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About a week-and-a-half after finishing Hillary Clinton’s What Happened  I was

1) not ready to re-read it quite yet and

2) not ready to start reading anything else. I wanted it to sit with me awhile like a nice Thanksgiving dinner.

I looked for a good movie on TV and nothing appealed to me, so I checked out *On Demand and found Recount available.

I hadn’t watched it in years – double digit years. There was much that I had either forgotten, or never noticed, or had not realized the significance of the first time around.

Ron Klain is the central character in the film. Hillary gives him a shout out in her book as a member of her debate prep team. We see him often as a commentator on MSNBC as we do Jeremy Bash who is a major supporting character in the film. The first time I saw this movie, I really had no idea who they were besides dedicated campaign staffers.

I had forgotten that each campaign had called in a former secretary of state to manage the chaos that originated around the infamous ‘butterfly ballot’ in Palm Beach County, FL.  The Democrats brought Warren Christopher aboard, and the Republicans called on James Baker.

If you are unfamiliar with that ballot, here it is.

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The butterfly ballot necessitated the correct insertion of the ballot (the yellow part underneath) into the machine and the use of that blue-handled stick-pin to punch a hole in the appropriate place on the ballot beside the ticket you chose. The complaint among many seniors in Palm Beach County was that they thought they might have punched hole #4 for Buchanan when they meant to vote for Gore (#5).

The confusion that ensued comprised the possibilities that people may well have simply punched the wrong circle, those circles are pretty small and many older people are vision-impaired, or that they may have inserted their ballots incorrectly, or that they had not punched the ballot firmly enough resulting in CHAD (Card Hole Aggregate Debris ) not completely detached from the ballot or even a “dimpled” ballot, i.e. no hole at all – only a dimple or indentation. A machine recount, as we learned, could push the partially detached “debris” back into the ballot nullifying the vote. A manual recount would raise the issue of voter intent in the cases of dimpled ballots. Florida does have a law regarding voter intent.

This is pretty nitty-gritty stuff for former global diplomats to be dealing with … unless it is your vote. Bringing in Christopher and Baker was also necessitated by the fact that the entire election would pivot around Florida, and once Palm Beach County was in question, folks in other counties began to question whether their votes were counted. In other words, the election in Florida, where one candidate’s brother was governor, was in question and was a mess … a world-class mess.

Here are a few things I had forgotten.

Al Gore had the popular vote even before Florida was counted.

Al Gore did concede on election night. He called George W. Bush. Then he called back and retracted when he was told the Florida numbers were going haywire. He was stopped just short of delivering his concession speech on election night.

Here is one thing I had never paid attention to. One line might well have gone forgotten or fallen to the cutting room floor since the actual character never made an appearance in the film. In an organizational meeting, James Baker is told that Jesse Jackson has Black and Jewish senior citizens marching in the streets demanding that their votes be counted and, as he said, “Who can argue with that?”

He then told Ben Ginsberg, a campaign attorney, to call in Roger Stone and bring crowds to Tallahassee, Palm Beach, and Miami.

Yes. That Roger Stone. Yes, this James Baker, and that James Baker! He called in that Roger Stone!

We all know how this ended when it finally did on December 12, 2000. SCOTUS halted the recount, Gore decided not to pursue any other pathways still open (to Ron Klain’s agony) and delivered a televised concession speech in the most upbeat of his usual upbeat manners. Many of us cried.

Looking back on this after reading Hillary’s excruciating chapter on election night and the day after, I see a difference in myself. I was a Gore supporter. No question about that. I would even say an enthusiastic one. But I was not impassioned. I kicked in my contributions. I had a demanding job that did not permit me much free time, and I was certain that this country would not elect George W. Bush. He was a joke to me and ended up a joke on me.

