Hillary Clinton’s silence on public corruption and refusal to take a firm stand on Obamatrade may cost her her party’s presidential nomination, argues President Bill Clinton’s former White House counselor.
Writing in Salon, Bill Curry blasts Clinton for trying to have it both ways on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that Clinton once called the “gold standard” in trade agreements but the party’s left-wing primary voters oppose.
“No one plays the game better than Hillary Clinton, the Harry Houdini of syntax,” Curry writes before noting that Clinton’s Obamatrade rhetoric “is of a piece with her entire 2016 campaign.”
He also notes that Clinton is “weakest on the sleeper issue of 2016: public corruption and the general debasement of politics and government.”
Because of the numerous Clinton Foundation and pay-to-play scandals that Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute President first exposed in Clinton Cash and mainstream media outlets independently confirmed later, Clinton has not only been silent on public corruption but completely avoided the media while Clinton Cash overshadowed her campaign launch for the last two months.
“Voter disgust is so deep even consultants who make their real livings off corporate clients tell their political clients to talk about it,” Curry notes. “Unlike nearly every Republican announcing for president, she never mentioned ethics or corruption.”
Obamatrade and crony capitalism pit the permanent political class on one side against regular Americans on the other. And curry notes on those issues, in addition to others like the surveillance state and wars, Clinton is not on the side of “populism” or “reform” by any stretch of the measure.
Curry called Clinton out for not taking a firm stance on Obamatrade when she finally spoke out on the issue in Iowa and vaguely expressed support for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) without expressly opposing the deal.
“Without changing her position, without even taking one, she repositioned herself on an issue roiling her party and nation,” Curry marveled. “As message politics goes, it was state of the art. Too bad for Clinton it isn’t working.”
Though Clinton wants to mimic Obama’s two election victories, the robotic Clinton doesn’t have Obama’s personality and her trying to have it both ways on nearly every issue reinforces her sense of inauthenticity. That is why, according to Curry, Clinton cannot “spout populist rhetoric without any policy specifics to back it up” in a way Obama was able to do en route to the White House.
“Clinton insiders also ingratiate themselves to reporters by dishing about her need to seem more authentic,” Curry writes. “Someone should tell them it’s hard to seem real when you won’t tell people what you really think.”
Curry notes that “Clinton Democrats,” famous for their triangulation, just “hate to admit there are issues you can’t finesse or that they must ever choose between the middle class and the donor class.”
“Clinton better figure it out now,” he notes. “When the data’s all in it will be too late.”
Though Curry notes that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) candidacy “is still an improbable” one, Sanders, he claims, “is the only candidate in either party who seems to feel the tectonic plates of our politics shifting.”
“If he clears out the second tier, his battle with Hillary could become epic, forcing not just her but the Democratic Party to choose between the middle class and the donor class; between corporate and democratic rule; the battle over trade carried over into a presidential election,” he writes. “Democratic elites don’t want to hear it but Hillary Clinton’s in trouble. It isn’t in all the data yet though you can find it if you look.”
If Democrats end up helping pass Obamatrade, left-wing primary voters may revolt like they did against the Iraq War, which may give Sanders an opening against Clinton. Courting Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) supporters, Sanders has been electrifying left-wing activists by calling Clinton out on Obamatrade and emphasizing that he and Warren are allies in the fight against it.
“I frankly don’t understand how you could be a major candidate for president of the United States–Hillary Clinton, or anybody else–and not have an opinion on that issue,” Sanders has been saying on the stump.
Curry notes that Sanders came within 8 points of Clinton at a recent straw poll at the Wisconsin Democratic convention and trails Clinton by ten points in two recent New Hampshire polls. Majorities of voters do not find her “honest and trustworthy” and Clinton has been trailing or been tied with Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in some swing states, which Curry notes shows Clinton’s considerable weaknesses as a candidate. Clinton’s allies have even been lowering expectations, saying they would not be surprised if Sanders won Iowa or New Hampshire.
“If Sanders can poll 40% in a Wisconsin straw poll in June he can do it an Iowa caucus in January,” Curry writes. “Imagine a Hillary Clinton who just lost Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders. It’s still hard to picture but it gets easier every day.”
Though Sanders may shock Clinton in either Iowa or New Hampshire, Sanders’s greatest challenge will be cutting into Clinton’s support among minority Democrats, who make up a greater percentage of the party’s primary electorate in states that vote after New Hampshire. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Clinton was the first choice of 91% of minority Democratic primary.