Hillary Clinton takes a step toward substance

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivering her "official launch speech" at a campaign kick off rally in Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City on Saturday.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been dissing Hillary Clinton for a lack of substance in her nascent presidential campaign.

Heading into her big “kickoff” speech Friday in New York, the advance hype suggested that she would talk mostly about her mother’s hard early life. This was intended as a way to repair some of the damage Clinton has taken recently on the famous poll question that asks voters whether a particular candidate “cares about people like you.”

Because I am a substance fanatic, I expected to loathe the speech as one more bit of emotional manipulation designed to postpone further the day when Clinton would have to start outlining her concrete policy positions. Such postponements fit the cynical strategy of a front-runner who doesn’t want to sound too liberal during the primary campaign and then have to tack back to the center during the general election campaign.

Maybe my expectations were too low. But I liked and respected the speech and would say it was a huge step toward substance. It was a strong attack on recent Republican policies and policy proposals; a strong statement of values and goals for the next four years.

It was very liberal. She strongly praised President Obama, whom Republicans will do everything they can to vilify. She rattled the cages of Wall Street and the Super Rich. It was strong on populist rhetoric and goals to make things better for the non-wealthy.

But the speech was light on concrete proposals and on ways to pay for the kinds of programs she endorsed. I hope that she (and everyone seeking the presidency) will go further to outline real changes that she favors and, for those proposals that will require spending, how she will pay for them.

The speech certainly will give the right some things to fear, to shoot down and to hype.

The full text is here.

Here are some excerpts:

On prosperity

Clinton referred to “the fundamental American belief that real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all.”

Standing in a park named for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “Four Freedoms” speech, Clinton said of FDR: “He said there’s no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: ‘Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few… The preservation of civil liberties for all… a wider and constantly rising standard of living.’

“That still sounds good to me. It’s America’s basic bargain. If you do your part you ought to be able to get ahead. And when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too.

“When President Obama honored the bargain, we pulled back from the brink of Depression, saved the auto industry, provided health care to 16 million working people, and replaced the jobs we lost faster than after a financial crash.”

But under recent Republican administrations, Clinton said, “Instead of an economy built by every American, for every American, we were told that if we let those at the top pay lower taxes and bend the rules, their success would trickle down to everyone else. What happened [under those policies]?

“Well, instead of a balanced budget with surpluses that could have eventually paid off our national debt, the Republicans twice cut taxes for the wealthiest, borrowed money from other countries to pay for two wars, and family incomes dropped. You know where we ended up.

“While many of you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, you see the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined. And, often paying a lower tax rate.”

“So, you have to wonder: ‘When does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead? When?’

“I say now. Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations. Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain too.

“You brought our country back. Now it’s time — your time — to secure the gains and move ahead. And, you know what? America can’t succeed unless you succeed. That is why I am running for President of the United States.”

On GOP policies

“… These Republicans trip over themselves promising lower taxes for the wealthy and fewer rules for the biggest corporations without regard for how that will make income inequality even worse. We’ve heard this tune before. And we know how it turns out.

“They pledge to wipe out tough rules on Wall Street, rather than rein in the banks that are still too risky, courting future failures. In a case that can only be considered mass amnesia.

“They want to take away health insurance from more than 16 million Americans without offering any credible alternative.

“They shame and blame women, rather than respect our right to make our own reproductive health decisions. They want to put immigrants, who work hard and pay taxes, at risk of deportation. And they turn their backs on gay people who love each other…

“But, here’s the good news: There are allies for change everywhere who know we can’t stand by while inequality increases, wages stagnate, and the promise of America dims. We should welcome the support of all Americans who want to go forward together with us.

“There are public officials who know Americans need a better deal, business leaders who want higher pay for employees, equal pay for women and no discrimination against the LGBT community either. There are leaders of finance who want less short-term trading and more long-term investing. There are union leaders who are investing their own pension funds in putting people to work to build tomorrow’s economy. We need everyone to come to the table and work with us.”

