<![CDATA[NBC New York - Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usWed, 27 Jul 2016 13:59:04 -0400Wed, 27 Jul 2016 13:59:04 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Tim Kaine's Left Eyebrow Captures Attention]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 18:37:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/072616+tim+kaine+eyebrow+button.jpg

As Virginia delegates root for Sen. Tim Kaine at the Democratic National Convention, they also are poking good-natured fun at a distinctive part of his face -- his left eyebrow.

Virginia delegates cheered on the senator carrying vivid orange signs bearing a smiley face with the left eyebrow cocked, just like Kaine's.

Delegate Vivian Paige explained.

"Tim Kaine gave us these in 2008, at the convention. He was governor at that point," she said.

Kaine's eyebrow first rose to national prominence in 2006, when the newly sworn-in governor delivered the State of the Union response. His arched eyebrow grabbed attention. Not all of it was positive. 

"... That eyebrow is too distracting for the party to ever put him on national television again," political blogger Brendan Nyhan commented at the time.

His fans in Virginia said they have observed the eyebrow over the years.

"When he talks, his little eyebrow goes up on one side, so it's a little joke, but he goes along with it. He loves it. He's a good guy," delegate Susan Rowland said.

Kaine himself made the first buttons with the arched eyebrow smiley face, passing them out to Virginia delegates when he spoke at the 2008 convention.

"He's a fun-loving, down-to-earth, everybody-loves-him kind of guy," Paige said. "So, this is him poking fun at himself, and he's pretty good at that."

At the convention this week, delegates may find their vintage buttons now are a hot commodity. But Paige says she will not give hers up.

"Let's just say I would make a few bucks if I wanted to sell it. But I'm not about to sell it. Not now," she said.



Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Protests, Marches and More from the DNC in Philly]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:35:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16208619491842.jpg The Democratic National Convention began on July 25 with demonstrators, marchers and supporters battling the sweltering heat in Philadelphia, as the DNC officially apologized to Bernie Sanders amid a fresh email scandal. City officials expect thousands of protesters, delegates and members of the media to be in Philly for the four-day event.

Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sarah Silverman's Twitter Hacked for Anti-Clinton Message]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:35:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-580958410-dnc.jpg

Comedian Sarah Silverman said Wednesday on Twitter that her account had been hacked, after an earlier message linked to a YouTube video criticizing Hillary Clinton.

"MY TWITTER ACCT GOT HACKED THIS IS NOT ME," Silverman wrote in response to a tweet from 8:48 a.m. ET.

The since deleted post had said "America, are you awakening?" It also included language in the Cyrillic alphabet and linked to a YouTube video from the hacker group Anonymous on April 9 in opposition to Clinton.

Silverman, a former Bernie Sanders supporter, joined Sen. Al Franken Monday night to urge Democratic National Convention delegates to unite behind Clinton.

She also responded to Sanders die-hards who had booed Clinton's name at convention events by saying: "To the Bernie or bust people, you're being ridiculous."



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Stay Worried': Obama Urges Dems to Take Trump Seriously]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 11:28:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Obama+Russia+Hack+Today.png

President Barack Obama, who's set to address the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, urged Democrats to take Donald Trump seriously, saying "anything is possible in November." 

"It is the nature of democracy that until those votes are cast and the American people have their say, we don't know," Obama told NBC's "Today" show. 

Back in January, Obama firmly rejected the message of Trump's campaign and said he expected as much from Americans.

Asked by NBC's Savannah Guthrie whether he's now "worried" about Trump's candidacy, Obama replied, "I've seen all kinds of crazy stuff happen."

"I think anybody who goes into campaigns not running scared can end up losing," he said.

"So, my advice to Democrats — and I don't have to give this advice to Hillary Clinton, because she already knows it — is you stay worried until all those those votes are cast and counted because you know, one of the dangers in an election like this is that people don't take the challenge seriously. They stay home. And we end up getting the unexpected."



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<![CDATA[Why Vladimir Putin Hates Hillary Clinton]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 07:45:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-151488296.jpg

Russian president Vladimir Putin's admiration for Donald Trump is rivaled by his passionate hate for Hillary Clinton, adding credence to the accusations that Russia is behind the damaging Democratic Party email leaks, former U.S. officials and experts told NBC News.

Putin carries a grudge against Clinton because she has publicly compared him to Hitler and expressed doubts that he has a soul.

Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador to Russia from early 2012 to 2014 said Putin "sees some of Clinton's remarks as a personal attack against him and the way he governs his country and how he conducts his foreign policy."

Like other former Obama administration Russia policy experts, McFaul said Putin-sponsored hackers were the most likely culprit in the hacking of 20,000 DNC emails that were posted last Friday by WikiLeaks. Cybersecurity experts also say mounting evidence all points in one direction.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Check: DNC Day 2]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06:54:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/583559136-hillary-clinton-dnc-video-glass-ceiling.jpg

PHILADELPHIA — On a night headlined by President Bill Clinton’s admiration for his wife — the now official Democratic nominee — there was a less-than-glowing treatment of some facts.

  • Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean claimed that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “whole” health care plan was to replace the Affordable Care Act with “quote, ‘Something so much better.'” In fact, Trump has released a seven-point health care plan
  • Bill Clinton said that the United States’ approval rating soared 20 percentage points during the time that Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. But analyses of the U.S.’s global ratings don’t support such a claim.
  • Former Attorney General Eric Holder said “1 in 3 black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes,” an outdated projection based on the incarceration rate for black males as of 2001. That rate has declined since then.
  • Bill Clinton said that Arkansas schools went from “worst” when he started as governor to one of two “most improved,” and he gave Hillary Clinton much of the credit. The record is mixed: An expert did say in 1992 that the state had made progress, but the The York Times reported then that the state was “still near the bottom in most national ratings.”
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer repeated a convention talking point, claiming that Trump said that “wages are too high.” He was talking about a $15 minimum wage being too high.
  • Dean said that GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence “voted to end Medicare as we know it.” Pence did vote for a budget plan that called for a major change to Medicare, but it would have retained a health insurance system for seniors.

Note to Readers

This story was written with the help of the entire staff, including some of those based in Philadelphia who are at the convention site. As we did for the Republican National Convention, we intend to vet the major speeches at the Democratic National Convention for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.

Analysis

Trump’s Health Care Plan

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Donald Trump’s “whole plan” for health care was to replace Obamacare with “quote, ‘Something so much better.'” Dean added: “Six-word plan for health care.” In fact, Trump has more than 1,000 words on his plans for health care on his campaign website.

Dean: Now, Donald Trump has a plan, too. He would rip up Obamacare and throw 20 million people off their health insurance; Donald Trump will take us back to a time when insurance companies could deny you coverage if you have a preexisting condition, or he will take you back to the time where insurance companies could charge you more just because you are a woman. And what is he going to replace this with? Quote: “Something so much better.” “Yuge,” no doubt. That’s it. That’s the whole plan right there. Six-word plan for health care.

Dean was referring to comments from Trump at a debate in February, when he said, “We are going to replace Obamacare with something so much better.” Even then, he went on to say the replacement should rely on private insurance and do something to help low-income Americans. And in March, he released a seven-point plan.

