Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Clinton Conundrum

Hillary or Billary?

Hillary and Bill have been a political team from the start.  Remember Bill's "two for the price of one" comment?  We can't be sure how much impact Hillary had on Bill's presidency (except for the health insurance screw-up); similarly, we can't be sure how much influence Bill will have should Hillary become president.  Are they ideologically similar — even interchangeable?  Are they ideological at all, or just political?  Will another Clinton administration be, well, another Clinton administration?  Is there any way to know?

At the most recent Democratic debate, when Bernie questioned Hillary about her financial backing from Wall Street, her "9/11" response was laughable at best — but what would be her relationship to the financial industry?  Would it be Robert Rubin redux, or are her recent leftish gestures for real?

When Bill Clinton climbed into bed with Phil Gramm to create the deregulation that brought us the financial crisis of 2008, was Hillary keeping his feet warm?*  Can "today's" Hillary be trusted to represent the interests of the non-billionaire classes?

I think the best we can hope for is that she will opportunistically take some actions to mollify the liberal Democratic base while never going quite far enough to alienate her plutocratic backers.  While I'm doing my best to stay sworn off predictions, and also doing my best to believe in Bernie as hard as children are asked to believe in Tinkerbell, I'm not especially optimistic about post-Obama America.

*  (Phil's wife Wendy certainly was keeping his feet warm.  She is best remembered for deregulatory agitation from the Mercatus Institute at George Mason University, and as an Enron board member.)

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