Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hillary Clinton Returns to Iowa as Populist "Champion"

After hopping in her "Scooby" van for an unannounced road trip - and making a gas station pit stop and incognito Chipotle run in the process - Hillary's first official campaign event in Iowa was not a huge rally but rather a quiet conversation with a few people in a small town community college automotive technology classroom.

However, it did begin with a short statement about why she is running for president, and here it is:

"It's fair to say the deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top. There's something wrong with that. There's something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker."
"There's something wrong when American workers keep getting more productive, as they have, and as I just saw a few minutes ago is very possible because of education and skills training, but that productivity is not matched in their paychecks."
"And there's something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days."
"There's something wrong when students and their families have to go deeply into debt to be able to get the education and skills they need in order to make the best of their own lives."
Aside from these strong populist tones, she also made news by taking a firm stand against the dark money that continues to cripple our elections and government:
"We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if it takes a constitutional amendment."
Just words to jump on the Elizabeth Warren bandwagon? Hardly, as the Washington Post noted today:
Hillary Clinton's announcement video Sunday included a clear-as-day shout-out to Elizabeth Warren. "The deck is stacked" against average Americans, Clinton argued, echoing Warren's "System is rigged" mantra. 
But while that is the most full-throated brand of populism we've seen from Clinton, she's not exactly new to the genre. 
Back in the 2008 campaign, Clinton made regular reference to "invisible Americans." In fact, it was an early focal point of her campaign....
"For six years, America's middle class and working families have been the invisible Americans," Clinton says. "If you are a hard-working single parent who can't afford health insurance or a small business owner who worries about energy costs or a student who can't afford to continue college, you are invisible to this administration."
Clinton then returns to this theme over and over again, arguing that all manner of Americans have been neglected by -- and are invisible to -- the Bush administration.
She was a proud progressive in her last campaign, and no one should be surprised that she's reemerging as a populist "champion" with similar themes right from day one.

Hillary's Iowa 2.0 rollout has been absolutely pitch-perfect so far.

However, we can't say the same for everyone tagging along. At one point, it was a little unclear if we were watching reporters at a campaign stop or rabid Beatles fans in A Hard Day's Night. This is a pretty amusing spectacle that's also a good metaphor for the situation: this trip is on Hillary's terms.

More to come soon in Iowa...followed by another road trip all the way back to New Hampshire? Hey, why not!

1 comment:

  1. Great, she is sharp as a tack! Thanks for posting these, I don't have TV cable.