Will Hil­lary Clin­ton move to the right?

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Ken Thomas

WASH­ING­TON >> Lib­er­als say they’re watch­ing.

Some Demo­cratic ac­tivists say Hil­lary Clin­ton’s pri­vate speeches to Wall Street bankers and other mon­eyed in­ter­ests in 2013 and 2014 con­firm their long-held sus­pi­cions she will re­vert to more mod­er­ate po­si­tions — and choose like-minded mem­bers of her Cab­i­net and ad­min­is­tra­tion — if she’s elected pres­i­dent.

The speech rev­e­la­tions have been over­shad­owed by the past week’s firestorm over pres­i­den­tial ri­val Don­ald Trump’s vul­gar com­ments about women. But Clin­ton’s com­ments will surely be an un­der­cur­rent in her tran­si­tion and the start of her pres­i­dency if she wins the White House.

“Wall Street doesn’t pay a quar­ter of a mil­lion dol­lars for her to come and tell them how bad they are. What she said is pretty much ex­actly what we ex­pected,” says Charles Cham­ber­lain of Democ­racy for Amer­ica, which un­suc­cess­fully tried to draft Mas­sachusetts Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren into the 2016 cam­paign and then backed Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders.

“The day after she’s elected pres­i­dent, pro­gres­sives will have to hold her ac­count­able and fight with her to make sure she passes pow­er­ful, pro­gres­sive pop­ulism,” he said.

Clin­ton’s cam­paign has nei­ther con­firmed nor de­nied the con­tent of the ma­te­rial that emerged after cam­paign chair­man John Podesta’s per­sonal email ac­count was hacked by the Wik­iLeaks or­ga­ni­za­tion. But a sum­mary of po­ten­tially trou­ble­some com­ments flagged in a Jan­uary 2016 email from Clin­ton’s cam­paign re­search di­rec­tor un­der­scored con­cerns about how the speeches might be per­ceived by Demo­cratic pri­mary vot­ers.

Clin­ton spoke of a need for po­lit­i­cal deal-mak­ing, telling real es­tate in­vestors “you need both a pub­lic and pri­vate po­si­tion,” and told an­other group that both po­lit­i­cal par­ties should be “sen­si­ble, mod­er­ate, pragmatic.” Be­fore Deutsche Bank, she said fi­nan­cial re­form “re­ally has to come from the in­dus­try it­self.” On trade, she said she dreamed of a “hemi­spheric com­mon mar­ket, with open trade and open bor­ders.”

In a 2013 dis­cus­sion with Gold­man Sachs CEO Lloyd Blank­fein, Clin­ton said there was a bias in pol­i­tics “against peo­ple who have led successful and/or com­pli­cated lives.” She also told Mor­gan Stan­ley that the find­ings of the Simp­son-Bowles com­mis­sion to cut the na­tional debt, which called for rais­ing the re­tire­ment age for So­cial Se­cu­rity, achieved the right frame­work. “You have to res­train spend­ing, you have to have ad­e­quate revenues, and you have to have growth,” she said.

In a matchup against Trump, whose cam­paign has been rocked by his 11-year-old caught-on-tape com­ments about women, San­ders sup­port­ers have largely ral­lied be­hind Clin­ton as their best chance of cham­pi­oning pro­gres­sive causes like eco­nomic equal­ity, debt-free col­lege and cli­mate change.

But they say the speeches re­in­force the need to scru­ti­nize her fu­ture choices to lead the Trea­sury, Jus­tice and Com­merce de­part­ments as well as the deputies who of­ten wield enor­mous power over reg­u­la­tions and pol­icy.

“I don’t think it’s about her. I think it’s about us. She is only go­ing to do as much as we’re go­ing to push her to do,” said Bar­bara Fre­tonte, a San­ders pri­mary del­e­gate from Austin, Texas.

Nor­man Solomon, a San­ders del­e­gate from Cal­i­for­nia, said there are “deep and wide rea­sons to be wor­ried” about how Clin­ton would con­duct her ad­min­is­tra­tion’s eco­nomic pol­icy. Point­ing to Bill Clin­ton’s pres­i­dency, Solomon added, “There was a de facto for­mula of ‘talk pro­gres­sive and serve cor­po­rate power’ and we don’t re­ally see any con­tra­dic­tion of that in the tran­scripts.”

Clin­ton’s team has long been aware of the prob­lem. In a Jan­uary 2015 email that was part of the Wik­iLeaks dis­clo­sure, Clin­ton speech­writer Dan Sch­w­erin de­scribed meet­ing with War­ren ad­viser Dan Gel­don, who of­fered an ex­ten­sive case against “the Bob Rubin school of Demo­cratic pol­i­cy­mak­ers,” a ref­er­ence to Bill Clin­ton’s Trea­sury sec­re­tary.

“They seem wary — and pretty con­vinced that the Rubin folks have the in­side track with us whether we re­al­ize it yet or not — but open to en­gage­ment and to be proven wrong,” Sch­w­erin wrote. “He men­tioned that ev­ery­one will be watch­ing care­fully any leaks about who HRC is meet­ing and talk­ing to.”

Wall Street doesn’t pay a quar­ter of a mil­lion dol­lars for her to come and tell them how bad they are. What she said is pretty much ex­actly what we ex­pected,” — Charles Cham­ber­lain of Democ­racy for Amer­ica


Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton, right, ac­com­pa­nied by for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore, left, takes the stage for a rally at Mi­ami Dade Col­lege in Mi­ami, Tues­day.

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