For Hillary, I was impassioned. Hillary was a cause for me. Despite my job, I worked hard for her in 2008 and much, much harder in 2015-16. One reason was the lesson I had learned about how U.S. voters will elect a joke. Much more of it was a long history of Hillary appreciation. She had the best experience, was the hardest worker, had the best mind and the best plans, as usual.  I knew all about them and promoted them. I gave every way I could.

Yet, on election night, I was not among the sobbers. I was not one of those crying. First, I was in severe shock. I could not comprehend what happened. It was as if I had been kicked in the head or struck by lightning.  I heard that she had called Trump. Then, I was deflated. Completely. I could not move, think, type, or speak. I was a zombie. Walking Dead. (Mind you. I have lived in Haiti and seen and met true zombies. That is how I was. Exactly.)

Neither was I tearful the following morning. This was a formality. A speech she felt she had to give. I appreciated the thought and feeling she had put into her words and the courage of her delivery. But it all was unreal to me. I was still in warrior mode – zombie warrior. Much as she did in June 2008, she graciously conceded. I was angry in 2008, and I was confused in 2016 because I did not see how this had happened. Something was very wrong here, but crying was too simple, and it was not going to satisfy my soul.

Having read Hillary’s reaction I think hers was pretty close to mine (hers, obviously, must have been mine times 66 million). Just drained, traumatized. Something had gone terribly wrong. But what?

What went into her decisions, to call Trump, to delay the speech since she had not written one, to give the speech the next day, what she did in those crucial hours, she explains all of that in that chapter. We didn’t have a lot of solid answers then.

Since then, we have gradually learned a lot, but we don’t know everything. For that we need to hear from Robert Mueller’s team.

We know that Obama encouraged Hillary to concede quickly and that she agreed with that. When I said on social media that she did not want to put the nation through another 2000, I was reminded that this is not 2000.  That is true, but the effect would have been similar, and even now we do not have the answers and there was no provision or mechanism to hold things off until we did have the information.

It was not Hillary but Terry Gross who brought up the issue of questioning the legitimacy of the election  earlier this month. Hillary responded that she did not think we had a mechanism for that.

That is another issue that looms large in Recount. Mechanisms. Apparently, the way election law was written in Florida at the time (and I have zero reason to think this has changed), if you want a total recount in that state, you must ask for that recount first before you request recounts in specific counties. That may be bass-ackwards, but that is their law. Having first requested recounts by county, Gore’s team was, by law, unable to request a full recount of the state. This was temporarily overturned by the Florida Supremes who called for a full state recount which proceeded until SCOTUS reversed that decision and stopped it. Likely they halted it because there are always those annoying dates! You must have a state winner by the time the Electoral College meets. You must have a president by January 20 even if Congress has to choose.

Another point brought up in the course of the machinations was that SCOTUS really should have no voice at all in an election and only Congress should, but both sides had already filed suits that had reached the Florida Supreme Court. By default, appeals went to SCOTUS.

In an election, much of what happens in 50 states with 3,142 counties is a function of local laws. If you did not like what happened in 2000, specifically that came down to Florida and its 67 counties. At best it would mean changing state election laws, which I do not think they have. At worst that would involve making micro-changes at the county level.

As for 2016, it would likely require some Constitutional change – an amendment. The least complicated path would be to abolish the Electoral College which twice in this young century has handed us the unpopular president. The College misrepresents the population. Who knows how likely such an amendment would be given gerrymandering and dark money in elections? It would not be easy. But worth a try.

At the end of Recount a codicil is read providing that the SCOTUS decision applied exclusively to Bush v. Gore. In other words, it can never be seen or used as a precedent for any future case.

There is much to be learned from the past, but there are not necessarily permanent fixes to past obstacles.
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Hillary Clinton Live

Tue 10/3 @ 7pm
Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center, Ft Lauderdale, FL

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Hillary ran between the raindrops in south Florida today.  She greeted early voters in West Miami,  stopped by a field office in Miami, and visited Little Haiti.  Then she went on to a rally in Pembroke Pines where Randi Weingarten warmed up the crowd and Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, greeted her.