It calls for: repealing the Affordable Care Act, allowing the sale of insurance across state lines, allowing individuals who buy their own health insurance to take a tax deduction for the cost of premiums, enabling health savings accounts that could be used by other family members or inherited by heirs, changing Medicaid to a block-grant program, instituting price transparency, and allowing the sale of imported drugs.

Trump’s plan calls these ideas “simply a place to start,” but it’s far from a “six-word plan.”

The list of proposals doesn’t include subsidies or other aid to low-income Americans. It doesn’t say anything about keeping the ACA provisions that Dean mentions — requiring insurance companies to cover those with preexisting conditions and not charge higher premiums based on gender. And an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget supports Dean’s claim that Trump’s repeal-and-replace plan would “throw 20 million people off their health insurance.”

CRFB said that the two aspects of the plan that would increase insurance coverage — selling insurance across state lines and allowing a tax deduction for premiums — would “only cover 5 percent of the 22 million individuals who would lose coverage upon the repeal of Obamacare.” That estimate relies on past figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on the impact of similar proposals.

So far, the number of uninsured has dropped by 15.2 million people since 2008, before President Obama took office, through 2015, according to the most recent data from the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Obama administration puts the total who have gained coverage under the ACA at 20 million through early 2016.

U.S. Approval Ratings

Bill Clinton said that the United States’ approval rating soared 20 percentage points during the time that Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. But analyses of the U.S.’s global ratings don’t support such a claim.

Bill Clinton: That’s why the approval of the United States was 20 points higher when she left the Secretary of State’s office than when she took it.

Hillary Clinton served as the United States secretary of state from January 21, 2009, to February 1, 2013.

We asked the Clinton campaign to support this claim, but got no response.

But three different international polls show the country’s approval ratings went up during Clinton’s tenure, but then dipped again before the end of her term, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Politics.

Weighting the poll data from several different countries by their populations, Bloomberg found mixed results.

The Toronto-based GlobeScan poll, which asks whether the U.S. is “having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world,” found that sentiment improved during the first two years of Clinton’s tenure, but fell to nearly the point where it was when she took office.

The Pew Research Center, which asks, “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of the U.S.?” found the favorability rating of the U.S. rose steeply in 2009 and continued to improve through April 2010. But then “net favorability fell steeply, and continued to decline until just after her departure,” Bloomberg stated.

Gallup’s U.S.-Global Leadership Project, which asks, “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?” didn’t start polling until August 2009, seven months after Secretary Clinton’s start date. Bloomberg found that from August 2009 until the summer of 2011, the Gallup measure declined — and then essentially remained flat for the next two years.

None of this supports former President Clinton’s claim of a 20-point boost in U.S. approval. Furthermore, none of the polls asked specifically about the role of the secretary of State, as opposed to that of her boss, President Obama.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DNC Day 2: Clinton's Historic Nomination, More Top Moments ]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 08:09:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583550834-dnc.jpg

Ninety-six years after women won the right to vote, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party's nominee for president on Tuesday, the first woman to represent a major political party.

"When women succeed, America succeeds," said U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi became the first woman to serve as speaker of the House of Representatives in 2007 and served in that role until 2011. 

Here was that historical moment and others on the second day of the Democratic National Convention.

History Is Made
Democrats formally nominated Hillary Clinton for the presidency Tuesday evening, the first major political party to choose a woman as its candidate.

Her nomination ends two hard-fought primaries for her, the first of which she lost to President Barack Obama eight years ago.

The former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady sparks intense loyalty among her backers but also intense dislike, a legacy of the scandals that have plagued her long career.

Her name was placed in nomination in the afternoon by civil rights icon John Lewis, the congressman from Georgia, and Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving woman in Congress.

"Eight years ago, our party, the Democratic Party, nominated and elected the first person of color to ever serve in the White House not just for one term, but two terms," Lewis said. "Tonight, tonight, on this night, we will shatter that glass ceiling again."

Mikulski, who will retire this year, said, "On behalf of all the women who've broken down barriers for others, and with an eye toward the barriers ahead, I proudly place Hillary Clinton's name in nomination to be the next president."

South Dakota put her over the top in votes.

The last state to cast its votes was Vermont, the home of her rival this year, Sen. Bernie Sanders. He said: "I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States."

"The Best Darn Change-Maker"
Former President Bill Clinton described his wife to the Democratic National Convention as the "best darn change-maker I have even known," a woman uniquely qualified to be president. But first he started with the story of how they met as students at Yale Law school.

"She walked the whole length of the library, came up to me and said, 'If you're going to keep staring at me' — and now I'm staring back — 'we at least ought to know each other's name. I'm Hillary Rodham. Who are you?'"

He said he later asked her to walk with him to an art museum.

"We've been walking and talking and laughing together ever since," he said. "And we've done it in good times and bad, through joy and heartbreak. … We've built up a lifetime of memories."

Clinton's speech re-introduced his wife to Americans, detailing her legacy of work on behalf of civil rights, children and families. He talked of her starting a legal aid clinic in Arkansas, getting expanded health care for children after the first attempt at health reform failed, registering voters in Texas and serving as U.S. senator from New York and then secretary of state.

"Hillary will make us stronger together," he said. "You know it because she spent a lifetime doing it."

He said that Hillary Clinton worked with people with disabilities, helping to ensure they had equal access to education.

"She never made fun of people with disabilities," he said, a reference to the Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has been accused of mocking a reporter who is disabled. "She tried to empower them."

Bill Clinton asked: How does the woman he talked about square with the one described by the Republicans?

"One is real, the other is made up," he said.

If you're a hard working immigrant who obeys the law and loves the United States, choose immigration reform over a candidate who wants to send you back, he said. If you're a Muslim who loves the country and freedom and hates terrorism, stay here and help the United States win, he said.

"If you're a young African American disillusioned and afraid, we saw in Dallas how great our police officers can be, help us build a future where nobody's afraid to walk outside," he said.

At the end of the day's session, Hillary Clinton appeared by satellite and told the audience, "I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet."

"And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say: 'I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.'"

Bernie or Bust? Bust, says Bernie
Earlier, Sanders worked to rein in his backers. A day after they jeered Clinton and protested the leaked emails that showed party officials working to torpedo his candidacy, the senator from Vermont worked to tamp down his die-hard fans’ determination to keep fighting for him. On the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, he made the rounds of the state delegations and urged support for his former rival. Donald Trump needs to be stopped, he said.

"It's easy to boo," he told delegates from California. "But it is harder to look your kids in the face who will be living under a Donald Trump presidency."

Not all of his backers listened. Dozens of his delegates walked out of the convention, held a sit-in and pledged to leave the Democratic party in protest. They claimed that their votes had been stolen by the Democratic National Committee.  

Black Lives Matter
A half-dozen women whose children were killed by violence, Mothers of the Movement, endorsed Clinton as a leader who would bring about change and who would support needed gun legislation.

Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, pulled over in a traffic stop in Texas and later found hanging in a jail cell, said Clinton would lead the country to restoration and change.

"She knows that when a young, black life is cut short, it's not just a loss, it's a personal loss," said Reed-Veal, who has said she does not believe her daughter killed herself. "It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing tonight to be standing here, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama."