On specific policy proposals

As I mentioned above, Clinton didn’t commit herself to a lot of specific policy proposals. But she promised to do so “in the coming weeks.” And she needs to move past populist adjectives to actual ideas that can be legislated and implemented. But the goals she outlined were powerfully evocative, for example:

“Reward businesses who invest in long term value rather than the quick buck – because that leads to higher growth for the economy, higher wages for workers, and yes, bigger profits, everybody will have a better time.

“Rewrite the tax code so it rewards hard work and investments here at home, not quick trades or stashing profits overseas.

“Give new incentives to companies that give their employees a fair share of the profits their hard work earns…

“And we will make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Developing renewable power – wind, solar, advanced biofuels… Building cleaner power plants, smarter electric grids, greener buildings… Using additional fees and royalties from fossil fuel extraction to protect the environment…”

On investing in the future

The next few ideas are things that will cost big bucks. She implied above that she wants to tax the rich, but with no specifics yet. Clinton obviously owes us much more detail on how she proposes to pay for ideas like…

“Building an economy for tomorrow also requires investing in our most important asset, our people, beginning with our youngest. That’s why I will propose that we make preschool and quality childcare available to every child in America. And I want you to remember this, because to me, this is absolutely the most-compelling argument why we should do this. Research tells us how much early learning in the first five years of life can impact lifelong success. In fact, 80 percent of the brain is developed by age three.

“Let’s make college affordable and available to all …and lift the crushing burden of student debt.

“Let’s provide lifelong learning for workers to gain or improve skills the economy requires, setting up many more Americans for success.”

On America’s families

Clinton said she wants to “strengthen America’s families” with measures like:

“Parents need more support and flexibility to do their job at work and at home… I believe you should have the right to earn paid sick days.

“I believe you should receive your work schedule with enough notice to arrange childcare or take college courses to get ahead.

“I believe you should look forward to retirement with confidence, not anxiety.

“That you should have the peace of mind that your health care will be there when you need it, without breaking the bank.

“I believe we should offer paid family leave so no one has to choose between keeping a paycheck and caring for a new baby or a sick relative.

“And it is way past time to end the outrage of so many women still earning less than men on the job — and women of color often making even less.”

She wants to “offer hard-working, law-abiding immigrant families a path to citizenship. Not second-class status. And, we should ban discrimination against LGBT Americans and their families so they can live, learn, marry, and work just like everybody else.

On money in politics

She attacked the demise of the post-Watergate campaign finance laws since the Supreme Court ruled on the Citizens United case. “We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people.”

She implied that she would use U.S. Supreme Court appointments to move in this direction and specified that “If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.”

As she must know, the requirements for constitutional amendments are unimaginably high, especially with the current polarized state of the parties.

A couple of updates/contrary views

As is obvious above, I thought that (especially compared to her previous radio silence on all matters of substance) that Clinton hit a lot of good themes, but still owes us details and concrete proposals. Several voices on the left disagree. Sen. Bernie Sanders (who is, of course, one of her chief opponents for the Dem nomination) has hit her hard for not taking a position on the big Pacific trade deal. (He opposes it. She takes no position on the final deal, since that is still being negotiated, but has also been evasive on whether she supports Obama’s request for a bill that subjects the final deal to an unamendable up-or-down vote.)

Robert Reich, in a tweet (reproduced here on Reader Supported News) gave Clinton an “A” for diagnosing the problem with the U.S. economy but a “C” or worse for specifying how she would fix it.

Molly Ball of the Atlantic issued a major warning to those who take the speech as evidence that Clinton has taken sides in the class wars. Her post, headlined “Hillary Clinton’s Fainthearted Populism,” argues that even in diagnosing the cause of growing inequality, Clinton failed to even lay the groundwork for strong progressive policies. Wrote Ball:

Here are some things Clinton didn’t say: She didn’t directly call for higher taxes on the rich. She didn’t directly blame Wall Street or financial deregulation for the economic crisis. (In fact, she mentioned Wall Street and banks just once in the speech.) She didn’t say, as [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren frequently does, that ‘the game is rigged’ against ordinary Americans. She didn’t mention the gap between rich and poor at all, and her two mentions of inequality were indirect. CEO benefits and hedge-fund salaries weren’t directly attacked, but used as a point of contrast. Rather than rage against the perfidy and greed of the rich and powerful, as Warren routinely does, or insist that economic villains must be punished, Clinton posited that a better economy could lift all boats—that under her policies, ‘everybody will have a better time.'”

