Bill Clinton

Clinton, In Albany, Calls Vote For Hillary His Proudest

Former President Bill Clinton in Albany on Monday called his vote for his wife in the electoral college the proudest he’s ever cast.

At the same time, Clinton pointed the finger at both the alleged hacking by Russian-backed agents of emails at the Democratic National Committee as well as the re-opening of the FBI investigation into his wife’s use of a private email server weeks before Election Day.

“I’ve never cast a vote that I was prouder of. I watched her work for two years, I watched her battle through that bogus email deal, be vindicated at the end,” Clinton said. “She fought through that, she fought through everything. She prevailed against it all, but in the end she had the Russians and she had the FBI and she couldn’t prevail that against that, but she did that and still won by 2.8 million votes.”

He added: “The finest vote counter in the election is Nate Silver and he told you what cost her the election.”

Clinton To Address Democratic Rural Conference

Former President Bill Clinton will address a gathering of the Democratic Rural Conference on Saturday, according to a notice on the group’s website.

The DRC is meeting at the Desmond Hotel in Colonie outside of Albany for their 2016 convention.

Clinton is stumping in New York ahead of the Tuesday Democratic presidential primary in New York between his wife and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The DRC is a group that has been allied with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the past, having endorsed his failed bid for governor in 2002 and remains part of a key constituency of upstate Democratic elected officials and activists for him.

Cuomo served in Clinton’s cabinet as the Housing and Urban Development secretary.

President Clinton Checks In With Miner

Not surprisingly, Bill Clinton is again playing an active role in his wife’s effort to return the family to the White House, hitting the campaign trail hard on her behalf, with plans to appear at organizing rallies tomorrow at Rochester and Buffalo.

The former president is apparently also working the phones, touching base with key Democratic players in New York in advance of the state’s April 19 primary, which is a must-win for the former U.S. senator/first lady/secretary of state.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who has a long-standing relationship with both Clintons and is a super delegate for the candidate this year, said she received a check-in phone call from Bill Clinton last night. The 20-miute conversation between the two Democrats focused both on basketball (Final Four, March Madness, SU etc.) and politics, the mayor said.

“He asked how I thought Hillary was doing, looking for a sense of perspective on the ground,” Miner recalled. “…He said: How do you think it’s going in (New York City)? In the suburbs? We pride ourselves on organizing and out-working the other side. I told him: You don’t have anything to worry about in Syracuse because that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

“…they’re famous for this,” the mayor said of the Clintons. “They’re touching the bases that should be touched, not letting any stone go unturned. He wanted a deep dive into it all.”

A Q poll released last week showed Hillary Clinton’s Democratic primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, trailing her by just 12 percentage points – a fairly comfortable double-digit lead for Clinton, but perhaps not the wide margin she would be hoping for from her adopted home state.

But Miner insisted Clinton has nothing to worry about, and is going to be “fine” come primary night. She pointed as proof to the well-attended rally Clinton held in Syracuse last week, which attracted more people than could be accommodated by the venue. She also said Clinton was “thronged” during a surprise stop at Varsity Pizza, an SU mainstay that is very popular with students. (In other words, with the selfsame young voters who make up Sanders’ base).

“These kinds of Democratic primaries always tighten,” Miner said. “…She’s going to be the designee; the question is: How soon that can happen? I think she’s going to do well in New York, in my congressional district. Having spent all day Friday with her, the response to her was genuine excitement. We didn’t have to build a crowd. The pizza thing was off record; nobody knew and throngs of people were there and they cheered. If there were a problem, that’s the place we would have sensed it because as everybody knows, Bernie does well with young people. Up at the campus that was not what we experienced.”

Rep. Maloney’s New NY-18 Ad – A Tale of Two Bills

From the Morning Memo:

On the heels of Hillary Clinton’s appearance on his behalf in Somers yesterday, Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is out with a new ad that features her husband – and his former boss – former President Clinton.

The ad, entitled “Agree”, stars the ex-president and GOP state Sen. Bill Larkin, who has crossed party lines to support the congressman’s battle against the Republican he ousted two years ago, former Rep. Nan Hayworth.

Maloney served as a senior advisor in the Clinton White House – a fact Hillary Clinton alluded to during her appearance on the congressman’s behalf yesterday.

“I’m here not only because I remember that young man – he looks pretty much the same as he did nearly 25 years ago – that I met all those years ago in New Hampshire, that worked in the White House,” the former first lady and ex-secretary of state said.

“I’m here because he’s been a good congressman for this district, for the people he has represented.”

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have been stumping across the nation on behalf of Democratic candidates this campaign season – an effort that is widely viewed as chit-collecting in advance of her possible 2016 presidential run.

