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Has Hillary Clinton lost her touch?

Bill enters from the sidelines. Note the difference between the post title as edited:

Bill Clinton Defends Hillary’s Middle-Income Ties [What does that even mean?]

and the URL, which shows the original title:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-24/hillary-clinton-tries-to-pivot-after-wealth-comments.html

Jeebus, nobody outside the Beltway ever "pivots" about anything. That tells you where this whole fauxtroversey is coming from and who's expected to care about it. To the story:

Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, is trying to rebound from a series of comments in which she suggested that she and the former president aren’t really rich.

Bill Clinton acknowledged that she didn’t “give the most adept answer”* to questions about their personal wealth. “You can say, ‘OK, I gotta clean that up,’ which she did.”

[Hillary Clinton] has been tripped up most often on questions about her finances -- even when no question has been asked.

Clinton said in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and Bill Clinton were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January 2001. She told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that the couple isn’t “truly well off.” Chelsea Clinton cemented the storyline with remarks to Fast Company magazine.

Logically, Clinton -- I'm calling "Hillary Clinton" Clinton, now, and Bill Clinton "Bill" -- is perfectly correct; as Piketty knows, and heck, Karl Marx knew, income is not "true" "wealth." (Wealth is about ownership; specifically, about owning the products of the labor of others. That's one reason that the "1%" frame from the Occupy movement is analytically destructive; it distracts from social relations to focus on mere quantity. Bloomberg helpfully conceals this distinction with the fomulation "not really rich.")

The real issue is this: The fact that we're even having this conversation is a sign of the policy vacuity at the heart of the Clinton campaign. If Clinton were advocating truly humane policies that benefit all equally -- the 12-Point Platform gives a good list -- we wouldn't talking about Clinton's tone deafness or hairstyle or health or looks or any of her personal characteristics at all: We'd be talking about policy. The political class would be outraged! Outraged! that Clinton advocated free education K-16. Or whatever. Heck, even HOLC, back from 2008. FDR was a patrician, for pity's sake; and the Roosevelts were a "truly" "wealthy" New York dynasty, not first-generation Arkansas arrivistes. And FDR was brought to recognize the necessity of the New Deal, so kwitcherbellyachin, political class!

Clinton's policy vacuity gave the opening to the h8terz, not inartful wording. Get back in your box, Bill!

NOTE * This, from the candidate who ran on "It's the economy, stupid!"

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I was thinking the same thing. Fer cryin' out loud, Eleanor Roosevelt campaign in a fur stole, and he people loved her. Hillary needs to tell people what she would do for them and no one would care about the rest.

albrt's picture
Submitted by albrt on

Hillary needs to tell people what she would do for them and no one would care about the rest.

This doesn't account for the fundamental difference between the legacy parties:

  • Republicans get working people to vote against their interests using fear and prejudice.
  • Democrats get working people to vote against their interests by lying about what they intend to do.

So nobody believes anything a Democrat says, with good reason. The only metric on which Democrats can be evaluated realistically is style points for their lies.

mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

Rule 2; See rule 1

Seems to me Hillary is trying to "learn from Obama" and move towards fluff in her campaign. Not a good sign.

We need something more than hypocritical discussions about climate change (while the Obama Administration is promoting a huge increase in methane unfriendly fracking in TTIP behind closed doors)

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why anyone would vote for her after having seen what their clique does anytime they get the smallest degree of power.

I'm really glad we never had kids.