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Comments (69)

  1. Submitted by joe smith on 06/15/2015 - 09:00 am.

    After over 6 yrs of Obama’s policies with middle class wages lower than when he took over and an all time high in the amount of workers NOT in the work force, you would think Hillary would run from his policies. I saw a poll where 57% of Americans don’t think she is trustworthy, that is a huge hill to climb.
    After 2 months of not taking questions from the press it will be interesting to see if they ask her tough questions or do a rah-rah piece like this one.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/15/2015 - 09:27 am.

    Calling Politifact!

    “When President Clinton honored the bargain, we had the longest peacetime expansion in history…”

    There she goes again….

    “[The] Reagan recovery averaged 7.1% economic growth over the first seven quarters, the Obama recovery has produced less than half that at 2.8%, with the last quarter at a dismal 1.8%. After seven quarters of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had fallen 3.3 percentage points from its peak to 7.5%, with only 18% unemployed long-term for 27 weeks or more. After seven quarters of the Obama recovery, unemployment has fallen only 1.3 percentage points from its peak, with a postwar record 45% long-term unemployed.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2011/05/05/reaganomics-vs-obamanomics-facts-and-figures/2/

    Reagan’s recovery started after 6 months. Under Obama, the economy was completely stalled for 3 years.

    We now have the highest level of people out of the work force since the 70’s. Wages are stagnant. Taxation is up. Health care costs are booming.

    Does she think no one is paying any attention? Sheesh.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 06/15/2015 - 01:22 pm.

      Nice try…

      Your 4 year old article doesn’t mention that Reagan had a much easier “financial crisis” to deal with, mainly inflation. Reagan also didn’t have the technological revolution that was changing business while automating previously solid, stable middle class jobs, nor did he have the largest generational workforce hitting retirement age.
      http://www.gallup.com/poll/181292/third-oldest-baby-boomers-working.aspx
      http://www.businessinsider.com/baby-boomers-are-retiring-2014-2

      For more on the miraculous Regan recovery….

      “Reagan had an advantage over Obama: The recession of the early 1980s was caused by runaway inflation, which the Federal Reserve countered by hiking interest rates. When inflation dropped, the Fed lowered rates and a massive economic boom resulted.

      “The monetary policy run by [Fed chairman] Paul Volcker was extremely successful,” said Rudolph Penner, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “When inflation went away, that laid the groundwork for a very rapid recovery.”

      The major causes of the recession that started in December 2007 were a banking crisis and housing bubble that exploded during President George W. Bush’s final months in office. Plus, interest rates were already low heading into the recession.

      The damage to the economy was not easy to fix in the short-run, said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at the Potomac Research Group.

      “We nearly fell off a cliff, and people have short memories. I think the threat to the country was far greater in 2008 than in the early 80s, which was a garden variety recession.”

      http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/06/news/economy/obama_reagan_recovery

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/15/2015 - 04:47 pm.

        Obama rode in on a horse named “But, Bush” and if his fans have any say in the matter, that trusty steed will carry him off into the sunset.

        If I’m not mistaken, and I never am, Reagan never used Carter as a whipping boy, but then again, when you are successful you don’t need one.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 06/15/2015 - 05:01 pm.

          Never say never, Thomas…

          “The problems we inherited were far worse than most inside and out of government had expected; the recession was deeper than most inside and out of government had predicted. Curing those problems has taken more time and a higher toll than any of us wanted.” Reagan- State of the Union 1983

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/15/2015 - 05:57 pm.

            Nice try.

            “…were worse than most inside and out of government had expected.”

            “The inflationary expectations that led to a 21 1/2-percent interest prime rate and soaring mortgage rates 2 years ago are now reduced by almost half. Leaders have started to realize that double-digit inflation is no longer a way of life. I misspoke there. I should have said “lenders.”

