This weekend, Hillary Clinton, who is trying valiantly to distance herself from Barack Obama’s policies in anticipation of an inevitable 2016 run, decided to air her thoughts on “trickle-down economics” and ended up telling a gathered crowd of Massachusetts Democrats that corporations and businesses don’t create jobs.
Now, it’s not as though anyone who already didn’t like Hillary Clinton was somehow swayed by the statement, as ill-advised and ill-constructed as it was. As we’ve learned in the first leg of her national speaking circuit, Hillary Clinton barely even needs to appear in B-roll on the news to watch her negatives fly. But Clinton herself was concerned enough about the coverage her statement got that yesterday evening, she tried to iron everything out. She didn’t succeed. But she tried.
On Monday at a campaign event for New York Rep. Sean Maloney, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, Clinton went for a do-over, saying, “Let me be absolutely clear about what I’ve been saying for a couple of decades: Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in an America where workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out — not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas.”
Apparently, she “short-handed” her remarks earlier. When she got the chance for a re-do, she actually confounded the statement more by adding in some stuff about the minimum wage and overseas tax havens, and an odd, nonsensical metaphor about building things. Which I mean to say, she watered her original statement down with a bunch of nothing, which, as a politician, is the best you can hope for: that people are so confused by the buzzwords you string together that they take little to no notice of any actual content.
This is a bit of a vision into the future, however. Lately, rumors have been swirling that Democratic Party insiders are looking for a viable Clinton alternative. So far, the stories have all settled on noted Native American economics scholar Senator Elizabeth Warren, but that can’t possibly look like a serious idea to anyone who has any basic, sober understanding of electoral politics. That said, that group does not naturally include Democratic Party insiders. But we do know one thing: when challenged, Clinton’s natural instinct appears to be to move left. Which means that there’s room to move right, or, for a Republican candidate to pick up the mushy middle.
Who can do that? Your guess is as good as mine. But I’d love to hear them.