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Joined By Sybrina Fulton in Pembroke Pines, Clinton Vows to Be the President for Everybody, Urges Floridians to Vote for a Better Future

Joined by Sybrina Fulton at a GOTV rally in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Hillary Clinton vowed to keep fighting for kids, families, and our country as president, just as she has done her entire career. Clinton also called out Donald Trump for his dark and divisive view of America and contrasted it with her vision of an America that is stronger together. Clinton vowed to unify our country as president, saying, “I want to be the president for everybody, everybody who agrees with me, people who don’t agree with me, people who vote for me, people who don’t vote for me.”

Clinton closed by encouraging the crowd to vote either on Election Day or through early voting, as around 37 million Americans already have. She also asked them to send Patrick Murphy to the U.S. Senate, so we can end the gridlock paralyzing Washington.

Clinton’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:

“Thank you, thank you so much! Hello, Pembroke Pines!  Hello, Florida!

I am thrilled to be here, and boy, is this a hardy group. Rain or shine, you’re ready. I just looked over here – I saw a man who has changed his sign from ‘I will vote’ to ‘I have voted.’ I am thrilled to be here with all of you, and I want to start by thanking Sybrina Fulton for that introduction.

I have to tell you on a very personal note, one of the privileges of this campaign over the last year and a half has been getting to know Sybrina and all the Mothers of the Movement.  They are some of the bravest people you’ll ever meet. They have taken the heartbreak and the anguish of losing their children to either gun violence or encounters with the police, and they’ve turned it into action.

The Trayvon Martin Foundation that Sybrina founded to honor her son is part of the agenda, part of her mission. I’m very grateful to her for her commitment to make America a fairer, safer, better place. Thank you Sybrina.

Now, we’ve got a bunch of great folks here with me. I want to have stand up, and I hope that you will send him to work with me in the Senate: Congressman Patrick Murphy. Also with us, Congressman Ted Deutch, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Congressman Alcee Hastings, the mayor of Pembroke Pines, Frank Ortis, the vice mayor of Broward County, Barbara Sharief, Broward County school board member Patti Good, Mayor Phil Levine, all the way from Miami Beach, and I especially want to thank my friend of so many years – I was trying to think about this as I was driving. I don’t remember when we first met, but we were both really, really young, Randi Weingarten. And along with thanking Randi, the president of the AFT, let me thank all of the educators, all the teachers. I think it’s about time we stop scapegoating teachers and start supporting teachers.

Now, every day in this campaign is exciting, and being here with all of you the last Saturday before Election Day really gets me geared up. We are seeing tremendous momentum, large numbers of people turning out, breaking records in a lot of places.

Now just in case you didn’t notice, I got to say, I was with Jay-Z and Beyoncé. They were amazing. You can go online and watch it. It was the most extraordinary show. When a famous entertainer says, ‘Hey, I want to support you. Help get out the vote,’ that is such a gift, but the thought that went into what they did last night – my personal favorite part was Beyonce had her backup singers and dancers in pantsuits.

But what was really touching to me is both of them talked about what this election means for their daughter and for all of our daughters and our sons.  Every single child. So I’ve got to ask you: are you ready? How many of you have already voted? Ok, so that means you’ve got time to get everyone else out to vote, right?

Now, did any of you see the debates?  I spent four and a half hours standing next to Donald Trump on that stage, proving once and for all that I have the stamina to be president of the United States.

Now, he kept saying things like, ‘Well, what have you done for 30 years?’ And I keep thinking to myself, ‘Donald, you don’t want to go there.’ I mean, I would have been happy to spend all four and a half hours talking about what I did compared to what he’s done for the last 30 years.

As your First Lady, I helped to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which insures 8 million kids a year. As Senator, I worked to rebuild New York City, make our country safer and get our first responders the health care they needed. As your Secretary of State, I traveled to 112 countries. I’ve stood up for human rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights and LGBT rights. I have spent my career fighting for kids and families, and if you elect me, that’s what I’ll keep doing.