            Sounds like he gave Carter a wide berth. Of course, he had a plan to get us out of the malaise.

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/15/2015 - 06:21 pm.

            Reagan was blaming lenders, not Carter. Read the whole speech; it is a Monument to well founded optimism.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/15/2015 - 05:02 pm.

          Nooooooo, never

          Except for those times in the 1982 and 1983 State of the Union addresses. Those times were, of course, the fault of the liberal media.

        • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 06/15/2015 - 05:26 pm.

          Except that Reagan never was successful, Mr. Swift, and using

          Carter as a whipping boy in the area of reducing government spending, which Reagan ran on, is not in accord with facts.

          “contrary to the myth, President Reagan did not reduce government spending as he had promised to do. In fact, he spent a larger percentage of the nation’s private wealth via government programs than either of his predecessors, Ford and Carter.

          Take a look at this myth buster, brought to you by none other than the Ludwig von Mises Institute—

          Even Ford and Carter did a better job at cutting government. Their combined presidential terms account for an increase of 1.4%—compared with Reagan’s 3%—in the government’s take of “national income.” And in nominal terms, there has been a 60% increase in government spending, thanks mainly to Reagan’s requested budgets, which were only marginally smaller than the spending Congress voted.”

          The Obama Economy vs. The Reagan Economy: It’s Literally No Contest
          http://onforb.es/1HbIfQG

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/15/2015 - 06:19 pm.

            Bill, Ronald Reagan is considered one of the most successful, and beloved Presidents of the 20th century. Under his prudent care, our economy began a boom that took us into the 21st century.

            Even your cite admits it:

            “As Reagan devotees will be quick to point out, things did, indeed, begin to get better in 1983 and, by election day in 1984, the growth in the economy had been so successful that President Reagan—whose approval in the polls during the peak of his recession had been lower than President Obama’s numbers today—won re-election in a landslide.”

            A landslide, Bill.

            Would it be such a man would step forward again today..,,

            • Submitted by Sean Huntley on 06/16/2015 - 08:48 am.

              Would it be such a man would step forward again today..,,

              …..he would have NO chance of being the Republican nominee.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/16/2015 - 11:36 am.

              Successful? Beloved by Whom?

              I can find numerous sources that will list the policy failures of the Reagan administration. I can also point you to arguments that the Reagan administration was one of the four most corrupt or lawless administrations in history (along with Grant, Harding, and Nixon–all Republicans, you will note). Any one of those sources or arguments will have as much validity as an opinion piece used to “prove” that the world thinks the Obama administration was a failure.

              The cult of St. Ronald of Burbank continues unabated.

            • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 06/17/2015 - 06:36 pm.

              Throughout the 1980s, I saw repeated references to

              Ronald Reagan being “the most popular president since World War II,” including in the so-called “liberal media.”

              Then, after he was dead, it was revealed that his popularity had been all over the place throughout his terms, very low at some points, very high at others, and well within the normal range for U.S. presidents overall. According to Gallup (normally a Republican-leaning organization), Reagan’s *disapproval* rating was about 18% when he was inaugurated, peaked at about 55% in 1983, had another peak at 43% in 1987, and was about 30% when he left office.

              Obama’s approval-disapproval ratio has hovered in the 45-50% range throughout his entire two terms, with sometimes slightly more approval and sometimes slightly more disapproval. The graph looks like interlocking sine waves.

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/16/2015 - 10:13 am.

            Some real numbers (if you can read a graph

            comparing Clinton, Reagan and BushII at:

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/little-big-men/

            • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/16/2015 - 02:11 pm.

              Please excuse me if I don’t visit your Krugman piece, Paul. I can read a graph, even Krugman’s tortured specimens, but his always give me an ice cream headache.

              But thank you for the kind effort.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/15/2015 - 01:32 pm.

      Sheesh, indeed

      You are quoting facts about President Obama’s economic record to rebut a claim about the economy under President Clinton.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 06/15/2015 - 02:22 pm.

