The annual Johnson, Rayburn, Richards Luncheon (JRR), a fundraiser for the Harris County (TX) Democrat Party was held Friday. Of all the high profile Democrats in the United States that must have been available, they chose a failed presidential candidate and disgraced former Secretary of State as their speaker. I wonder how much it cost them to get Hillary Clinton to deliver the keynote address.
It takes a special kind of arrogance to parachute into a red state’s most populous county (the third most populous county in the U.S.) and lecture the paying guests about that state’s legislature. Granted, Harris County has fallen under Democrat control but the State Legislature is in Republican control. She’s angry that conservatives in the State Legislature were in the midst of passing a bill to ban the use of taxpayer money to support organizations that provide abortions.
“But instead of leaping into action to address this emergency, Republicans in your State Legislature are focused again on trying yet again to defund Planned Parenthood,” Clinton said.
Her comments came at almost the same exact time the Texas Senate was giving final approval to Senate Bill 22, which would ban governmental entities from transactions – including sales, purchases, leases or donations – with groups that provide abortions or their affiliates, which provide health care like sexually transmitted disease testing and cancer screenings. That bill is now heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature.
Republicans argue the measure ensures no taxpayer money can be used to support organizations that provide abortion, although state and federal law already bans government funding of abortions.
Clinton cited a Georgetown University report that finds the uninsured rate for Texas women of child-bearing age is twice as high as the national average. Nationally the number is 12.3 percent while the Texas rate is 25.5 percent.
Her diatribe, er, speech in Houston lasted 25 minutes. She said she thinks that voter turn-out in 2020 will be at record levels and this can turn the Texas House blue.
If Texans voted at the same percentage as Californians, this state already would be blue,” Clinton told a sell-out crowd of 1,400 at the Johnson, Rayburn, Richards Luncheon at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
During a 25-minute speech, Clinton laid out stark policy differences between Democrats and Republicans on key issues like abortion, health care, and immigration.
“We also are the party that will stand up and protect the Constitution and address what is a very real constitutional crisis that this president has put us in,” she said.
I know. I laughed at that part about the Constitution, too. Her 2018 campaign operatives and friendlies in the intelligence agencies tried to pull off a soft coup against President Trump with the help of the media and Hillary Clinton has the nerve to spout off about protecting the Constitution. You can’t make this stuff up.
To turn Texas blue, Hillary Clinton says, "It's not enough to cross our fingers and say a prayer and hope for a perfect candidate.
"We have to commit to the hard, essential work of organizing." https://t.co/NkJuIoh4fP pic.twitter.com/xKnBULts0k
— ABC News (@ABC) May 24, 2019
Hillary lost Texas in 2016 but won Harris County. It is true that a presidential candidate cannot win the election without the electoral college votes of Texas. Democrats set their sights on turning Texas blue during the Obama administration.
Though she lost Texas in 2016, Clinton beat Trump by 12 percentage points, or more than 161,000 votes, in Harris County, which saw a blue wave during that year’s elections and those in 2018.
“If Democrats win in Texas, wow, we will sweep the nation in 2020!” exclaimed Clinton to a roaring crowd.
In the 2019 Houston Area Survey, researchers at Rice University’s Kinder Institute found “Harris County, which has long been evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, is now increasingly aligned with the Democratic Party.”
Not missing an opportunity to pander while she was in town, Clinton sat for a Pride Portrait, an appointment separate from the fundraising luncheon.
Pride Portraits was founded three years ago after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. More than 4,500 people have participated, including Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Annise Parker, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” favorites, transgender activists and even a former NSYNC member.
Schell has also partnered with Facebook, Chevron, Human Rights Campaign, Victory Fund, The FBI and NASA. He says Clinton and activist Cleve Jones topped his wish list of subjects. He has now photographed them both.
“What a wonderful campaign, thank you for having me do Pride Portraits and for what this campaign does for the LGBT+ community,” Clinton wrote in a statement.
Pride Portraits will be featured on ABC’s Stonewall 50 special set to air nationally in June.
It sounds like Hillary Clinton checked off all the boxes while she was in town.