Now, my friends, you are a hearty bunch standing out here in the rain. I don’t think I need to tell you all of the wrong things about Donald Trump, but here’s what I want you to remember. I want to be the president for everybody, everybody who agrees with me, people who don’t agree with me, people who vote for me, people who don’t vote for me. So let’s get out, let’s vote for the future, let’s vote what we want for our country and our children and our grandchildren. God bless you!”

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And then the deluge!

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Let’s build a BIG BLUE WALL and Make Donald Trump pay for his lies, shady cronyism, and innuendo!

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Make calls with the tweeters!

callsforhillaryConfirm your polling location here >>>>

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Before boarding her plane to take her campaign to Nevada and Arizona this morning, Hillary greeted early voters in Lauderhill, Florida.  Looks like Hillary has some very enthusiastic support in the largely Caribbean neighborhood!

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Then she hopped on her plane and headed west.

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We see her with staffers. Philippe Reines is back on the trail. Also see Jennifer Palmieri, Nick Merrill, and I think that is Marlon Marshall, Director of States and Political Engagement. Marlon organizes the buses and carpools.  If you are in Bergen or Passaic County, NJ and want to hop a bus or join a carpool this weekend, you can reserve a spot here >>>>.   The rides are free.

If you cannot canvass, you can always chip in a few dollars to help fuel the cars and buses.  (NJ gas tax went up yesterday.)  Let’s build a BIG BLUE WALL and Make Donald Trump pay for his lies, shady cronyism, and innuendo!

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Hillary’s last stop in Florida last night was a rally in Fort Lauderdale.  She was just as energized there as she was at her first event of the day in Dade City.

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Hillary’s evening event was at the Sanford Civic Center where she held a canvass kickoff rally.  She was on fire!  Who would you prefer working for you?  The guy who says “You’re fired,” or the woman who is on fire?

In Sanford, Clinton Calls Out Trump For Disturbing Behavior Towards Women, Legally Dubious Tax Schemes

At a rally in Sanford on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton continued her closing argument, calling out Donald Trump for his disturbing behavior toward women and his efforts to avoid federal income taxes for nearly two decades despite claiming to be worth $10 billion. Clinton highlighted a recent report that found Trump’s means of avoiding federal income taxes “legally dubious” and called on Trump to release his tax returns so the American people can finally see the truth about his foreign and domestic entanglements, and contributions to the military, our schools, and infrastructure.

Clinton also contrasted Trump’s dark and divisive campaign with her vision for a better and fairer America – one where we are all stronger together. She recalled the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, and expressed her commitment to reduce gun violence, stand up against systemic racism, and to protect all our children, no matter what ZIP code they live in.

Clinton closed asking attendees to vote early, to volunteer, and to make their voices heard by electing Democrats up and down the ballot – including Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, who would serve as a smart and tough-minded legislator and an independent voice for Florida.

Clinton’s remarks, as transcribed are below:

“Thank you all. I am thrilled to be here and I want to thank Marian Williams for that great introduction. I got to say hello to Marian backstage. She and her late husband came down here from New York, and I am so pleased. She’s active in Democratic politics, she’s chair of the Seminole Democratic Black Caucus and president of the Central Florida Democratic Club. Let’s give Marian Williams another round of applause.

And I’m always happy to be with your senator, Bill Nelson – and his wonderful wife, Grace. I’m glad they could be with us. And I hope that you will send Congressman Patrick Murphy to Washington to be your senator. And we have two amazing members of Congress visiting here who are campaigning for me, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Houston, Texas – [and Congressman John Lewis a legend of the civil rights and human rights movement. And I am also pleased that Stephanie Murphy, candidate for Congress is someone else that you should be supporting. And thanks to all the elected officials and community leaders, it is a great pleasure to be with you tonight. There’s a big overflow crowd out there and I went out to say hello to the overflow crowd. I told them that they could hear us. I hope they can, because I’m so grateful they’re here even though they couldn’t get in tonight.