      Paying attention

      In this case, what needs factchecking is the article by Peter Ferrara you cite. This guy is notorious for just making things up.

      https://voxrationalis.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/more-reagan-cherry-picking-by-peter-ferrara/

      Most of things you say in this comment simply aren’t true, which is probably which Clinton (rightfully) isn’t paying attention to them.

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/15/2015 - 09:34 am.

    The first step is to acknowledge the problems that face America and the world.

    Some are addressable by the actions of US law-makers alone. Others are far beyond their scope.

    The biggest differences I see in the candidates and parties is who even acknowledges the problems. If they wont even acknowledge a problem, what can we expect them to do?

    Health care, environment, war, peace, poverty, race relations, international relations, declining fortunes of ordinary Americans.

    We all know there are those problems and more.

    Rah, rah and denial won’t work for much longer.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/15/2015 - 10:08 am.

    Interesting parallels

    Beyond the location of the speech itself, Hillary’s address is Rooseveltian in tone. FDR, that is. Indeed, specifics – many specifics – are due the public before she’s going to gather very much momentum with the general public. Riders in the Republican clown car are equally capable of stirring rhetoric, and Bernie Sanders knows how to give a speech, too.

    Still, as an American, I remain optimistic, and I like her implied association with FDR, who said, “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.” At the moment, Bernie Sanders sounds more like a workers’ advocate, and he has a record to back up his stance, but I’m prepared to support almost any Democrat over the mean-spirited class warfare and subtle, implied racism (and some not-so-subtle, and not so implied) that I’m hearing from GOP candidates.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/15/2015 - 12:45 pm.

      Total nonsense

      “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.”

      This illustrates how out of touch she (and other former government workers) are to the economy.

      According to her, every fast food restaurant, every dog groomer, every lawn service, every cleaning service, etc., shouldn’t exist because they only pay minimum wage.

      Hillary Clinton is Barrack Obama in a pantsuit. I fully expected her to say “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

      She’ll do well with government employees and other clueless people.

  5. Submitted by David Broden on 06/15/2015 - 11:47 am.

    Listen and Consider the Content and Impact Carefully

    The campaign rhetoric has begun and each candidate and the media will be putting twist as they see it as a message to the American people. How we all listen objectively and carefully will be a challenge. As one who has designed, conducted, and analyzed political polls I will offter this advice– polls are of two types- those which are written and taken to ask the answer that the candidate wishes to hear and quote ( many are purposely biased to make it seem that the poll is telling and objective point) an the other type is a truly objective poll which asks the question and presents an unbiased answer and view. Some are hard to sort out which type was used- but by a bit of research into the source of the poll one can determine if the polls as done as a tool for the candidate campaign or if it was to inform the voter objective. Perhaps the media as they report polls will add comments regarding which type of poll is being discussed and reported. This would be a valuable asset to the voting public and expose some of the so called clever campaign tools used today. Lets keep the candidates objective and direct thru rigorous media analysis of what each campaign is doing. Is is campaigning or manipulation of the message to sway voters. Media your challenge is to keep it objective.
    Dave Broden

  6. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/15/2015 - 12:36 pm.

    Shades of Bill

    In 1992 Bill Clinton ran a very populist campaign. A middle class tax cut was a big part of that. Once elected, his ear was only tuned to Goldman Sachs’ Robert Rubin, Lloyd Bentsen, and other Wall Street friendly types. Liberals like Robert Reich and Donna Shalala were shut out or “locked in the cabinet” as Reich titled it in his book.

    I didn’t hear Hillary Clinton mention Bill’s deregulation of Wall Street, but I won’t hold my breath.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 06/17/2015 - 04:26 pm.

      The corporate campaign donors are going to be thrilled…

      …with a Bush vs. Clinton election, and they will give heavily to both sides.

      How could they possibly lose ??

  7. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 06/15/2015 - 04:12 pm.

