Supporters of Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential run in 2016 have been touting her as being the same as Sen. Elizabeth Warren. True, both women worked as lawyers and served in the US Senate, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Clinton’s camp is trying to market the former Secretary of State as a populist candidate, but a quick look through her history proves that’s not the case.
This week, she spoke at an Ameriprise Financial conference in Boston, filling in for George W. Bush. She’s also booked or has made speeches for Fidelity, KKR and Co., the Carlyle Group, and Goldman Sachs.
In June, the Clintons held a daylong event to discuss the family’s philanthropic foundation with its biggest donors. Where was this meeting held? At the Goldman Sach’s headquarters, of course. The investment banking firm has donated anywhere between $250,000 and $500,000 to the foundation.
This has many liberals questioning where Clinton’s loyalties really lie.
“The problem is these speeches give the impression she’s still in the Wall Street wing of the party,” Charles Chamberlain, executive director for Democracy for America, told The Hill. Chamberlain also pointed out that Bill Clinton backed the repeal of the Glass Steagall banking law which required commercial banks to split off their investment banking operations. Many see that repeal greatly contributed to the financial crisis.
Sen. Warren has repeatedly called for Glass Steagall to be reinstated.
Chamberlain also said he’d like to see Clinton move towards what he called the “Warren Wing,” or the populist wing, of the Democratic party.
Clinton’s camp, however, maintains that she’s already there.
“Ask any so-called ‘left’ or ‘liberal’ critic of Hillary to name a single vote or position on issue on which Elizabeth Warren and Hillary would disagree,” said one Clinton political strategist.
Salon’s David Sirota did just that.
Sirota pointed out that in her book “The Two Income Trap,” Warren chastised the then Sen. Clinton for voting for a bankruptcy bill that made it harder for customers to negotiate their credit card debt, but allows the wealthy to protect their non-essential assets from creditors. A 2009 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that the bill played a part in the housing foreclosure crisis by forcing homeowners to pay of their credit cards before paying their mortgage.
Clinton was also a strong supporter of NAFTA and various free trade agreements while in the senate. Warren has criticized these type of deals, saying they create “regulatory protections for patents and copyrights, but remove such protections for workers, consumers and the environment.”
In regards to the Iraq War, Clinton was among the numerous senators who voted to invade. Warren is a co-sponsor of a new bill to repeal the original authorization for that war.
As 2016 approaches, Clinton is trying to show that she is closer to the party’s base than some of these decisions would suggest. She has admitted that she “should not have voted for that bankruptcy law.” She wrote in her book “Hard Choices” that while she wasn’t alone in voting for the Iraq war, “…I still got it wrong. Plain and simple.”
Regardless of who she goes up against in 2016, whether it be Warren in the primaries or a Republican challenger in the general election, her record will be the main talking point for her opponents.