Aside from the fact that Maloney is a former employee, this race also has particular significance for the Clintons since it’s taking place in their backyard. (Westchester County).

Maloney’s campaign said there’s a “significant six-figure buy” behind this ad, which is running on NYC broadcast stations.

The NY-18 race has tightened considerably as Election Day draws near, and is now widely viewed as a neck-and-neck situation.

Hayworth recently infused a cool $1 million of her own cash into her campaign, while the DCCC pulled support from other Democratic candidates in New York to redeploy resources on Maloney’s behalf.

Here’s the script of the congressman’s new ad:

Announcer: “Here’s one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on, Sean Patrick Maloney has a record of bipartisan results. Creating Jobs. Protecting a Woman’s Right to Choose. Fighting for Veterans.

Republican Senator Bill Larkin: He has taken a position of let’s work together for the people we represent. He has been a staunch supporter of veterans.

President Bill Clinton: Sean Maloney’s got a better jobs plan. He’s got a better budget plan. He’s got a better education plan. He’s got a better plan for the future.”

Bill Clinton to Campaign for Rep. Bishop

The Democrats are bringing out the biggest gun they’ve got – former President Bill Clinton – to shore up veteran Long Island Rep. Tim Bishop as Election Day looms.

Clinton will headline a rally for Bishop at 5 p.m. tomorrow at The Staller Center at Stony Brook University along with DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, who has a lot riding on this race, since it’s taking place in his backyard.

The Republicans have been trying to dislodge Bishop for several cycles now, and haven’t yet managed to oust him, despite the fact that his fundraising remains under investigation by the House ethics committee. The congressman is again a top target this fall, and he’s facing a challenge from GOP state Sen. Lee Zeldin.

A Siena poll released early last month found Bishop leading Zeldin by 10 percentage points – a spread the senator’s campaign disputed. The race must be tightening according to the Democrats’ internal numbers, however, or they wouldn’t bother deploying Clinton this far out from the Nov. 4 election.

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg Center poll found that of all the big name Democrats, a nod from Bill Clinton moves voters like no one else – and even he can’t influence a race that much.

An endorsement from the former president makes 38 percent of voters think more favorably about a candidate, the poll found, and 24 percent of voters think less favorably. Former First Lady/Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton was right behind her husband, with 34 percent saying they would view a candidate more favorably if she bestowed her endorsement upon him or her.

A number of big names on both sides of the aisle have been making appearances on behalf of statewide and congressional candidates in recent weeks.

Just yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden headlined a rally at the airport in Syracuse in support of Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, who faces a tough challenge from Republican John Katko in NY-24. Westchester County Executive and GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has received in-person support from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, along with statements and/or email appears from former Massachusetts Governor/presidential candidate Mitt Romney and US Senator/former presidential candidate John McCain.

Bill Clinton Robocalls For Rangel

On the heels of his endorsement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday, former President Bill Clinton has recorded a robocall for Rep. Charlie Rangel’s campaign as he seeks a 23rd term in office.

“Hi this is President Bill Clinton I’m calling to urge you to vote for my friend Congressman Charlie Rangel on Tuesday June 24th, Charlie is the only candidate with a proven track record of delivering results on the economy, he’s a fighter for good jobs, successful small businesses and working families, he has been for 40 years now,” Clinton says in the robocall. “When I was President we worked together to establish an empowerment zone to give people incentives to invest money and start businesses and hire people in his district.”

Clinton, of course, set up his post-administration office in Rangel’s Congressional district, which includes Harlem, Norwood and Inwood.

Rangel is once again facing a heated Democratic primary this year, facing off against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who narrowly lost in 2012, along with the Rev. Michael Walron and Yolanda Garcia.

“It is an honor to have the strong support of my friend and long-time colleague in Washington and in Harlem, President Bill Clinton – truly one the finest leaders in our nation’s history,” Rangel said in a statement. “President Clinton’s bold leadership created an era of real economic growth and positive change in the lives of New Yorkers and all Americans. We share a progressive vision of creating a New York that’s more affordable and equitable for everyone. I look forward to returning to Washington so I can continue making this vision a reality by fighting for better jobs, affordable housing, and real reforms to our immigration laws.”

Bill Clinton, In Video, Fetes Cuomo

Former President Bill Clinton appeared via video at the state Democratic Convention on Thursday touting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s time in office — an appearance that naturally comes with overtones of 2016.

Clinton, or perhaps even his wife the former secretary of state, had been rumored to appear at the convention in person — a rumor that was heightened given the strict security at the Long Island Hilton for the convention’s second day.

Instead, Clinton appeared in a video to praise his former Housing and Urban Development secretary.

“I told New Yorkers Andrew would do great things as attorney general and governor and he has,” Clinton said in the video.