The Texas trooper who stopped Bland was fired earlier this year.

Lucia McBath, whose son Jordan Davis was shot to death in Florida in a dispute over loud music, called the majority of police officers good people doing a good job. She urged building a future where police officers and communities worked together to keep children like her son safe.

"Hillary Clinton isn't afraid to say that black lives matter," McBath said. "She isn't afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish. She doesn't build walls around her heart."

The man who killed her son, Michael Dunn, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Joining them was Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood volunteer. Zimmerman was found not guilty of Martin's death.

"Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to support grieving mothers," Fulton said. "She has the courage to lead the fight for common-sense gun legislation."

Love Trumps Hate
Actresses Lena Dunham and America Ferrera had some pointed jokes for Trump.

Dunham: "According to Donald Trump my body is probably like a '2.'"

Ferrera: "And according to Donald Trump I’m probably a rapist."

Dunham: "But America you're not Mexican."

Ferrera: "And President Obama isn't Kenyan, Lena. But that doesn't stop Donald."

"Love Trumps Hate," they concluded at the end of their speech.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Captures Democratic Nomination for President]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 23:46:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/HILLARY+CLINTON+NOMINATION.jpg Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday at the Democratic National convention, winning the Democratic nomination for president. Stefan Holt reports.]]> <![CDATA[Sanders Delegates Walk Out]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 06:15:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/216*120/sanders+walkout+rigged+brian+lead+image.jpg

Dozens of Bernie Sanders delegates walked out of the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night following Hillary Clinton's nomination for president, and many promised to leave the political party in protest.

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Vincent Venditti, a Georgia delegate pledged to Sanders, said outside Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center that he considers himself a political independent effective immediately.[[388324462,C]]

Their protest and exodus is in line with what hundreds of protesters had been saying outside the convention's security perimeter. Many said Hillary Clinton's nomination as the Democratic candidate for president would prompt them to quit the party.

"They know where to find me," Venditti said, noting that he would consider returning to the party if Clinton's candidacy was abandoned.

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The group held a sit-in at a tent for journalists, some with tape over their mouths. It dispersed after about an hour, but the protesters' point was made.

The Democratic Party and their convention have been roiled by an email controversy. Hacked emails published by Wikileaks appeared to show some in the Democratic National Committee favoring Hillary Clinton, a charge leveled throughout the presidential primaries but which party leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz had denied.

But the email scandal led to her ouster on Monday — she had been supposed to gavel in the convention on Monday, but did not do so. Even Sanders was booed at an event Monday, when he told supporters it was in the country's best interest to elect Clinton president.

 



Photo Credit: NBC10 Brian X. McCrone
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<![CDATA[Cheers on Twitter for Hillary Clinton's Historic Nomination]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 19:31:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-579365810.jpg

Democrat Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday night when she became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party.

Other women, including Democrat Shirley Chisholm, have sought a major party nomination. And others have made third-party runs.

But after defeating U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton shattered a glass ceiling.

Supporters took to social media to applaud Clinton for her achievement.

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Photo Credit: FilmMagic
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<![CDATA[Trump Son to Weiner: 'Go Back to Your Cave']]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 13:34:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/weiner+trump+jr.jpg

Amid speculation over whether Donald Trump Jr. may be mulling a run for New York City mayor, failed candidate Anthony Weiner offered an opinion that sparked a snarky response from the younger Trump.

Asked by a TV news reporter Tuesday about the possibility of a Trump Jr. run for mayor, Weiner said, "I'd come out of retirement just to beat him like a rented mule." 

Trump Jr. tweeted in response: "Too soon Anthony!!! You probably shouldn't be talking about beating anything ever again. Go back to your cave."

The scandal-scarred Weiner badly lost the Democratic primary of the New York City's mayoral race in 2013. By that time, he'd been caught in two sexting scandals, once in 2011, when he used Twitter to send provocative photos of himself while in Congress, and again in April of 2013, shortly after he announced he was entering the mayoral race. That's when revelations of an online relationship with a woman named Sydney Leathers surfaced. 

Weiner, 51, appeared on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" Monday night after The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where his wife Huma Abedin -- longtime top aide to Hillary Clinton -- was working.

He told Politico in 2014 his political career was "probably over" and that he planned to stay busy with business, media appearances and his son with Abedin, Jordan. 

Trump Jr., 38, meanwhile, has refused to rule out a run for mayor after his appearance at the Republican National Convention last week. He said on CNN's "State of the Union" show: "As my father has always said, I want to -- we always like to keep our options open." 

Mayor de Blasio said he welcomes the challenge.

"In terms of Donald Trump Jr., I will predict something right here and now," he told Politico. "That his father and his values will be rejected soundly by the people of New York City in November. So, if after that he thinks that it’s a great idea to run against me, be my guest."



Photo Credit: AP/Getty
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<![CDATA[A List of Trump's Rapidly Changing Policy Positions]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:24:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Trump-Unity.jpg

Donald Trump once offered up three different views on abortion in eight hours, and after a year of campaigning, the Republican nominee has continued to expound powerfully incoherent rhetoric and constantly evolving views.

According to NBC News, Trump and the Republican Party are putting forward the most elusive presidential platform in modern history, and many of Trump's policies conflict with the party's own platform.

 To better understand what the Republican Party nominee believes today — and yesterday — NBC News compiled a list of Trump's views since he announced his candidacy a year ago.

"You have to have a certain degree of flexibility," the nominee said in a March debate when confronted on his evolving policy platform, taking a stance on immigration he'd reverse hours later. "You can't say, it's OK, and then you find out it's not OK and you don't want to do anything. You have to be flexible, because you learn."



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Standout Style at the Democratic National Convention]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 23:09:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-583541324-dnc.jpg Many delegates, protesters and attendees donned special garb to show support for a candidate, advocate for a cause, or just show off at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Below are some of the best outfits so far.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Susan Sarandon, Sarah Silverman Ignite DNC Celebrity Bern]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:26:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/sarandon-silverman.jpg

There's no doubt the Democrats trounced the Republicans in one contest: the Day One convention celebrity lineup. Scott Baio, Antonio Sabato Jr. and Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson proved no match for the wattage of Demi Lovato, Eva Longoria, Paul Simon and Sarah Silverman.

What's less clear is whether controversy sparked by some of the entertainment-world guests did their respective parties more harm than good.

Donald Trump supporter Baio got called out during an interview with MSNBC for retweeting a vile post slurring Hillary Clinton. Former underwear model Sabato absurdly insisted in an interview with ABC that – despite all evidence to the contrary – his fellow Christian President Obama is a Muslim.

On Monday night, Democratic schisms played out, in part, through the stars. While Simon's poignant croak of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" sought to heal, comments fired from the convention stage by Sarah Silverman and eye-daggers shot from the crowd by Susan Sarandon threatened to irritate an open wound.

While the duo couldn't overshadow the night's biggest star – First Lady Michelle Obama – the attention Silverman and Sarandon grabbed underscored not only the growing role of celebrities in high-stakes political races, but the unpredictability they bring.