    I hope that ever time Eric Black decides he’s going to excoriate Hillary Clinton for not being as specific in her policy solutions as he would like, he thinks to how much pressure he is, or is not, putting on any or all of the other candidates for president. We are still some eight months away from the primary season, seventeen months still to go before the presidential election. Lots can change in that time, and she’s got lots of time to “be specific.” We know more and more about her governing philosophy, her view point, and that’s fine at this stage of the game.

    Hillary Clinton is, by far, the most qualified person running for president at this time. She is head and shoulders above any of the pack of GOP wannabes who are stepping all over themselves, and their own documented past statements on policy, to be as far right as they can before they “turn” after the primaries and have to face the general public, which is NOT far right or libertarian. Hillary wants to win, and you can’t win a national election by stating out loud what Sen. Warren and Bernie Sanders do, from the left. You have to recognize the existence of the middle.

    Of course, as I read last week: Hillary Clinton will do fine, if the media don’t destroy her.

  8. Submitted by David Broden on 06/15/2015 - 06:20 pm.

    Ready for the Job??? Who is will be sorted out somehow!!

    Being elected or appointed to a job position does not necessarily mean qualified. The election process has the opportunity to help make that decision if objectivity can be a focus of the discussion as lead and interpreted by the media and shaped by the polical polls and ads that for all sides are not necessarily the most objective statements. The AMerican voter will or can sort out who can lead- yes lead not only the US population but also the US leadership in economics and world affairs,health, trade etc. Special interests will be present at each campaign turn- the big picture of overall qualification of leadership and listening to sound advice and then converging of timely decsiions is a sign of a one who is qualified and can lead. Who among the many fits this criteria???
    Dave Broden

  9. Submitted by joe smith on 06/15/2015 - 09:15 pm.

    Jason & Pat, was out fishing and came back to see Hillary’s accomplishments and what she did to be the most credible candidate in most liberals estimation. Being old is good for one thing, hindsight. I’ve worked for many folks with the title of president, CEO and many other impressive titles, that did not make them credible or competent. It was never what the leaders of businesses said or their title that made them great it was their actions, accomplishments and policies that made folks believe in them and the business succeed.
    Off to fillet some walleyes and have a nice scotch on the deck.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/16/2015 - 08:15 am.

      Ironically

      the same people who want to give credit to Mrs. Clinton for her titles are dismissive of the GOP candidates with the responsibility and leadership experience that goes along with a real title, like Governor or CEO.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/16/2015 - 09:10 am.

        “Responsibility and Leadership Experience”

        How about those Governors? Scott “Everything I Touch Leads to a Criminal Investigation” Walker? Rick Perry, Secession Enthusiast? Chris Christie, the Jersey Bully? How about Bobby Jindal? Now, there’s a figure who exudes responsibility and leadership, as long as he has permission from Grover Norquist.

        And CEOs! The name Carly Fiorina speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

        Quite a bench the Republicans have.

        • Submitted by joe smith on 06/16/2015 - 11:05 am.

          That is why the GOP field is out there taking questions. They have to talk about their record and policies successes and failures. It is called being vetted by the press and public. Hillary is setting up staged events with no exchanges with media about her record. All candidates need to do this to prove they are prepared to run the most powerful country in the world.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/16/2015 - 11:30 am.

            Successes and Failures

            Which part of that talk will be longer, do you suppose? Governors Walker and Christie have, to date, been successful at avoiding being indicted, but I don’t think that’s what you had in mind. Governor Jindal has succeeded in letting his recent policy debacles overshadow his few earlier successes. Governor Perry has succeeded in becoming a national laughing stock. Ms. Fiorina–need I say more?

            Wait–stop the presses! Donald Trump has just announced his candidacy, and he says it’s for real this time. No snark is needed for that one.

            • Submitted by joe smith on 06/16/2015 - 07:07 pm.

              Good news is Hillary will be a short speech on her accomplishments. No boring droning on and on about all she has done. All candidates should be put on the hot seat to see if they are qualified to be leader of the free world….even Democrats….. who are trying to avoid the press with all their power.

              • Submitted by jason myron on 06/17/2015 - 01:26 pm.

                The election is 18 months away.

