For all of his good intentions, President Obama made one serious miscalculation over the course of his presidency. He believed he could actually work and negotiate with the GOP, but do it without spending significant time meeting with them and courting them. Hillary Clinton states she can do better in that respect.
At a time when voters have gotten fed up with gridlock in the nation’s capitol and a “do-nothing” Congress, Clinton is hoping that, by presenting herself as a facilitator able to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle, she might better reach the electorate. Some GOP lawmakers are even agreeing with her. One Republican ex-Congressman, Thomas Reynolds of New York, described Clinton as “very reasonable,” adding, “I also saw [sic] some of my Republican colleagues say the same thing.”
In a recent interview on NBC’s MTP Daily, Clinton touted her record and experience, including the relationships she has developed over the course of two decades inside the Beltway. She told host Chuck Todd, “I have been in Washington…for a while. I can see how things get done, and I know how much effort it takes to try to find that common ground.” She added, “you’ve got to go in with an agenda so that it is policy based…begin the intensive effort to build relationships even with people you don’t agree with.”
One of her former senate aides told The Hill that Clinton has been successful in the past, working on various issues with hardline conservatives. The former aide also said, “Compromise is the secret sauce of addressing problems.”
Therein lies the catch. This year, the electorate has made it crystal clear that they are fed up with “business as usual” and the status quo. Hillary Clinton, who started out her career as an idealistic Progressive fresh out of law school forty years ago, has compromised too much in the eyes of many liberals and Progressives. She is considered by many to be “Republican Lite.” While she is arguably far better and more qualified to hold office than any of the GOP candidates, her conciliatory tone may not sit well with Progressive voters who have been flocking to Bernie Sanders, inspired by his no-holds-barred, no compromise positions on economic justice – the primary issue of this campaign.
Would Hillary Clinton as President address those economic issues as passionately as Bernie Sanders? Based on her record, probably not. She may be able to make some moves in that direction, if she can get both parties to work with her. Right now, however, people are hurting from 30 years of “trickle down” Reaganomics, and the middle class is on its deathbed. Clinton has significant ties to Wall Street and major corporations such as Monsanto. Radical change is needed now.