Hillary Clinton’s SURPRISING Move: Throws Her Weight Behind Unlikely Dem Opponent

By Jennifer Wentworth | Thursday, 13 June 2024 09:20 PM
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Image Credit : Wall Street Journal

In a move that has stirred up considerable controversy within her party, former New York Senator Hillary Clinton has thrown her support behind George Latimer, the Westchester County Executive, in his bid for a congressional seat currently occupied by Representative Jamaal Bowman.

This unusual endorsement of a primary opponent of a sitting House Democrat has sparked a backlash among some party members.

"Given Trump's presence on the ballot, we need strong, principled Democrats in Congress more than ever," Clinton declared on X last Wednesday, according to the Daily Mail. This endorsement of Latimer has ruffled the feathers of many progressives, who were quick to criticize the move, with some even suggesting it provided further motivation to vote for Bowman.

Bhaskar Sunkara, a democratic socialist journalist, took a jab at Clinton's infamous 2016 loss, writing, "Imagine taking Hillary Clinton’s advice in a year with Trump on the ballot." Briahna Joy Gray, a former press secretary for Bernie Sanders, recently dismissed from her role as host of The Hill's 'Rising', stated that Clinton's endorsement of Latimer is a 'clear' sign that people should vote for Bowman.

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Bowman, a progressive Democrat and member of the so-called 'Squad,' is seeking his third term in Congress. His ongoing criticism of Israel, particularly in the wake of the October 7 events, has drawn criticism from within his own party and beyond. His primary race against Latimer is one of the most closely watched in the House, attracting attention from both Democrats and Republicans.

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Clinton, in her endorsement, highlighted Latimer's commitment to protecting abortion rights, standing up to the NRA, and supporting President Biden’s agenda. Latimer expressed his gratitude for the endorsement, stating, "I’m honored to have the support of Hillary Clinton, whose decades of service are an inspiration."

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Bowman, whose district has a significant Jewish constituency, has arguably distanced himself from a substantial portion of his voters by adopting a staunchly anti-Israel stance. CNN's Manu Raju noted last month that Bowman's position led to the left-leaning Israel advocacy group J Street withdrawing its endorsement of him in January.

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While Latimer has defended Israel amid the ongoing conflict provoked by Hamas's terrorism, Bowman was quick to label Israel an 'apartheid state' following the attack. He also initially supported the narrative that alleged rapes of Israeli women and murders of children were 'lies,' though he later retracted some of these comments.

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This, among other reasons, has led to a decrease in support for Bowman from within his own party, with Clinton's endorsement of Latimer serving as the latest example. Despite Bowman's popularity among mainstream Democrats, those further to the left of the Clintons have found ample reason to criticize the endorsement of Latimer.

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During a recent debate, Latimer accused Bowman of prioritizing progressive constituencies nationwide over his voters in Westchester. This comment, particularly his reference to Dearborn, a predominantly Muslim city in the metro-Detroit area, was interpreted by some as Islamophobic.

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Recent polls suggest that Latimer, 70, may secure a resounding victory over the incumbent. Last year, Bowman was censured by the Republican-led House after triggering a fire alarm in what appeared to be an attempt to disrupt a vote. The congressman claimed to have 'mistakenly' pulled the alarm en route to the Chamber to cast a vote. However, security footage clearly showed the lawmaker removing warning signs on a blocked exit door before opening it and eventually pulling the alarm.

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