                The general electorate doesn’t care what happens right now. Clinton is wise to step away and let the occupants of the GOP clown car immolate themselves. It’s obvious that the “accomplishments” meme is nothing but desperation as that can easily be pointed back at each and every GOP candidate. You might think Walker trashing Wisconsin is an accomplishment, but the rest of the country that doesn’t think get their news from Breitbart won’t.
                Go ahead…continue to underestimate Clinton. It’s the GOP’s funeral.

  10. Submitted by Alan Muller on 06/16/2015 - 11:08 am.

    OK, but does this really tell us anything

    about what interests Clinton would represent if elected? Or is it cynical campaign positioning?

  11. Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 06/16/2015 - 05:49 pm.

    Clinton and Obama economic records

    Senator Clinton actually understates the expansion period during which her husband governed. It was the longest in US history, followed by a period almost wholly under Kennedy and Johnson.

    As for Reagan’s economic record compared to Obama’s, that’s already been covered in another thread. Obama’s numbers are considerably more favorable.

    Good to see Senator Clinton leading all potential challengers in recent polls.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 06/16/2015 - 11:41 pm.

      Technology is Wonderful

      Now I liked Bill Clinton, however I think he deserves little credit for the boom in the 90’s. I think that had more to do with our very wealthy friends at Microsoft, Netscape, Apple, etc, etc, etc. The PC, Communications Infrastructure and the Internet definitely changed the world during that period.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Is_Flat

  12. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/16/2015 - 08:19 pm.

    The sad state of the union

    “Hillary Clinton is, by far, the most qualified person running for president at this time.”

    And there are your choices folks, out of over 300 million Americans. Somehow I’m not sensing the great rush to euphoria that was the election of 2008.

  13. Submitted by jason myron on 06/17/2015 - 01:19 pm.

    You people couldn’t be more obvious…

    Reagan gets credit for his economy, but Clinton doesn’t. Bush doesn’t get credit for trashing his economy, but Obama does. It’s Obama’s fault that the Middle East is a mess, but no the administration that started the wars in the first place, and the state GOP gets the credit for Minnesota’s economy but not Dayton…did I miss anything?

  14. Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 06/17/2015 - 01:26 pm.

    If in doubt, claim luck

    Facts are terribly troubling for ideologues. They don’t bend to opinion or feelings.

    So, the best remedy to remain comfortable in one’s tribe is to ascribe outcomes to luck, otherwise known as magic.

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/17/2015 - 03:04 pm.

    The problem with “substance”…

    Substance isn’t about speech, you can “say” anything. The reason I don’t trust the “New Democrats” of Hillary’s era is that they’re triangulator’s who say what they need to during campaigns and then say “F*#@k the UAW” when they get elected. So you vote for Clinton and you get an Eisenhower Republican… not even.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/17/2015 - 07:16 pm.

      But Eisenhower

      would never be nominated by the current Republican party.
      On the other hand, I believe that he was up for bids and would have run as a Democrat if they had asked him. I’ll still take a New Democrat over an Old Republican.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/18/2015 - 11:12 am.

        Well then Hillary isn’t your vote

        My point is New Democrats are Old Republicans so it’s a distinction in search of a difference. If you don’t old republicans you don’t want to vote for New Democrats.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 06/18/2015 - 11:15 am.

      The New York Times on Sunday, June 14, had in its magazine section an article about an outspoken Republican construction labor leader in Wisconsin, who was personally promised by Scott Walker to respect union rights. Walker boldly, nakedly lied to this guy, who is now banging his head against the wall for having believed Walker and supported him.

      Read the article: Walker is a liar on policy issues, and will do and say anything to get himself elected. You want him, or other GOPs who change their views like a wind vane, to lead America?

  16. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/18/2015 - 07:36 am.

    As far as the country knows, the only substance Hillary steps towards is cash money.

    “Hillary Clinton charged a kids’ charity $200,000 to speak — and she pocketed every dime.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/16/hillary-charged-kids-charity-200000-for-speech/#ixzz3dPtG8n00

    The Boys and Girls club…Ouch.

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