Looking at Hillary Clinton’s Facebook page, I was taken aback by the lack of any discussion of issues. I figured that this was probably driven by how the page was constructed, so I visited the former senator, first lady, and secretary of state’s website to see if I could get some more information on her policy stances. I get there and see … nothing.
It appears that Mrs. Clinton is in listen, see, and strike mode, at least according to this article in The Washington Post. Here’s an excerpt:
Clinton’s domestic and foreign policy platform is being developed by three Democratic strategists. The roles of Maya Harris, Ann O’Leary and Jake Sullivan were first reported by Politico.
“I will be rolling out very specific policies over the weeks and months ahead that I think are going to be at the core of not only a successful campaign, but much more importantly, getting our country to work again,” Clinton told reporters.
Mrs. Clinton is opting for coffee shop meetings with small groups of voters as she prepares to lay out her policy agenda in either May or June, according to The Post. During those meetings and prior to her announcement she has been painting a broad picture of what she will focus on: growing the economic class and economic fairness. Narrowing down that picture based on her past statements may be difficult, however.
In a recent piece in The Economist, Hillary Clinton is best described as opaque. It is hard to understand, for example, where she will come down on trade and finance, bashing trade yet seemingly open to ideas on building out American infrastructure. The two may seem unrelated until you consider that it makes little sense improving your infrastructure unless you are going to use it to move goods and services not only within your own borders but globally as well. A woman who has traveled to 112 countries since her husband’s presidency and serving as secretary of state should appreciate that.
And like a seasoned politician, Mrs. Clinton has been playing the left and the right when it comes to free markets. Free markets for free people on the one hand while arguing that corporations and businesses, or at least the tax breaks they get, aren’t responsible for job growth.
So far Mrs. Clinton has the luxury of some time before getting more detailed about what she wants to do for America. Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, and Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, have focused their initial salvos at Mrs. Clinton versus maintaining a detailed and higher road (which may be too much for Mr. Cruz to drive on.) What they should be doing, according to an article by Peter Morici, is putting an early squeeze on Mrs. Clinton by arguing the negative impacts on American labor resulting from trade agreements with South Korea. By his estimates, the Obama administration’s trade pact with South Korea has cost the United States 100,000 good paying factory jobs.
As a side note, coming out hard and fast on trade would give Mrs. Clinton a two-fer. She could put a little breathing room between herself and her husband further establishing her independence from Bubba. She could also score some points with labor in the manufacturing sector who have suffered for twenty years post the North American Free Trade Agreement.
But Mrs. Clinton more than likely will stick with the gradual approach she has taken so far before providing specific policy details. I don’t expect her website or Facebook page to do more than ask for campaign donations until then.