Now, there are seven days left. One week from tonight, we will begin to get returns from around the country. And this may well be the most important election of our lifetimes because so much is at stake. I am not taking anything or anyone or any place for granted, and I hope you will work with me to win this election for you and everything we care about.

Now, I listened to some of the speakers who came before, and I see these last days as both the opportunity to continue to tell you what I want to do as your president, because I want to give you something to vote for, not just against. But I also feel it is important to keep drawing the contrast with my opponent because we’ve never had someone so unqualified and unfit to be president and commander-in-chief. And I want to say a word to people who are still making up their minds, because I want to be the president for everybody, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, everybody.

I want to represent those who vote for me and those who vote against me because I think the next president has three big challenges. We’ve got to get the economy working for everybody, not just those at the top, right? And there couldn’t be a clearer contrast between what I have laid out, the policies that I am promoting, because I think they will help us grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not from the top down the way Donald Trump has suggested. And then we’ve got a big challenge to keep our country safe and to lead the world with strength in accordance with our values. And we’ve got to make sure that we have someone in the White House with the temperament, the steadiness, the composure to deal with the challenges and crises that we will face in the world.

There are a lot of – there are a lot of things about national security that I think a lot about, because I’ve had the privilege of serving in the Senate, serving on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, being your Secretary of State. I was in the Situation Room when the mission to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice took place. So I have no illusions, I have no doubt, that this is a challenging time, but I believe with all my heart that our country is up to whatever challenges we face. If we work together, we are stronger together. That’s exactly what I believe. And when I think about keeping Americans safe, obviously I think about defeating terrorism. I know what happened not far from here at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. I was in New York City on 9/11 as one of the two senators. I will defeat ISIS. I will protect America.

But I also want to protect Americans from the epidemic of gun violence that is stalking our country. I cannot come to Sanford without talking about Trayvon Martin. It’s heartbreaking that this young man, all he did was go to a corner store. He bought a pack of Skittles and walked back home in the rain. And his life was cut short. I have had the great honor of getting to know his mother, Sybrina Fulton, and many of the mothers who’ve lost their children to gun violence. And what I have been so impressed by is how they have taken this mountain of grief and decided to do everything they could to protect the children of other mothers and fathers.

And that will take all of us working together. 33,000 people a year die from guns. And we’ve got to do a better job, my friends. You see, I believe we have a fundamental human, even a moral obligation to protect our children, no matter who they are and what zip code they live in. We have a moral obligation to reduce gun violence, and that will require us to stand up against systemic racism and promote justice and equality and criminal justice reform.

Something is wrong when young people just starting their lives are dying. Something is wrong when so many parents live in fear that their child will be hurt or killed. Going to the movies, sitting in a first grade classroom, attending a Bible study. The list goes on. [Cries of “Yes!”] This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment and responsible gun owners. There is no conflict, no conflict, between that, the Second Amendment, and common-sense gun safety measures. I am willing, with your help and the help of responsible gun owners, to stand up to the gun lobby and bring about changes to save lives.

And so we’re going to get the economy working for everybody, not just those at the top, lead our world, take on and defeat terrorism, help to keep our young people here at home safe. And we’re also going to heal the divides. The Bible says, Go be a repairer of the breach. [Cries of “Yes!”] And we have a lot of breaches right now. [Cheers.] I have tried to stay focused in this campaign, not at the barrage of insults. My opponent can say whatever he wants about me. I don’t really care. What I care about is your lives, especially the lives of the young people here in this audience tonight.

I care about your families. How are you going to have the tools you need to overcome the problems that you face, to help you get ahead and stay ahead? That’s why I have plans for new jobs with rising income, infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, technology, clean, renewable energy jobs. And I want to do more to help small businesses because that’s where most of the new jobs are going to come from.

