#HillaryMen are fathers, brothers, husbands and sons working to elect Hillary Clinton as America’s first woman president.
Peter Daou and Tom Watson founded #HillaryMen to provide actionable analysis of the 2016 campaign focusing on the gender barrier in U.S. politics. Peter is a former senior digital adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a veteran of two presidential campaigns (Kerry '04 and Clinton '08). Tom is an author and Columbia University lecturer who advises companies and non-profits on social activism.
The #HillaryMen project is unaffiliated with Hillary for America. We encourage fact based advocacy and do not condone personal attacks against Hillary's political opponents or the media. [A note on designation: we use Secretary Clinton's first name in posts and emails following the example of her campaign.]
News & Analysis
Tonight, we hope that this nation will recognize the first female President-Elect in our 240-year history. We also expect Hillary Clinton to represent all of the country if she accepts the mantle of leadership, and to offer a vision of inclusiveness and healing as we turn from the crude and ugly candidacy her opponent, to focus on the incredible achievement of a broad and truly diverse coalition. That coalition is one of the most important and rewarding aspects of this election, and it’s personally thrilling that amidst the often ugly sexism and bigotry of these many months that such a diverse electorate stands ready to make history. That coalition includes many millions of “Hillary Men.”
We’ve written nearly 100 articles, debunked misleading polls, exposed shadowy conservative oppo groups, battled sexism in the media, introduced one of the most durable hashtags of the 2016 campaign and reached hundreds of thousands of Hillary supporters across America. We’re now excited to share this news, as reported by the Huffington Post: Peter will be working with David Brock (founder of Media Matters) to build a new media platform.
It’s time for Democrats (and all Americans) to acknowledge that Republicans have moved past entertainment and into incitement, past reason and into irrationality, past caution and into fear-mongering. For months, the Republican primary has teetered on the edge of the bizarre. In the aftermath of a spate of terror attacks, that process has veered from the clownish to the downright dangerous.
During times of crisis, an effective leader maintains a calm demeanor, a clear view and a steady hand. The capacity to lead under extreme pressure is the hallmark of a true leader. In George Patton’s words: “Pressure makes diamonds” Even Hillary Clinton’s most vocal detractors will grudgingly concede that she possess inordinate discipline, intelligence and strength.
I remember a meeting of officials late one evening. All Republicans. The meeting included commissioners and key political figures. This former Bronx political reporter was listening silently as they turned to gossiping about their Democratic counterparts. Who, someone asked, has been the biggest surprise? “Hillary.” “Really, why?” “She just works. She’s not trying to get into the photo.”
As Hillary's path to the Democratic nomination gets clearer, #HillaryMen are facing an influx of attacks from a cohort of angry white males. They try to conceal their misogyny behind snark and sarcasm, but this is about attacking a woman leader and the men who support her. Having been in the online trenches since the inception of online trenches, our skin is thick and the personal insults mean nothing to us.
From Trump insisting he’ll “humanely” deport 11 million men, women and children at gunpoint, to Ben Carson claiming he’ll “easily” take Iraq’s oil fields, the world must be laughing at the uninformed bluster of the Republican field. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton, a seasoned and respected global figure, continues to work her way toward the Democratic nomination.
With each passing day, it becomes clearer that Hillary Clinton is America’s best (and only) choice to keep the God Complex away from the nuclear button. Donald Trump and Ben Carson lack the vision, character, judgment, experience, knowledge and temperament to become President of the United States. Hillary has demonstrated an abundance of each of those attributes.
In recent weeks, the Democratic nomination battle has veered into sensitive territory: race and gender. Contrary to the media’s attempts to stoke Democratic conflict, Hillary is not accusing Bernie Sanders of being sexist or racist. She is doing something much more targeted and much more significant: pointing out unspoken and uncomfortable blind spots among white males on the left.
The narratives and frames that permeate the daily Morning Joe sliming of Hillary Clinton come from shadowy conservative opposition research groups bankrolled by Republican billionaires. Today, in a much-touted interview, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski met their intellectual paymasters. Obsequiousness quickly followed.
The Iowa Caucuses are three months away. The 2016 general election is a year away. And the Republican field remains a complete mess. While Hillary solidifies her operation, moves up in the polls, connects directly with voters, works for endorsements, and rolls out a robust policy platform, the Republican hopefuls descend further into personal sniping, dueling taunts, and almost comical disarray.
A collection of top GOP operatives, financed by prominent Republican donors, is launching two new groups to take aim at Hillary Clinton. The groups will be bankrolled by some of the biggest donors to Republican candidates, including billionaires Ken Griffin and Paul Singer. Singer, who was a generous contributor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is set to back Marco Rubio.
To date, Bernie and Hillary have conducted an amicable, mutually respectful contest with no cheap shots. Here's the problem. Hillary's October resurgence has created the temptation for Bernie to go down a more traditional attack path. He is, after all, a political pro and his campaign includes seasoned Washington professionals. He has also hired a pollster to hone his messaging, which further demonstrates that he's not above traditional campaign tactics
With #HillaryMen, our posture from the outset has been to take nothing for granted, maintain a clear-eyed view of the political landscape, fight back against every unfair attack, call out every instance of gender bias, and avoid second-guessing the campaign. We’ve been taking this election one day, one hour, one minute at a time, keeping our focus on the ultimate goal of demolishing the final gender barrier in U.S. politics.
