aNewDomain — “Looking forward, it seems far better to co-opt the spirit of Bernie’s message than to attack him,” David Axelrod, Obama’s old political strategist, reportedly counseled Hillary Clinton recently.
“Better to be a champion for fairness and opportunity, and tackle the issue of how to raise wages in a country where they have effectively flatlined for decades, than to kneecap a guy who is relatively popular and is running a positive campaign.”
Looks like Huma read that, passed it along and got it all signed off.
Deep into a presidential campaign in which Bernie Sanders is, if not exactly eating her lunch, forcing her to go hungry (in Iowa and New Hampshire, for starters), Hillary Clinton has announced that she’s opposing President Obama’s proposed “free trade” deal between the United States and Pacific Rim nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” she told PBS’ NewsHour.
Call it the Hillary Clinton TPP flip flop.
If you are one of those who’s been paying attention — that is, one of the 0.2 percent of Americans who are media geeks and don’t suffer from our major national political affliction, short-term memory loss — Clinton used to be for the TPP.
She was really, really, REALLY for it.
Clinton said in Australia in 2012, “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper has found 45 instances of Clinton pushing hard for the TPP.
There are probably more, but the Internet only has so much room, you know.
Like, in November 2012, she said that “we need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP.”
Go read the other 44 Clinton-made comments. You’ll thank me later if you suffer from insomnia.
Ever since she left her job as secretary of state in 2013 in preparation for her latest run for president, however, she’s refrained from commenting about the TPP.
So what, if anything, has Clinton “learned” about the TPP since she was, you know, for it? Nothing. The deal points haven’t changed.
Like so many things Hillary, including her second run to become the second Clinton in her family to occupy the Oval Office, this is a here-we-go-again moment. As then-Senator Barack Obama pointed out during a 2008 primary debate, “The fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she was running for president.”
What Clinton has “learned,” besides the fact that she’s running for president again, is that the vast majority of American voters, and especially Democrats who vote in primaries, disapprove of free trade arrangements like NAFTA and the TPP because they destroy good-paying American manufacturing and other jobs, and export them overseas.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus responded to Hillary’s announcement saying that “Clinton’s painful waffling on TPP has been a case study in political expediency and is precisely why an overwhelming majority of Americans don’t trust her.”
In 1980, Jimmy Carter ran to the right against insurgent conservative Republican Ronald Reagan. After he lost, analysts said that, given a choice between a fake Republican and a real one, voters will vote for the genuine article every time. This year, we’ll learn if the same dictum applies to real progressive Democrats like Sanders, who have consistently opposed free trade deals despised by average workers, and fake liberals-come-lately like Clinton.
Cover image of Hillary Clinton arriving in Perth, Australia, in 2012, where she announced her strong support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP: Politico.com, All Rights Reserved.
Inside image of Clinton meeting Australian officials on her 2012 arrival: News.com.au, All Rights Reserved.