And while we grow the economy and create more jobs, we’ve got to make sure it’s fair. We should raise the national minimum wage. No one who works full-time should still be in poverty. You see, I believe in hard work. I was raised to believe in hard work. My dad was a small businessman. He taught me. You’ve got to be self-reliant. You’ve got to work hard. But working hard, doing everything you can to get ahead and never making any progress, has to be pretty discouraging. Right? [Cries of “Yes!”] Two-thirds of all minimum wage workers are women, many of whom are the sole support of their children. I have met women across this country who are literally working from 6:00 a.m. to midnight because they have two, two minimum wage jobs. [Cries of “No!”]

So we’re going to tackle that and give more people a chance. And we’re going to finally guarantee equal pay for women’s work! I mean, think about it. It is 2016. This is not just a woman’s issue. If you’ve got a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, who is working, it’s your issue. Why should you be discriminated against because you’re a woman? I think we’ve got to end those days. It is time to move forward.

Now, I’ve got to tell you, everything I’ve just said Donald Trump disagrees with. He doesn’t think we need clean, renewable energy jobs because he doesn’t think climate change is a problem. He doesn’t think we should raise the national minimum wage, and he doesn’t believe that women should be guaranteed equal pay for the work we do. And how whenever I talk about this, he accuses me of playing the woman card. And you know what I say? If that’s playing the woman card, then deal me in!

And there’s another issue that I’ve spent a lot of time working on. And that is, how do we make college affordable for everybody? I want to be a strong advocate for education, starting with preschool education, so kids get prepared to do well in school.

I also believe that we should not have taken technical education out of high schools, and I want to put it back into high schools. There are a lot of very good jobs that provide a good income and the dignity of doing a good job that don’t require a four-year college education. Right? So let’s help more young people who are interested in those jobs: machinists, welders, tool and die makers, carpenters, computer coders, health professionals, give them a chance from high school into community college to get prepared for those jobs.

And then if you want, if you want a four-year college degree, here’s my plan. If your family makes less than $125,000 a year, you will not pay tuition at public colleges and universities. And if you make more than that, you can go to college debt-free, pay what you can, but don’t have to go into debt. We should be making an investment in our young people. And for those of you who already have student debt, we’re going to help you refinance it, pay it down, and get it off your backs.

You see, I am very excited about the future. And every election is about the future. In fact, there is such a difference in our visions for the future. I have a positive, optimistic, unified vision of where America is going. When I listen to Donald Trump’s dark and divisive vision, I sometimes don’t know what country he’s talking about. He just spends all of his time just denigrating, criticizing America. I’ve got to tell you I think America already is great, but we can be greater. I think America is big-hearted, not small-minded. I think Americans are about lifting people up, not tearing each other down. I believe we truly are stronger together in order to set goals and achieve those goals.

When I think about all of the people that Donald Trump has insulted in this campaign, literally, he has insulted a huge majority of the American people. I mean, think about it. He started with immigrants, moved on to Latinos, African Americans, Muslims, people with disabilities, prisoners of war, and then women. I mean, think about it.

Did any of you see the debates? Well, before every debate, there was always a story about how he’s really going to attack me and he’s going to get into my head and he’s going to really mess me up. I’m sitting there thinking, ‘No, he’s not.’ And so – so standing there for four and a half hours on that debate stage proved, once and for all, I have the stamina to do this job.