The reaction to the sadistic Benghazi hearings was near-unanimous: it was seen as a gross overreach by the Republicans and a dignified and presidential showing by Hillary Clinton. We say “near-unanimous” because there is one notable dissenter: Maureen Dowd. Dowd has conducted a long-standing personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton from her perch at the New York Times.
Through the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the twists and turns of a campaign, we always return to the same accepted wisdom: When all is said and done, it's about the candidate. No campaign structure, no amount of money, no slick ads, no digital wizardry can substitute for authentic grit, tenacity and talent when the chips are tossed on the stage and the klieg light glare hits one person and one person alone.
Few words can describe the unceasing and sadistic verbal assault directed at Hillary by GOP members of the Benghazi Committee. Hour after interminable hour of disrespect and disdain, of pointless questions and political sniping, of partisan attacks and grandstanding. All this using the graves of four American heroes as an excuse for a craven political agenda: the destruction of Hillary Clinton's campaign for the presidency.
In the big picture, the Benghazi hearing, like the manic obsession with her emails, is yet another challenge in Hillary's American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course of a campaign. No other candidate has to deal with anything remotely like it. We’ve covered the committee’s debacle in its ugly details, so keep this post handy as you watch the proceeding: Play By Play: The Spectacular Implosion of the Benghazi Committee
Out of respect for Vice President Biden and following the example of Hillary Clinton, we have refrained from criticizing his extended (and destabilizing) decision-making process. But with Biden taking a cheap, dangerous and unwarranted shot at Hillary, our self-imposed constraint is over. Calling a popular, powerful, accomplished woman “naïve” has troubling overtones.
Shortly after Hillary’s commanding debate showing, we predicted that the brief window of praise would close and the media and commentariat would quickly return to their vitriolic attacks. After all, Karl Rove’s Crossroads and other conservative groups have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to smear Hillary – and their corporate allies in the media eagerly do their bidding.
Democrats and the media have always known that the House Select Committee on Benghazi was a partisan exercise aimed at barring Hillary Clinton from the White House. What no one anticipated is that in the weeks leading up to Hillary's appearance before the committee, the GOP would spontaneously torpedo their own efforts, revealing the sham investigation in all its craven cynicism.
Realizing that Hillary is still on track to win the Democratic nomination, the GOP and their allies in the media and commentariat are test-driving new attack lines. Will “flip-flopper” work against Hillary 12 years later? We doubt it. There isn’t a single candidate in the race who hasn’t changed positions over the years. For that matter, there are very few individuals in any field who haven’t changed their views with the passage of time.
We agree with Hillary that Joe Biden should be given the time and space to make his own decision, but we don’t feel it’s out of order to suggest that Biden could cement his legacy forever by endorsing Hillary. He would be seen as a hero by women and girls across the world who are fully invested in Hillary’s candidacy and who are within reach of a goal that has eluded them for nearly a quarter millennium. It would be a brilliant move, a political checkmate.
What happens when the anti-Hillary media filter is lifted and she isn't hijacked by email server questions? The public sees a brilliant, powerful, experienced leader. Someone who is on track to demolish the ultimate gender barrier in American politics. We are fans of Bernie Sanders and have been for years. He had one of the great moments of the debate when he said America was "tired of hearing about the damn emails!" How right he is.
When the top GOP candidates are a bully billionaire who insults women and a doctor who is re-litigating the Holocaust, it's clear we need a Democratic president. We are strong and unabashed Hillary Clinton advocates, but our objective here is not to criticize Hillary’s Democratic rivals. Rather, we want to provide fodder for Hillary's supporters to fight back against the media and pundits for spreading falsehoods about her.
Hillary’s supporters are extremely passionate and engaged. She leads in the polls and has broken fundraising records. A new ABC/WaPo poll shows Hillary at +62 favorable among Democrats, Biden +55, Sanders +23. The innerati will point to the fact that Republicans dislike Hillary in greater numbers, but we’re in a Democratic primary not a general election and in this primary, Hillary is the MOST likable candidate.
To anyone who has been a Hillary critic or opponent, to anyone who has a visceral dislike for her without knowing why they dislike her, to anyone who questions her character without an iota of evidence of any unethical behavior, we say this: read Hillary’s bio, get to know her, look at her with fresh eyes. Forget what you’ve been told by the press and pundits. Try supporting Hillary for a day. Just one day. We’re certain you’ll enjoy it. And you’ll be backing a winner.
The mask on the House Select Committee on Benghazi and its unethical and un-American assault on Hillary Clinton appears to have been torn away forever. In a story by CNN's Jake Tapper and Jeremy Diamond, an Air Force Reserve Intelligence officer has accused the committee's Republican leadership of obstructing justice in the probe of the deaths of four Americans serving in Libya.
We launched #HillaryMen in large measure to provide a counter-balance to what we anticipated would be deeply flawed, insidious and destructive media coverage of Hillary's 2016 campaign. We expected a deluge of conservative narratives and frames, carefully crafted and poll-tested, to flood the national discourse. Unfortunately we've been proven right: our national media and commentariat have constantly echoed and magnified the worst anti-Hillary tropes.
Lost in the months of hype about Hillary Clinton's State Department emails is this simple fact: There isn't a SINGLE line in her thousands of released emails that is substantively indicative of nefarious motives or behavior. Not one. With all the endless media hype, the non-stop coverage, and the vicious attacks, NOTHING Hillary actually said in her emails reflects poorly on her character.