Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton’s campaign response to Donald Trump’s horrific comments about Muslims.
Thanks to the diversity of her senior staff, the most powerful and emotionally resonant response doesn’t come from the candidate herself.
Here’s senior aide Huma Abedin's appeal to Clinton supporters, from my very own email inbox:
Donald Trump is leading in every national poll to be the Republican nominee for president.Clinton herself didn’t mince words, either, calling Trump’s proposal “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive” in her Twitter response.
And earlier today, he released his latest policy proposal: to ban all Muslims from entering our country.
I'm a proud Muslim -- but you don't have to share my faith to share my disgust.
Trump wants to literally write racism into our law books. His Islamophobia doesn't reflect our nation's values -- it goes far enough to damage our country's reputation and could even threaten our national security.
Unfortunately, Trump is leaning into the kind of fear of progress that very well could help him win the nomination. We have to be ready to stop him.
Chip in to stand with Hillary and build a stronger, fairer, more inclusive country together.
This is reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive. @RealDonaldTrump, you don't get it. This makes us less safe. -H https://t.co/SjAqL0clHd— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 7, 2015
Clinton has proposed a restrictive “exit tax” for U.S. companies who move their operations overseas.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Hillary Clinton’s plan to deter companies from leaving the U.S. will include an “exit tax,” her campaign said Monday, making it even more restrictive than President Barack Obama’s proposals.
Like Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton wants to prevent companies from leaving the U.S. tax system by merging with a smaller foreign firm. That rule could have discouraged Medtronic PLC from putting its tax address in Ireland and could complicate the similar transaction that Pfizer Inc. is attempting now. Both of those deals use a law that allows such inversions as long as the U.S. company’s shareholders own less than 80% of the combined business.
Mrs. Clinton would go further, requiring companies to pay U.S. taxes on deferred foreign earnings if they attempt to “game” her new threshold, a campaign aide said Monday.
Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, will speak about corporate taxes on Wednesday in Iowa. The aide said she would unveil “another major component” of her plan then.
The U.S. taxes companies on their world-wide earnings but allows them to claim foreign tax credits for profits earned abroad and defer U.S. taxes until they bring the money home. That system and the 35% marginal corporate tax rate encourage companies to earn money abroad in low-tax countries and leave it there. U.S. companies now have more than $2 trillion in stockpiled offshore profits that haven’t been fully taxed.
Elizabeth Warren’s indication of support for Clinton’s Wall Street reform op-ed received extensive coverage yesterday.
The Washington Post reports:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered influential support Monday for Hillary Clinton's proposal to expand regulation of the banking and financial services industries.
Warren said she welcomes Clinton’s warning that Republicans are trying to use the current government spending bill to weaken regulations.
“Secretary Clinton is right to fight back against Republicans trying to sneak Wall Street giveaways into the must-pass government funding bill,” Warren wrote on Facebook.
“Whether it’s attacking the C.F.P.B., undermining new rules to rein in unscrupulous retirement advisers, or rolling back any part of the hard-fought progress we’ve made on financial reform, she and I agree,” Warren wrote.
Clinton has proposed the Manufacturing Renaissance Tax Credit, which targets communities impacted by manufacturers leaving their area.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton unveiled a new tax credit Tuesday aimed at struggling manufacturing hubs on the brink of factory closures or major layoffs.
The Manufacturing Renaissance Tax Credit would allow communities facing a significant shutdown or layoff apply for tax credits. The Clinton campaign cites a study that shows a similar program helped support projects valued on average around $16 million.
“My plan will help spur reinvestment in communities right here in Georgia that have lost jobs because of factory closures,” said Hillary Clinton. “By strengthening our manufacturing sector for the future, we can help create the next generation of good-paying jobs and put more people back to work in Georgia and across the country.”
The New Yorker notes that hating on Clinton is popular among the left’s chattering class, but not among the progressive rank-and-file:
Even as Hillary Clinton has regained her strong lead in the polls for the Democratic presidential nomination, there are suddenly angry voices denouncing her as a traitor to the progressive cause and even suggesting Bernie Sanders supporters consider taking a dive next November if Clinton is the nominee.
Perhaps the loudest such voice is from columnist H.A. Goodman, who created a stir last year by endorsing Rand Paul for president on the grounds that the right-wing quasi-libertarian senator would be more progressive on issues of war and civil liberties than Obama or his likely Democratic successor Clinton. Now Goodman's more plausibly a Sanders supporter, and is making the rather bizarre prediction that HRC's disqualifying identification as a "moderate" will doom her to a third-place finish in Iowa. Over at Salon, which is becoming to the hard-core Left Opposition within the Democratic Party what The Weekly Standard has long been among neoconservatives, Shane Ryan has a provocative piece up today toying with the take-a-dive strategy for 2016 if Clinton is the Democratic nominee. A Nader Redux strategy, he argues, would not only help purify the Democratic Party from the evil corporatist Clintons, but would scourge Americans with the realities of another Republican regime.
I don't know that either of these gentlemen is a significant or representative figures among progressive elites, but in case such talk persists or spreads, it is helpful to understand that like the "primary Obama!" sentiment at this point four years ago (which was endorsed by none other than Bernie Sanders at the time), it does not seem to have any traction among actual voters.
According to an ABC/Washington Post poll last month, 90 percent of self-identified "liberal Democrats" have a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton, with over half (51 percent) having a "strongly favorable" opinion. Similarly a Quinnipiac survey released last week asks Democrats if there's any candidate for president they "would definitely not support." Only 8 percent of Democrats named HRC, and that number dropped to 2 percent among self-identified "very liberal" Democrats.
Politico notes how Clinton’s more aligned with the public on foreign policy this cycle, as she looks to build on Obama’s legacy.
“Both the president and Secretary Clinton have articulated world views and have been consistently following them, and both as situations change, the way their principles are perceived also look different,” said Michael McFaul, part of Obama’s 2008 foreign policy team and later his ambassador to Russia while Clinton was still secretary of state.
“I can’t think of an Obama-era policy that she was a part of that she looks back and thinks, ‘That was a huge mistake,’” McFaul said. “I think her general strategy is, ‘Let’s go one step more.’”
This isn’t about the Democratic primary, where the two other candidates are more in line with Obama. Bernie Sanders, notably, released a statement of support for Obama after Sunday’s speech.
And as Murray pointed out, polls since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks show Democratic voters listing the economy as their main concern over terrorism.
But Clinton’s position on security and foreign policy sends a message to Republicans who could be nudged into the independents column. To them, Clinton playing up her hawkishness can only help.
“It’s going to make a difference when we get to the general election,” Murray said. “That’s really what she’s prepping for.”