Pay attention to the press coverage, because it's fascinating: Nobody takes Clinton at her word. I'm not just referring to her conservative critics.
In "First Read," a newsletter put out by "Meet the Press" host
Clinton had long touted TPP as "the gold standard" of trade deals. A tally by
After she left the administration, Clinton said she wouldn't take a position on TPP until it was done. She couldn't put it off any longer, so she's finally taking a stand. Well, maybe not a stand. It's more like a modified crouch.
Here's how she explained her position on
It's hard to say exactly how long it will be before that cri de coeur replaces
Clinton went on to explain that she was "worried that the pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits, and patients and consumers fewer." She also said she was deeply worried about safeguards against "currency manipulation" not being part of the deal.
But as even the reliably liberal writers at Vox.com note, this makes no sense. The provisions -- or lack thereof -- on currency manipulation are no different than they were when then-Secretary Clinton was calling TPP the "gold standard." Meanwhile, the provisions on pharmaceutical companies are tougher than what the administration asked for.
I think this is a false choice; both things are probably true.
In fact, finding evidence that Clinton operates this way is like looking for evidence that fire is hot. In 2008, when it was in her interest, Clinton was against federal "blanket rules" on guns; now she's making extra-constitutional gun-grabbing the centerpiece of her campaign (at least this week, while a recent mass murder is still fresh in our memories). She long opposed same-sex marriage on principle, until the times required a new position. She initially thought the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood were "disturbing." But within 48 hours, she was a stalwart defender of Planned Parenthood. As more -- and more disturbing -- videos emerged, she grew more adamant that the outrage wasn't the fetal organ harvesting, but the videos exposing them.
And so on: the driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, the Iraq War, NAFTA, taking credit for regime change in
But all of this misses what I find so fascinating. With most of these examples, it's almost impossible to find someone who takes what Clinton says or does at face value. If you're not on her payroll, or auditioning to get on it one day, or just painfully naive, you simply start from the assumption that Clinton is unencumbered by any principles that might prove inconvenient to her political ambitions.
No wonder she's running scared from a socialist.