But don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean I enjoyed listening to some of the things he had to say. I mean, earlier today, I was in Pasco County talking about one of the reasons why the choice is so stark in this election, because of all the things that Donald Trump has said and done to women and girls. Now, I was proud to be introduced by Alicia Machado, the Miss Universe pageant winner. Now, here’s a woman who wins the Miss Universe pageant. I mean, you’ve got to expect she’s pretty amazing looking. Right? But Donald insulted her appearance, calling her Miss Piggy. He insulted her heritage. Because she was a Latina, he called her Miss Housekeeping. But, as Alicia said today, she refused to let such a small person get her down. And I was proud of her because she knows that Donald Trump doesn’t get to decide her value. And she understands that we should be lifting up young people. We should be lifting up the confidence of young women and men. We should be build up their self-worth so that any young person in America can say they’re going after their piece of the American dream – because the American dream is big enough for everybody.

Now, we know what the tape about Donald Trump said. We know that he said some terrible things about what he does to women. I’m not going to repeat it. But bragging about treating women like that is not the message we want either our little girls or our little boys to hear. You see, I believe with all my heart that we have so much ahead of us. There’s so much we can do together. Do we have problems? Of course we have problems. But we’ve never not had problems in America’s history. What mattered is whether people came together to address those problems.

So every time he started in on me or going on about what he said about other people, I just kept thinking about what Michelle Obama said at the convention, right? When he goes low, we go high.

But we can’t do any of the things we planned, any of the ideas that we’ve laid out there without your help. This is when it really matters. We’ve got someone running for president who’s not only bullied people and made bigoted comments about everybody, but he is the only major party nominee for president in 40 years who hasn’t released his tax returns. Now, a few weeks ago, we got to see three pages of his tax returns, and they told us a lot. They told us that Donald lost almost a billion dollars in just one year. And then he used that loss to avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years. So he went nearly two decades without paying a dime toward our military, our veterans, our education, our health care, our highways, or anything else. I believe that most of us here have paid a lot more federal income taxes than Donald Trump has paid. And he claims he’s worth $10 billion. Well, he also said that not paying taxes was smart. Well, some more information just came to light yesterday. And now we know that Donald Trump meant when he says he was smart for not paying his fair share. He meant that he used what The New York Times called, and I quote, a legally dubious scheme to avoid paying taxes. Even his own high-priced lawyers warned him it likely wouldn’t fly with the IRS. And he took everything, he took everything, our great country has to offer. He scooped it up with both hands and then paid nothing to support us. And then he has the nerve to call our military a disaster, to insult POWs when he hasn’t paid a penny to support the people who put on the uniform of the United States of America.

So if you know anybody who is thinking about voting for Trump, well, first of all, stage an intervention. I mean, it’s – and if they’ve ever paid a dollar in income tax, ask them whether they think it’s so smart for somebody to lose other people’s money, claim a loss, and then not pay income taxes. Now, with the election just even days away, we should demand again that Donald Trump immediately release his tax returns. He has no excuse because his 2015 taxes are not even under audit. And I think the American people deserve to know whether he paid any penalty for skirting the law, and how much he’s actually worth, and who he does business with. I’m particularly interested in the Russian business deals that he has. And of course, it would be interesting to know, has he ever even given a penny to charity?

But this is all part of a pattern for Donald Trump. Time after time, he’s done things not because he thinks they’re right, not even because he thinks they’re legal, but because he thinks he’ll get away with it. He’s hired hundreds of small businesses and contractors to do work for him at his hotels and his casino freespins – cabinet makers, piano sellers, drapery printers, so many more extra features are available, check them out here. They did the work, and then Donald refused to pay what he owed. Why? Well, he knew small businesses didn’t have the resources to sue him, so he stiffed them. He told the students at Trump University that they would get an Ivy League education. They paid 10-, 20-, even 70,000 dollars for courses that turned out to be worthless. Now they’re suing him for fraud, but he – he walked away with $5 million. He put his name on a condo development down in Fort Lauderdale, and you should hear those people’s stories. They handed over their savings – a lot of retirees. Then their calls stop getting answered. The condos were never built. Some of them never got their money back. But Donald got paid.

