucky senator will be in Iowa for a meet-and-greet at Grand River Center in Dubuque at 9:30 a.m. ET and another at a farm in Brooklyn at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Mike Huckabee

The former governor of Arkansas continues his Iowa religious-liberty town-hall tour with events at the Best Western Starlite Village in Fort Dodge at 8:30 a.m. ET, Pepper Sprout in Dubuque at 12:30 p.m. ET, and The Drake Restaurant in Burlington at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Bobby Jindal

The Louisiana governor will be in Iowa, where he’ll visit the Pizza Ranch in Rock Rapids at 12:30 p.m. ET, Rebo’s in Sioux City at 1 p.m. ET, Jolly Time Popcorn Factory in Sioux City at 2:15 p.m. ET, and Gary’s on the River in Spencer at 6:30 p.m. ET.

He’ll attend a town-hall at Sioux City Museum in Sioux City at 7:45 p.m. ET, and he’ll hold a “‘Big Parade and Mardi Gras Festivale’ Event” at Tysons Events Center in Sioux City at 8:45 p.m. ET.

Martin O’Malley

The former governor of Maryland will be in Iowa, where he’ll visit Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy at 12:30 p.m. ET, a house party in Creston at 5:30 p.m. ET, and a meet-and-greet at Draught House in Waukee at 8 p.m. ET.

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New Poll Shows Sanders ‘Gaining Ground’ on Clinton Among Iowa Democrats

US Congress(NEW YORK) — Bernie Sanders “gaining ground” on Hillary Clinton, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

The Vermont senator appears to be closing the gap between him and Clinton in the Iowa Democratic Caucus. He is now trailing Clinton, the front-runner, 52-33 percent among likely Democratic Caucus participants, say the poll results.

Vice President Joe Biden has 7 percent, compared to a 60- 15 percent Clinton lead over Sanders in a May 7 survey of likely Democratic caucus-goers by the independent Quinnipiac University.

In Thursday’s survey, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has 3 percent, while just one percent favor former U.S. Sen. James Webb of Virginia.

Another 5 percent, according to the poll, are undecided.

Seven percent of Democrats say they would definitely not support Biden, Webb or former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, while 6 percent would not support Clinton.

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