The GOP learned as much in 2012, via Clint Eastwood's bizarre improvised comedy act with an empty chair.

Silverman, a Bernie Sanders fan who is now supporting Clinton, offered a far funnier (including a racy crack about getting a cream for her “Bern”) and nuanced performance. She extolled Sanders and made a case for Clinton, without slamming Trump – normally an easy target for a caustic, left-leaning comedian.

Still, her comic instincts kicked in amid booing by from Sanders diehards, prompting her to react as if she were putting hecklers in their place. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," she said with comedian-turned-senator Al Franken at her side.

While her words likely rang true to many Democrats, they starkly highlighted a lack of the kind of unity party leaders had hoped to project on a night when even pleas on Clinton's behalf from Sanders and his fellow liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren couldn't ground the boo-birds.

Sarandon, meanwhile, gave voice to the split without uttering a syllable. The Sanders supporter, who told TYT Politics last month that Clinton “in a way” is “more dangerous” than Trump, became an Internet meme after journalist Ian McKenna tweeted a gif of her looking miserable in the Philadelphia arena.  

“Susan Sarandon is having literally the worst time at the #DemConvention,” McKenna noted. Sarandon retweeted the observation, and added: "Accurate."

Her short, if not sweet, tweet likely won't be the final word from a celebrity during a divisive president election cycle in which both parties got humbling reminders that reaching out to the stars brings a risk of feeling the burn.

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



Photo Credit: WireImage/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Attacks Hillary Clinton Through Her Husband's Infidelities]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 16:21:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-538716480-hil.jpg

Donald Trump is running against Hillary Clinton, not her husband, but he has not shied from attacking the former president over his sexual misconduct.

He accused Bill Clinton of rape during an interview in May with Fox News' Sean Hannity, tweeted that Clinton was "the WORST abuser of women in U.S. political history" and called Hillary Clinton an enabler who tried to destroy the women with whom her husband had affairs.

Democrats are counting on Bill Clinton and his impressive speaking skills to make the case for his wife when he speaks to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, but Trump wants to remind everyone of Clinton's seamier side. Trump's impassioned supporters and the many Clinton haters among them might approve, but the Republican nominee is struggling to appeal to women. How will they react to denigrating Hillary Clinton over her husband's infidelities?

Oda Tejeba, a Democrat from Queens, New York, who said she would vote for Clinton, does not like it. She called the line of attack petty.

"That’s like a sucker hit," Tejeba said.

"She was humiliated publicly," she said of Clinton. "If she can get past that, she can do anything."

But Elizabeth Smith, an Ohio alternate delegate for Gov. John Kasich at the Republican National Convention last week, said that if she thought Hillary Clinton were an outstanding candidate with whom she agreed on other issues, she would probably dismiss the infidelities. As it is, the Clintons' behavior is a nagging problem for her.

"You can go back and see whether she was instrumental or not," said Smith, a civil trial lawyer who said she would probably vote for Trump because she wanted to support the Republicans. "They trashed Monica Lewinsky."

Smith said she did not excuse the behavior of Lewinsky, the White House intern with whom Bill Clinton had a relationship, but noted that she was only 22 at the time. 

"[Hillary Clinton's] a smart woman," Smith said. "They talk. Hillary could have done something to pull back on that and they could have pushed it aside but the fact that they didn't as a team tells me something."

Polls show a striking gender gap between Clinton and Trump. Recent NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls of three battleground states show Clinton outpolling Trump among women in Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania by 16 percentage points or more. Trump leads among men by a similar margin in Iowa and Ohio, though not in Pennsylvania.

Women appalled that Trump would try to hold Clinton responsible for her husband's behavior are for the most part voting for Democrats, said Christina Wolbrecht, an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. Those open to the line of attack are for the most part not.

"Frankly I think there’s a big chunk of the electorate that just doesn't care," she said. "It's not clear to me that there's a group of independent women for whom this is going to be the thing."

Once presidential nominees are chosen, partisanship usually determines how 90 percent of the people vote, she said.

"But we're in uncharted territory here," she said. "We've never had a woman at the top of the ticket."

At the Republican convention last week, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani joined enthusiastically in denouncing the Clintons. He called Bill Clinton "a predator president" and charged Hillary Clinton had gone after his accusers as head of "the bimbo squad."

"You don't care about women, you don't care about feminism," Giuliani said of Hillary Clinton during a breakfast for the New York delegates on Thursday. "You don't even care about your own dignity. All you care about is power."

Sharon Day, co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, tried to counter accusations that the attacks on Clinton, the first woman named as the presumptive candidate of a major party, were sexist.

"As first lady, you viciously attacked the character of women who were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of your husband," she said. "I want to see a woman become president one day, and I want my granddaughters to see a woman president, but not that woman, Hillary Clinton. Not now, not ever."

The attacks are meant to mobilize Trump's supporters and remind them how corrupt they found the Clintons.

"It's a base mobilizing thing," Wolbrecht said. "And then often with your opposition it's not so much that you're trying to convince them to vote for you so much as plant enough doubt and uncertainty and discomfort that you dampen down that enthusiasm."

Trump himself has been married three times. His first marriage to Ivana came to an end after he had begun an affair with Marla Maples, later his second wife.

In an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN in May, said Trump had started criticizing Hillary Clinton in retaliation, after she played the "woman’s card."

"She is playing the woman's card to the hilt," Trump said. "She is going, I watched over the weekend, everything is about 'woman' and 'Donald Trump raised his voice.' And you know it's all nonsense. You know what? Women understand it better than anybody."

A video released by the Trump campaign showed Bill Clinton chomping on a cigar with audio from two women who accused him of sexual assault: Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick. It ends with a photo of Hillary and Bill Clinton with Hillary Clinton laughing. "Here we go again?" it asked.

Pressed by Cuomo about why he was talking about Bill Clinton's infidelities rather than the issues women care about, he defended his attacks.

"He was impeached," Trump said of Clinton. "And then he lied about it."

Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice but was acquitted by the U.S. Senate.

The Clinton campaign has described the attacks as a way to distract from the election's issues and. 

Logan Nevonen, a 23-year-old Republican convention delegate from Texas who supported U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, said she did not approve of the attacks on Clinton.

"I don't appreciate that rhetoric, getting at women with sexist comments and things," she said. "He diminishes everything I stand for."

Trump does not yet have her vote, she said. To earn it, he would have to be less hostile, she said.

Elaine Mcfalos, a Democrat from North Carolina who will vote for Trump, said during a visit to New York City that she did not find Hillary Clinton trustworthy but not because of Bill Clinton's scandals.

"She's a strong woman and everybody in this world has had problems like that," Mcfalos said. "So that doesn’t define her."

But she thought Clinton should have been punished for her use of a personal server for her professional emails while secretary of state, she said.

"Her integrity is in question in my mind," she said.

Another woman, Marcia Freeman of Queens, New York, will vote for Clinton. The criticism directed against her is wrong, she said.

"Any man can cheat," she said. "A marriage is a marriage. I'm a Christian and you forgive and forget."

Freeman said she was "Hillary all the way," and called Trump a racist.