Among Cuomo’s successes, Clinton listed the legalization of same-sex marriage as well as pushing a revitalization of upstate New York.

“Communities that suffered for decades are now coming back for life,” Clinton said.

And he said Cuomo has been able to tame Albany’s long-standing dysfunction.

“New York state government has been transformed into an engine of action standing in stark contrast to the gridlock of Washington, D.C.,” Clinton said.

The video carries the subtext of 2016, as Cuomo has been a potential Democratic candidate in two years’ time, as has Hillary Clinton.

Both Clintons have sought to shore up their support among the Democratic base of the party, as evidenced by their role earlier this year at the inauguration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who, like Cuomo, also spent time in the Clinton administration’s HUD.

“At this point in my life, one of my great joys is seeing people I used to work with go on to do great things,” Clinton said.

Though Cuomo would almost certainly not seek the nomination in 2016 should Hillary Clinton launch her own campaign, having him firmly in the Clinton wing of the party with its overlapping donors and policies can’t hurt the couples’ cause.

And certainly Clinton seems to suggest he’d like to see his former HUD secretary not just be re-elected, but stay in Albany through 2018.

“I believe that with four more years, he can take our state to even greater heights,” Clinton said.

Clinton Robocalls In Westchester

Former President Bill Clinton is robocalling on behalf of Democratic Westchester County executive hopeful Noam Bramson, citing his residency in the northern suburbs in the call.

“I live in Westchester,” Clinton said. “I care very much about who is making decisions that affect our county’s future. Noam will focus on a sustainable future like creating jobs, protecting the environment, investing in health and child care programs. He’ll work every day to invest in that future. As mayor he’s proven he can run a lean, effective ship. He’s proven he can hold taxes down.”

The robocall can be heard here.

Clinton previously appeared at a fundraiser for Bramson, the New Rochelle mayor who is seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Rob Astorino.

The call was first reported by the White Plains-based Daily Voice.

The race in Westchester is considered a key one for both Democrats and Republicans alike.

Astorino is considered a rising star in the state GOP and a possible challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014.

Cuomo, who campaigned with Bramson last weekend, would need the state’s suburban counties next year if he wants a landslide victory. Doing so would require him to energize a base of Democratic voters both in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island.

Chelsea Entering The Family Biz?

As her mother — politely, we assume — shoots down the idea of running for mayor of New York City, Chelsea Clinton is dipping her toe into her father’s NGO, the Clinton Foundation.

In an email to supporters today, Chelsea Clinton sent out a laudatory message for her father, former President Bill Clinton. But the source of the email is especially intriguing: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

From the email:

My dad is usually the first to say that it’s people like you, working together who create change in the world. And I couldn’t agree more.

I also think he deserves a big “thank you” for everything he’s done in the past year – especially the inspiring work that doesn’t make the headlines, like personally checking on the progress of a soy factory in Rwanda this summer and helping give more American kids access to healthy meals throughout the school year.

I’m helping the Clinton Foundation collect thousands of personal messages of thanks from people like you to share with my dad. Will you write him a quick thank you note today?

Her involvement is not that surprising. Back in August, Vogue reported that Chelsea’s exposure to the Clinton Foundation has spurred a renewed interest for public service.

Chelsea’s mother, soon-to-be-former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is still pondering her next act, which surely will include a lucrative book deal. All eyes, of course, are watching her for what she plans to do come 2016.

Clinton Robocalls For Owens

Former President Bill Clinton has had a busy robocalling schedule these last few days on behalf of Democratic New York House candidates.

Clinton, who recorded a robocall for his former aide Sean Patrick Maloney in the Hudson Valley, this afternoon endorsed Rep. Bill Owens.

Text of the call is below.

Clinton, obviously, is and remains a tremendous asset for Democrats in the GOTV category.

Still, the district is heavily Republican, and Clinton, even 12 years after leaving office, remains a unifying force for Democrats, but a possibly divisive one for independent and Republican voters.

The news of the robocall comes almost simultaneously with word that Owens, like Democrat Dan Maffei in central New York, has filed a court order to impound ballots ahead of tomorrow’s vote — a sign that the race against Republican Matt Doheny will be as close as the public polls have suggested.

“Hello. This is President Bill Clinton. I’m calling to ask you to support Bill Owens for Congress this Tuesday. Bill’s got a strong record of fighting for middle class families in upstate NY, and he has what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy. He knows we have to balance the budget, and do it in the right way by cutting wasteful spending and not giving more tax breaks to millionaires. I’m proud to support Bill Owens because he’s the only candidate who will fight for middle class families and their future. I hope Bill can count on your support Tuesday. Thanks.”