Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Was Hillary Clinton the "original Elizabeth Warren?"

By Richard Barry

Will Hillary Clinton ever be left enough for the left? Well, no. But she's trying.

As Amy Chozick at the New York Times writes

For anyone who wondered what kind of economic message Mrs. Clinton would deliver in her campaign, the first few days made it clear: She is embracing the ideas trumpeted by Ms. Warren and the populist movement — that the wealthy have been benefiting disproportionately from the economy, while the middle class and the poor have been left behind. And the policies Mrs. Clinton is advancing, like paid sick leave for employees and an increase in the minimum wage, align with that emphasis.

As Chozick goes on to say, Hillary's inner circle is more than a little annoyed that their candidate is perceived as late to the game. The say that Mrs. Clinton was the "original Elizabeth Warren" and a "populist fighter who for decades has been an advocate for families and children; only now have the party and primary voters caught up."

So why can't Hillary Clinton get any traction for her populist words and deeds?

Maybe this comment tells a bit of the story.

Mrs. Clinton “wakes up asking how she can accomplish real things for families, not who she can attack,” said Gene B. Sperling, an economic adviser in the Clinton and Obama administrations. He added, “When she shows that fighting populist edge, it is for a purpose.”

She's not really a fire breathing dragon when it comes to populist rhetoric and is, I suspect, uncomfortable with "class warfare" type attacks. She's a policy wonk and, in the early stages, seems ready to signal a willingness to propose policies that should be welcome to many on the left, though they would be reluctant to give her many style points.

I'm willing to see where this goes. What choice do we have?


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  • Perhaps Hillary is not seen as Elizabeth Warren because of a past that includes futures trading. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/whitewater/stories/wwtr940527.htm

    By Anonymous Paul Barber, at 4:31 PM  

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