Hillary Clinton weathered similar attacks when she first ran for office for a New York senate seat, against Giuliani. Giuliani ultimately dropped out of the race after he announced he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was separating from his second wife.

In an MSNBC interview, Giuliani repeated his criticism of Hillary Clinton's behavior. 

"Very few women would attack Monica Lewinsky for three or four months when it turned out that Monica Lewinsky was quite correct and her husband had in fact taken advantage of her," Giuliani said. "Very few women would do that and to pose as a feminist and to say you care about women who are victims makes you in my view a phony."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Read Michelle Obama's Speech to the DNC]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Michelle-Obama-Convention-GettyImages-580961036.jpg

First lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention Monday evening. Here are her remarks as spoken:

It's hard to believe that it has been eight years since I first came to this convention to talk with you about why I thought my husband should be president.

Remember how I told you about his character and conviction, his decency and his grace. The traits that we've seen every day that he's served our country in the White House. I also told you about our daughters, how they are the heart of our hearts, the center of our world, and during our time in the White House we've had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women. A journey that started soon after we arrived in Washington when they set off for their first day at their new school.

I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, just seven and 10 years old, pile into those black SUV's with all those big men with guns. And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window, and the only thing I could think was what have we done?

See because at that moment I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become and how well we manage this experience could truly make or break them.

That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight, how we urge them to ignore those who question their father's citizenship or faith.

How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.

With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as president and first lady because we know that our words and actions matter, not just to our girls, but the children across this country, kids, kids who tell us I saw you on TV, I wrote a report on you for school. Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband, his eyes wide with hope and he wondered, is my hair like yours?

And make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls that is what we're deciding, not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. No, in this election and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.

And I, I am here tonight because in this election there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be president of the United States, and that is our friend Hillary Clinton.

See, I trust, I trust Hillary to lead this country because I've seen her lifelong devotion to our nation's children, not just her own daughter, who she has raised to perfection, but, butevery child who needs a champion, kids who take the long way to school to avoid the gangs, kids who wonder how they'll ever afford college, kids whose parents don't speak a word of English, but dream of a better life, kids who look to us to determine who and what they can be. You see, Hillary has spent decades doing the relentless, thankless work to actually make a difference in their lives. Advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer, fighting for children's health care as first lady, and for quality child care in the Senate.

And when she didn't win the nomination eight years ago, she didn't get angry or disillusioned. She, Hillary did not, Hillary did not pack up and go home, because as a true public servant Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments.

So she proudly stepped up to serve our country once again as secretary of state, traveling the globe to keep our kids safe. And look, there were plenty of moments when Hillary could have decided that this work was too hard, that the price of public service was too high, that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs.

But here's the thing. What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.

And when I think about the kind of president that I want for my girls and all our children, that's what I want. I want someone with the proven strength to persevere. Someone who knows this job and takes it seriously. Someone who understands that the issues the President faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.

Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can't make snap decisions, you can't have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out, you need to be steady and measured and well-informed. I want a President with a record of public service, someone whose life's work shows our children that we don't chase fame and fortune for ourselves, we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed. And we give back, even when we're struggling ourselves, because we know that there is always someone worse off. And there but for the grace of God go I.

I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters. A President who truly believes in the vision that our founders put forth all those years ago, that we are all created equal, each a loved part of the great American story. And when crisis hits, we don't turn against each other. No, we listen to each other, we lean on each other. Because we are always stronger together.

And I am here tonight because I know that that is the kind of President that Hillary Clinton will be and that's why in this election, I'm with her.

You see, Hillary understands that the President is about one thing and one thing only. It's about leaving something better for our kids. That's how we've always moved this country forward by all of us coming together on behalf of our children.

Folks who volunteered to coach that team, to teach that Sunday school class, because they know it takes a village. Heroes of every color and creed who wear the uniform and risk their lives to keep passing down those blessings of liberty. Police officers and protesters in Dallas, who all desperately want to keep our children safe.

People who lined up in Orlando to donate blood because it could've been their son, their daughter in that club.

Leaders like Tim Kaine who show, who show our kids what decency and devotion look like. Leaders like Hillary Clinton who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through. Lifting all of us along with her.

That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to the stage tonight. The stories of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning a house that was built by slaves.

And I watch my daughters, two beautiful intelligent black young women playing with their dogs on the White House Lawn.

And because of Hillary Clinton my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.

So look. So don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great. That somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth.

And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world I want a leader who is worthy of that truth. A leader who is worthy of my girl's promise and all of our kids promise. A leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children. So in this election we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best.

We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. No, hear me. Between now and November, we need to do what we did 8 years ago and 4 years ago. We need to knock on every door, we need to get out every vote, we need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America.

So let's get to work.

Thank you all and God bless.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Read Bernie Sanders' Speech at the DNC]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 23:50:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Bernie+Sanders-580961394.jpg

Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the Democratic National Convention Monday evening. Here are his remarks as prepared:

Good evening.

How great it is to be with you tonight.

Let me begin by thanking the hundreds of thousands of Americans who actively participated in our campaign as volunteers. Let me thank the 2 1/2 million Americans who helped fund our campaign with an unprecedented 8 million individual campaign contributions – averaging $27 a piece. Let me thank the 13 million Americans who voted for the political revolution, giving us the 1,846 pledged delegates here tonight – 46 percent of the total. And delegates: Thank you for being here, and for all the work you’ve done. I look forward to your votes during the roll call on Tuesday night.

And let me offer a special thanks to the people of my own state of Vermont who have sustained me and supported me as a mayor, congressman, senator and presidential candidate. And to my family – my wife Jane, four kids and seven grandchildren –thank you very much for your love and hard work on this campaign.

I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am. But to all of our supporters – here and around the country – I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.

Together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution – our revolution – continues. Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues. And I look forward to being part of that struggle with you.

Let me be as clear as I can be. This election is not about, and has never been about, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency. This election is not about political gossip. It’s not about polls. It’s not about campaign strategy. It’s not about fundraising. It’s not about all the things the media spends so much time discussing.

This election is about – and must be about – the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and grandchildren.

This election is about ending the 40-year decline of our middle class the reality that 47 million men, women and children live in poverty. It is about understanding that if we do not transform our economy, our younger generation will likely have a lower standard of living then their parents.

This election is about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we currently experience, the worst it has been since 1928. It is not moral, not acceptable and not sustainable that the top one-tenth of one percent now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, or that the top 1 percent in recent years has earned 85 percent of all new income. That is unacceptable. That must change.

This election is about remembering where we were 7 1/2 years ago when President Obama came into office after eight years of Republican trickle-down economics.

The Republicans want us to forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Some 800,000 people a month were losing their jobs. We were running up a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion and the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse.

We have come a long way in the last 7 1/2 years, and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession.

Yes, we have made progress, but I think we can all agree that much, much more needs to be done.

This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions – not just bombast, fear-mongering, name-calling and divisiveness.

We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger – not leadership which insults Latinos, Muslims, women, African-Americans and veterans – and divides us up.

By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.

This election is about a single mom I saw in Nevada who, with tears in her eyes, told me that she was scared to death about the future because she and her young daughter were not making it on the $10.45 an hour she was earning. This election is about that woman and the millions of other workers in this country who are struggling to survive on totally inadequate wages.

Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in America works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. She understands that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And she is determined to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure – our roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater plants.

But her opponent – Donald Trump – well, he has a very different view. He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour – a starvation wage. While Donald Trump believes in huge tax breaks for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25. What an outrage!

This election is about overturning Citizens United, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the history of our country. That decision allows the wealthiest people in America, like the billionaire Koch brothers, to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections and, in the process, undermine American democracy.

Hillary Clinton will nominate justices to the Supreme Court who are prepared to overturn Citizens United and end the movement toward oligarchy in this country. Her Supreme Court appointments will also defend a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.

If you don’t believe this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country.

This election is about the thousands of young people I have met who have left college deeply in debt, and the many others who cannot afford to go to college. During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.

This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and future generations. Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that – unless we act boldly and transform our energy system in the very near future – there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that when we do that we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs.

Donald Trump? Well, like most Republicans, he chooses to reject science. He believes that climate change is a “hoax,” no need to address it. Hillary Clinton understands that a president’s job is to worry about future generations, not the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry.

This campaign is about moving the United States toward universal health care and reducing the number of people who are uninsured or under-insured. Hillary Clinton wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their health care exchange. She believes that anyone 55 years or older should be able to opt in to Medicare and she wants to see millions more Americans gain access to primary health care, dental care, mental health counseling and low-cost prescription drugs through a major expansion of community health centers.

And What is Donald Trump’s position on health care? No surprise there. Same old, same old Republican contempt for working families. He wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million people off of the health insurance they currently have and cut Medicaid for lower-income Americans.

Hillary Clinton also understands that millions of seniors, disabled vets and others are struggling with the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs and the fact that Americans pay the highest prices in the world for their medicine. She knows that Medicare must negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and that drug companies should not be making billions in profits while one in five Americans are unable to afford the medicine they need. The greed of the drug companies must end.

This election is about the leadership we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform and repair a broken criminal justice system. It’s about making sure that young people in this country are in good schools and at good jobs, not in jail cells. Hillary Clinton understands that we have to invest in education and jobs for our young people, not more jails or incarceration.

In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American – all of us – stand together. Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native born and immigrant fight to create the kind of country we all know we can become.

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.

I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children.

Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Inside the 2016 Democratic National Convention]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 23:33:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-583547368-dnc.jpg An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[It's Clinton's Convention, but Obama Is Key]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 17:45:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/545148032-obama-campaigns-for-clinton.jpg

Though the Democratic convention is Hillary Clinton's party, President Barack Obama could be the most important figure in the presidential contest between now and Election Day, NBC News reports.

Obama, who is speaking at the convention Wednesday night, is the only outgoing incumbent president since Ronald Reagan who has been popular enough to benefit his party's nominee.

Obama's job-approval rating is at 51 percent in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal — the third-straight NBC/WSJ survey where his approval has been above 50 percent. 

Despite the president's high approval ratings, Republicans want to use the negative news at home and abroad — the terrorist attacks in Orlando and France, and the police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge — against the party in charge of the White House.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Protests at the DNC]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 15:18:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/dncthumb_SN.jpg Photos from the Republican National Convention.]]> <![CDATA[Clinton's Turn: Guide to the Democratic National Convention]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:31:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/hillary-clinton7.jpg

It's Hillary Clinton's turn.

The Democratic National Convention opening Monday in Philadelphia is Clinton's chance to hit reset after a vigorous primary against Bernie Sanders and the unlikely movement that formed behind the Vermont senator. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has endorsed Clinton, but many of his supporters have not. Some were dismayed by her choice of Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., as her running mate.

Democrats had expected a smoothly choreographed display of party unity that would contrast with last week's bumpy Republican National Convention in Cleveland. That gathering exposed deep, lingering reservations about Donald Trump from within his own party. But Democrat's hopes were dashed Sunday when DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned under pressure over hacked emails.

What to know about the week:

THE POINT
Both parties use their national conventions to formally nominate candidates for president and vice president. Party leaders showcase their nominees, and the prime-time speeches by the candidates and prominent politicians win some of the largest television audiences of the campaign. That makes the convention a critical opportunity for a party to introduce its candidates to the country.

Democrats also will adopt the party's platform, which lays out policy principles but has no binding effect.

THE LOCATION
The Wells Fargo Center, home to the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, is the convention site. The arena has been transformed with stages, platforms, cameras and lights. Democrats are hoping that city's historical role in the founding of American democracy will serve as a powerful backdrop for the themes they'll highlight.

WHO'S GOING
More than 5,000 delegates are among the 50,000 people set to be in Philadelphia. They include alternates, lawmakers, special guests, journalists and protesters. Among the delegates, about 15 percent are superdelegates, mainly members of Congress and members of the Democratic National Committee. 

At the GOP convention, a striking number of prominent Republican lawmakers and party leaders were nowhere to be seen, including the party's previous two presidents and its two most recent presidential nominees. In contrast, bold-name Democrats have been eagerly vying for a chance to speak in Philadelphia. Most Democratic senators and House members are expected to attend.

ABOUT THOSE EMAILS
The convention was rocked Sunday before it even began by fallout from 19,000 hacked Democratic National Committee emails published online, some suggesting the party favored Clinton over Sanders in the primary. Wasserman Schultz, long accused by Sanders of rigging the primary for his opponent, said she'll step down at the end of the convention. But first she'll formally open and close the convention, and address delegates.

Her abrupt ouster triggers a new race for leadership of the party that is likely to play out on the sidelines of the convention.

THE SCHEDULE
First lady Michelle Obama is set to speak Monday. That's also when Sanders will give his speech — a closely watched moment for signs of whether his loyal supporters will line up behind Clinton, as he's asked them to do.

Former President Bill Clinton, the candidate's husband, is the speech to watch Tuesday. A day later, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden come to Philadelphia.

On Thursday, the final night, Chelsea Clinton will introduce her mother for her speech accepting the Democratic nomination.

Kaine, who made his debut as Clinton's running mate at a joint appearance Saturday, will give a speech introducing himself to the country. Officials haven't yet said when, but the running mate typically speaks Wednesday.

Other scheduled speakers are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. On the eve of the convention, the organizing committee announced that the Rev. Jesse Jackson and retired Gen. John Allen will also speak.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz and Cyndi Lauper will appear in Philadelphia during the convention. Fergie will perform at The Creative Coalition's gala.

THE ROLL CALL
States will get a chance to announce how their delegates are voting in the formal roll call Tuesday. It's a high point for Sanders delegates; they're pushing to have their votes fully tallied.

In 2008, Clinton halted the roll call midway through to call for then-Sen. Barack Obama's approval by acclamation, or unanimous vote. Sanders says he favors a state-by-state roll call, but he hasn't indicated exactly what he will do.

There's a total of 4,763 delegates. It takes 2,382 to win the Democratic nomination.

Clinton arrives in Philadelphia with 2,814 delegates to Sanders' 1,893, according to an Associated Press count. That includes the superdelegates, who can vote for any candidate they choose. This year, those superdelegates overwhelmingly backed Clinton. The remaining 4,051 are pledged delegates, won by the candidates based on the results of state primaries and caucuses.