At the end of the day, Donald Trump is the poster boy for everything that’s wrong with our economy. I think we deserve a president who stands up for you, not somebody who stiffs you, who cheats you, and walks away with money. And I will promise you this: I am going to wake up every day and fight hard for you. I am going to do whatever I can to knock down the barriers and make the economy work for everyone. And I will never, ever quit on you. I will work my heart out for you.

And we’re going to find a way over, under, around, or through all the barriers that stand in the way. I have been fighting for families and underdogs my entire life. When I was in the Senate, I was there mostly when the Republicans were in charge. There are 400 pieces of legislation with my name on it as a sponsor or a co-sponsor. Because I understand we got to work together, and I want you to tell your Republican and independent friends I have proven I know how to work across the aisle. I will work to find the best answers to the problems we face. But we won’t back down. We won’t be knocked off course. We know what we have to do, and it all starts with winning this election next Tuesday.

So here’s what I’m asking. Please, do everything you can between new and when the polls close to make a difference. Donald Trump’s strategy is to get women to stay home, young people to stay home, people of color to stay home. That’s more than half the population. But it’s all part of his scorched earth campaign, and it goes against everything we stand for.

So do you know the best way to stop him? By showing up and voting and getting the biggest turnout in history. We need more people to vote. How many of you have already voted? Well, I’m asking you to go out and make sure you get more people to vote, to get them to vote early. Because something is happening, my friends. 26 million people in America have already voted. More than four million of them right here in Florida. So if we can keep this up, there is no doubt – if we vote, we win. And it’s very easy. Tell your friends and your family and your coworkers that they can vote, that they can help make history. You can go to early vote in this county, in every county, and you can do it between now and the end of business next Sunday. I hope on the way over here or on the way somewhere tomorrow you’ll go to the nearest early voting site. Not far from here is the North Branch Library, one block away, on North Palmetto Avenue. All the early voting sites in Seminole County are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day until November 6th. And I got – you know, Florida has a lot more early voting sites than some of the states around our country. So early voting here is convenient. Now, if you don’t know where to go vote, go online to iwillvote.com to find the nearest early voting location.

Because at the end of the day, this election really is about your futures. It’s about who we are as a country. It’s about every issue that matters to us – the future of our economy: do we build it from the middle out and the ground up, or do we go back to the failed policies of trickle-down economics and give trillions of tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires; raising the minimum wage; making college affordable; fighting climate change. Florida is one of the places that really needs to do everything it can to fight climate change. Comprehensive immigration reform. LGBT equality. Defending Planned Parenthood. Standing up for Puerto Rico to get a just, effective solution.

In the end, the American dream itself is at stake, and it’s just so exciting to me to think about what we can do. I want to build on the progress that President Obama has made. So think how you’ll feel if there was something you could have done, but didn’t, on November the 9th if this doesn’t work. Personally, I can’t imagine. And then, throw your minds a little further and when your kids and your grandkids ask you what you did in 2016 when everything was on the line. I hope you’ll be able to say, ‘I voted for a better, fairer, stronger America.’ Let’s build that future together and let’s prove once and for all that love trumps hate. Thank you!”

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Are you fired up?  I am! Let’s do this with Hillary!

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At the Pasco-Hernando State College East Campus in Dade City, Florida, Alicia Machado introduced Hillary Clinton to a wildly enthusiastic audience.  The talking heads on TV today kept talking about an enthusiasm gap.  Really? It did not look or sound that way in Dade City!

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Alicia told the audience some of the things Trump said to her.

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She said “No, no, no, no!”  Mr. Trump will not get her first vote as a U.S. citizen.

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People ask Hillary why she keeps coming to Florida.  For the reception!

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We are in the homestretch, everyone!  Seven days to go.  It’s a little hard to believe.  Let’s do one more grand push these final days,  Chip in as you are able, and use your personal enthusiasm to ensure that friends and family commit to vote.  We Democrats vote, we win!  Let’s win this for the lady in the pantsuit, for Dems, and for ALL of us!

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