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Backlash against Bill? Many Democrats would sideline Clinton in 2018

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Will the changing political climate sideline Bill Clinton?

Less than two years ago, he stood on a Philadelphia stage and heaped praise on his wife as the Democratic nominee for his old job. And he was a constant presence on the trail in a campaign that they, and nearly all journalists, thought would defeat Donald Trump.

As the 2018 midterms heat up, you might expect that a former president—one who left office with a high approval rating, despite the inconvenient fact of having been impeached—would be much in demand. But apparently, not so much.

That’s the thesis of a Politico piece on the party running away from Clinton:

“Democrats are looking to embrace the #MeToo moment and rally women to push back on President Donald Trump in the midterms—and they don’t want Bill Clinton anywhere near it.”

Clinton’s history—Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick—looks far different to many Democrats in 2018 than it did in 1998, when the Senate acquitted him, or even 2016. His presence would detract from the Democrats’ ability to make the midterms about Donald Trump, Rob Porter and Roy Moore.

There’s another factor, I believe, not mentioned by Politico: Bill’s presence also reminds voters of Hillary. It’s not his fault that she ran a terrible campaign and lacked his ability to spin stories and connect with voters. But ever since he ran on a 2-for-1 deal back in 1992, allowed her to make policy as first lady and backed her two White House runs, they have been politically joined at the hip.

And most Democrats want to move on from the Hillary debacle.

The piece says of Bill that “an array of Democrats told Politico they’re keeping him on the bench. They don’t want to be seen anywhere near a man with a history of harassment allegations, as guilty as their party loyalty to him makes them feel about it …

“Privately, many Democratic politicians and strategists are harsher and firmer: Don’t come to their states, and don’t say anything about their campaigns. They are still worried about saying it out loud, but they don’t want him now, or maybe ever. They know Republicans would react by calling them — with good reason — hypocrites.”

This is hardly the first time the issue of Clinton’s womanizing has come up. Twenty years ago, Democrats feared that he would be an albatross in the midst of the Ken Starr investigation and impeachment drive; the Republicans lost five seats and Newt Gingrich resigned as speaker.

In 2000, Al Gore barely deployed Clinton as a surrogate as he tried to turn the page, and that may have cost him the presidency in the razor-thin recount election.

Trump didn’t let Clinton’s sexual misconduct fade into the history books. He alluded to it at times, and after the “Access Hollywood” tape, he brought some of Clinton’s accusers to the second debate. His surrogates weren’t shy about using Bill’s past to blunt Hillary’s attacks on Trump’s treatment of women.

But now it’s Clinton’s own party that apparently wants to turn the page. Kirsten Gillibrand, elected to the Senate with Clinton’s backing but eyeing the White House in 2020, recently said he should have resigned after the Monica Lewinsky affair. If most other Democrats follow suit, Clinton may have to spend more time with his family and his foundation.

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EU slammed as Brussels 'slow to engage' to solve NI protocol issues 'It's nonsense!'

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GEORGE EUSTICE has branded as “bonkers” a situation in which British-made sausages could not be sold in Northern Ireland amid continuing rows over post-Brexit border arrangements.

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Senate Dems to start confirming Biden’s judges to ‘restore the balance’ in courts

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WASHINGTON — The Senate is set to approve President Joe Biden’s first judicial nominees this week, marking the start of an ambitious push to make an impact on the federal courts.

The Senate advanced the nomination of Julien Xavier Neals to be a district judge in New Jersey by a vote of 66-28 on Monday, setting up a final confirmation vote Tuesday.

Next up is Regina M. Rodriguez to be a district judge in Colorado.

The two were advanced in committee last month, along with two other district court nominees and Ketanji Brown Jackson for the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said they were “the first of many jurists that the Democratic-led Senate will consider to restore the balance to the federal judiciary.”

He said the Senate will “swiftly and consistently” process Biden’s judicial picks, “bringing balance, experience and diversity back to the judiciary.”

Republicans aggressively reshaped the judiciary with young conservatives during the Trump administration. Former President Donald Trump appointed 234 judges to the federal bench, flipping the ideological balance in numerous circuit courts and installing three justices to create the most conservative Supreme Court in nearly a century.

Schumer said many of them were “woefully inexperienced and far outside the judicial mainstream.”

A vote on Jackson in the full Senate is expected in the coming weeks. She is seen as a likely short-lister for a Supreme Court vacancy should one open up during Biden’s presidency.

The courts-focused progressive group Demand Justice launched a six-figure ad campaign Monday to build support for Jackson, targeting Black audiences on radio and digital platforms.

Schumer also recommended two voting rights lawyers for judgeships: Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and Dale Ho of the American Civil Liberties Union for the Southern District of New York.

Neals and Rodriguez were nominated for judgeships during the Obama administration but did not have votes in the Senate, which was then run by Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the current minority leader.

Under precedents established by both parties, the 60-vote threshold has been abolished for all judicial confirmations. Nominees can advance with simple majorities.

A separate rule, established in 2019, cut debate time from 30 hours to two hours for certain types of nominees, including those for district court judgeships, so Republicans could quickly confirm Trump’s picks. The precedent will enable Democrats to speedily confirm a number of Biden’s nominees.

There are 71 vacancies in district courts and nine openings in appeals courts, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The numbers are set to rise with additional retirements.

The judicial battle could further heat up if a Supreme Court justice retires. Some progressive activists, including Demand Justice, are pushing Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, to retire while Democrats control the Senate so they can confirm a liberal successor.

Breyer has not given any indication that he plans to step aside.

Frank Thorp V contributed.



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'Money talks!' Britons pledge to boycott EU27 goods in protest of bloc's treatment of UK

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BRITONS have pledged to boycott goods sold from EU27 countries in protest of the bloc’s post-Brexit treatment of the UK, an Express.co.uk poll has found.

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