THE PROTESTS 

If there are any fireworks in Philadelphia, expect them to come from Sanders supporters. They have said they plan to show up in full force. 

Philadelphia officials estimate between 35,000 and 50,000 people will demonstrate across the city each day. Activists have put the estimate higher, at roughly 100,000. 

Among the groups planning to demonstrate are gun control advocates, the group Occupy DNC Convention and Trump supporters from Pennsylvania.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Kaine Returns to Longtime Parish to Attend Mass]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 20:57:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TimKaine-AP_16194841924998.jpg

Sen. Tim Kaine returned to St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday, a day after being introduced as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, according to NBC News. 

Kaine and his wife, Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton, were swarmed by reporters, photographer and network cameras.

The church made a few nods to Kaine and his wife during Sunday mass. The congregation offered a prayer of petition, "especially we pray for Tim Kaine and Anne Holton" and the couple participated in the presentation of the gifts. Kaine also sang with the church’s choir, something he occasionally does. 

The last time Kaine attended services at the church was two weeks ago.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Aide Dismisses Russian Link to DNC Email Leak]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 20:17:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PaulManafort-GettyImages-524993070.jpg

A top Donald Trump campaign adviser dismissed allegations that Russian hackers were behind the DNC email leak, NBC News reported. 

Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort said it showed how “desperate” Hillary Clinton’s campaign is after Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook made the suggestion to CNN on Sunday. 

"They're pretty desperate pretty quickly," Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort said at a press conference in Philadelphia on Sunday. "It's a far reach, obviously. To lead their convention with that tells me they really are trying to move away from what the issues are in this campaign." 

Manafort downplayed the possibility that Russia was involved with the leaks, saying “we don’t know who’s behind the leaks,” but tied them to Clinton’s use of a private email server, suggesting she created a bigger risk than the one created by the DNC leak. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bloomberg to Endorse Clinton in DNC Speech]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 05:39:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-468907398.jpg

Michael Bloomberg is expected to endorse Hillary Clinton during his speech at the Democratic National Convention, an adviser for the former New York City mayor told NBC News.

Bloomberg is making the endorsement because of concerns about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He also sees himself as a person with authority who can debunk Trump's claims about business and the economy, the former aide said.

Bloomberg has not been a member of the Democratic Party since 2000, according to The New York Times. He was elected the mayor of New York City as a Republican and later became an independent.

Bloomberg announced in March he wouldn't be running for president, saying: "When I look at the data, it's clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win. I believe I could win a number of diverse states — but not enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency.”

He also said at the time Trump "has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people's prejudices and fears," citing Trump's proposal to ban most Muslims from entering the United States and deporting those here illegally.

In May, Bloomberg told CNBC, "Trump marches to his own drummer it would seem, and so far, that drummer has been playing the right tune to get him this far."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Checking Clinton’s Greatest Hits]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 13:00:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/HillaryClinton-AP_16140607364144.jpg

Note to Reader

FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Clinton’s Greatest Hits



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump on Convention Speech: 'It Was Very Optimistic' ]]> Sun, 24 Jul 2016 11:07:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Trump+on+RNC+Speech.png

Donald Trump pushed back against critics who called his speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday night too pessimistic, telling NBC's Chuck Todd he offered an optimistic message because "we're going to solve the problems."

In an interview on "Meet The Press," the GOP nominee said he intended to portray only a choice between himself and Hillary Clinton.

Asked about his statement that "I alone can fix it" — a sentiment blasted by critics as a flirtation with totalitarianism — Trump said his ability to solve America's problems is a binary contrast with the Democratic nominee.

"I am running against Hillary. It's not like I'm running against the rest of the world. I know people that are very, very capable that could do a very good job, but they could never get elected," he said.

Trump called critics of his address "haters," saying that the latest round of violence in the Middle East justifies the grim view of world affairs he presented in his speech.



Photo Credit: 'Meet the Press'
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<![CDATA[Clinton Picks Kaine for VP]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:00:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16196751572126.jpg

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's pick to become the next vice president of the United States, Clinton told supporters Friday evening.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said in a text message Friday evening she was "thrilled" to share that she has selected Kaine as her running mate. 

His guiding principle is "the belief that you can make a difference through public service," Clinton's Twitter account said.  

A steady Clinton surrogate in recent campaign appearances, Kaine was at a fundraiser in Newport, Rhode Island, Friday night when the announcement was made. He is honored to be Clinton's running mate, he tweeted soon after the news broke.

"Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!" he said.

Republican nominee Donald Trump sought to incite rage among Bernie Sanders supporters over Clinton's pick, tweeting that Kaine represents the opposite of what the Vermont senator stood for, "Philly fight?"

In a series of tweets Saturday morning, Trump said Clinton didn't chose Sen. Elizabeth Warren because "she hates her," alleged Kaine is "owned by banks" and, citing the newly leaked DNC emails, said the party planned to "destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED." 

The swing state's former governor, a current member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, has the national security experience Clinton is said to have been seeking, observers said.

Pundits and Kaine supporters have said the senator's experience and moderate positions make him an ideal choice.

"Senator Kaine's judgment, experience and values make him an excellent complement to the Democratic ticket, and he will be a strong partner to President Hillary Clinton in the White House," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday evening. 

The former Virginia governor complements Clinton, Democratic donor Glen Fukushima told CNN.

"He has a business sense and international experience [and] speaks Spanish, which are both pluses," he said. "He also has experience as a governor, which could complement Hillary's background."

Kaine, 58, "has a lot going for him," Rep. Gerry Connolly told CNN.

"He's Catholic, from a swing state, successful governor, speaks fluent Spanish, has political chops, was the head of the [Democratic National Committee]," he told the television network. "He provides a lot of talent to the ticket and could step in and could certainly be an heir apparent." 

"I can say there is no one of higher integrity and trustworthiness," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

"His experience, intellect and dedication to making life better for people from all walks of life will make him an enormous asset to Secretary Clinton throughout the remainder of this campaign and as a leader in her administration over the next four years," Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said. "This is a proud day for every Virginian."

Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell expressed for Kaine while taking the opportunity to attack Clinton. 

"His character makes it all the more surprising that he would sign up to defend Hillary Clinton for the next three-and-a-half months," he said in a statement. "However, Sen. Kaine's selection as the vice presidential nominee does not change that this election is ultimately a referendum on Secretary Clinton." 

Kaine touts his work to reduce unemployment among veterans, to block any Iran nuclear weapons program, to recognize American Indian tribes in Virginia, to preserve Civil War battlegrounds and to improve access to job-training programs.

Kaine, who attended University of Missouri and Harvard Law School, speaks Spanish fluently after taking a year off from attending Harvard to work at a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, his Senate website says.

But critics have called Kaine a safe, even boring, running mate.

When asked by Charlie Rose of PBS on Monday whether Kaine was a boring choice, Clinton said, “I love that about him.” 

Kaine was even asked about being boring on NBC's "Meet the Press" in June, one of his highest-profile appearances in what was evidently his vetting process. Kaine brushed it off with a joke: "I am boring … but boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country."

What Does Kaine Bring to the Table?
Kaine, who was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, was first elected to office in 1994. He served as a city councilman and then was elected mayor of Richmond. He became lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2002, was inaugurated as governor in 2006 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. He serves on the aging, armed services, budget and Senate foreign relations committees. 

Newsweek previously called Kaine "the conventional wisdom pick" for Clinton's running mate and tied his chances of being selected with those of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Kaine will not energize the party's progressive wing, however, Newsweek argued.

"Kaine ... voted to fast-track President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move that angered most of the left. And his views on abortion are to the right of many Democrats: he’s a practicing Catholic who supported parental consent and informed consent laws in his state. And, Sanders aside, old white guys just don't excite voters like they used to," the publication wrote.

Kaine is personally opposed to abortion but has said he is against overturning Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing the procedure. Beyond supporting requiring parental consent, he also was in favor of banning late-term abortions unless a woman’s life is at risk, and he has promoted abstinence-focused education to try to decrease the number of pregnancies that end in abortion. In the past, the state NARAL chapter refused to endorse him. 

Kaine was on President Barack Obama’s short-list for vice president, according to Politico.

He teamed up with Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to introduce legislation to authorize military force against the Islamic State. 

What Has Kaine Said About Wanting to Be VP?
On Thursday in Virginia, Kaine had downplayed speculation he would be Clinton's pick. 

"I'm in a little, momentary bubble of attention. It will be normal again," he told NBC Washington's David Culver

In March, Kaine also demurred about whether he wanted to be vice president.

"Well, I'm a happy senator and I like my job, and I'm not looking for another one, but, look, my best use is helping Secretary Clinton -- especially win Virginia," he said March 10 to a group of Hispanic and African-American publishers at the National Press Club.

The senator echoed those comments on April 29, saying he would accompany Clinton at her inauguration as a senator, not as her vice president, Politico reported.

"You know, I really love my job. I really do," Kaine reportedly said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe. "And I have a great feeling that I'm going to be on that podium with Hillary Clinton when she's taking the oath of office, but I'm going to be sitting with the other senators."



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Clinton Expected to Announce VP Pick in Florida]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 20:06:21 -0400 Get ready for round two! Donald Trump has formally accepted the Republican nomination for president and now all eyes are on the Democrats in Philadelphia. We are expecting Hillary Clinton to announce her VP pick soon in Florida. Melissa Russo reports.]]> <![CDATA[Fact Check: Trump Defends Oswald Claim]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:34:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/578550086-Donald-Trump-RNC.jpg

FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Donald Trump doubled down on his baseless insinuation that a photograph published by the National Enquirer shows Ted Cruz’s father with “crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.”

A day after accepting the Republican presidential nomination, Trump touted the national tabloid as a credible source worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, and said the newspaper would not have run the photo if it was “wrong.” Moreover, Trump said, the Cruz camp “never denied” that it was Rafael Cruz in the photo with the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

That’s all nonsense.

As we wrote on May 3, the thinly sourced story hangs largely on comments from an expert who told the paper that a photo of an unidentified man handing out pro-Fidel Castro leaflets with Oswald has “more similarity than dissimilarity” with a passport photo of Cruz’s father, Rafael.

The photo expert, Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos, a California-based digitizing photo service, was quoted in the Enquirer story — “Ted Cruz Father Linked to JFK Assassination!” — as saying, “[I]t looks to be the same person and I can say as much with a high degree of confidence.”

Note the parsing of words. He wasn’t saying with a high degree of certainty that it is Rafael Cruz. He’s saying with a high degree of certainty that it “looks to be the same person.”

Goldstone told us in a phone interview that he never claimed the man in the picture with Oswald was definitely Rafael Cruz, and he called Trump’s unqualified assertion that it is Cruz “stupid.” Goldstone said he compared, by eye, the photo of the unidentified man in the picture with Oswald with a passport photo of a young Rafael Cruz, and concluded “They look pretty close.”

That’s the thin reed upon which this story hangs.

Nonetheless, Trump proclaimed in a May 3 interview on “Fox and Friends” that Cruz’s “father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being, you know, shot! I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous … And nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don’t even talk about that, that was reported and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible, I think it’s absolutely horrible, that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there.”

Trump later added, “I mean what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the death – before the shooting? It’s horrible.”

The day after his controversial convention speech, Cruz said those comments by Trump played a role in his decision not to endorse Trump.

“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and who attack my father,” Cruz said.

The day after his convention speech, in remarks to supporters in Cleveland, Trump fired back at Cruz, saying, “I don’t want his endorsement. If he gives it, I will not accept it.” Trump then launched into a defense of an unflattering image of Cruz’s wife that Trump retweeted, as well as his comments about Cruz’s father.

“All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer, there’s a picture of him [Rafael Cruz] and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast,” Trump said. “I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that frankly in many respects, should be very respected. They got O.J. They got Edwards. They got this. I mean, if that was the New York Times, they would have gotten Pulitzer prizes for their reporting.”

Although Trump said the photo showed the two “having breakfast,” the picture in question actually shows Oswald distributing pro-Castro literature in New Orleans in August 1963, a few months prior to Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. According to the Miami Herald, another man in the picture was never identified by the Warren Commission, whose investigation concluded Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald and that Oswald acted alone.

In his post-convention remarks, Trump said the whole issue “had nothing to do with me, except I might have pointed it out.” No “might” about it. Trump did “point it out” on national TV, and he definitively proclaimed the man in the picture to be Rafael Cruz, even though the text of the National Enquirer story doesn’t go quite that far.

Trump went on to say that neither Cruz nor anyone in his camp ever denied that it was Rafael Cruz in the photo.

“Now, Ted never denied that it was his father,” Trump said in his post-convention remarks, adding later, “But they never denied. Did anybody ever deny that it was the father? They’re not saying, ‘Oh, that’s not really my father.’ It’s little hard to do. It looks like him.”

In fact, they have.

“This is another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage,” Communications Director Alice Stewart told McClatchy. “The story is false; that is not Rafael in the picture.”

“It’s ludicrous, it’s ludicrous,” Rafael Cruz told ABC News on May 3. “I was never in New Orleans at that time.”

Ted Cruz dismissed the Enquirer story as “idiotic” and called Trump a “pathological liar” who is “utterly amoral” and a “bully.”

“Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in the assassinating JFK,” Cruz said. “Now, let’s be clear, this is nuts. This is not a responsible position. This is just kooky.”

As for Trump’s claim that the unidentified man in the photo with Oswald “looks like” Rafael Cruz, experts told us not to put much stock in that kind of assessment.

Anil Jain, a computer scientist and expert on facial recognition and biometric identification at Michigan State University, told us the images are of a poor quality, black and white, and grainy, and that “It would be very difficult, even for a photo expert, to extract facial attributes.” Any conclusion about similarities is subjective, he said.

So to sum up: despite Trump’s claim to the contrary, the Cruz campaign categorically denied that it is Rafael Cruz in the photo. And Ted Cruz called the Enquirer story “nuts.” And there is still no evidence — at all — that the man in the photo with Oswald is Rafael Cruz. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>