The Clinton Political Expedience Myth

Matt YglesiasPresidential elections are really important. It matters a lot whether Hillary Clinton becomes President in 2017 or whether a Republican does. But there just isn’t all that much going on in the actual campaigns. Except, that is, in the minds of campaign journalists:

For anyone who wondered what kind of economic message Mrs Clinton would deliver in her campaign, the first few days made it clear: she is embracing the ideas trumpeted by Ms Warren and the populist movement — that the wealthy have been benefiting disproportionately from the economy, while the middle class and the poor have been left behind. And the policies Mrs Clinton is advancing, like paid sick leave for employees and an increase in the minimum wage, align with that emphasis. But now, the former secretary of state must convince voters that she is the right messenger for the cause of inequality, not simply seizing on it out of political expedience.

Try to imagine a voter who is aware that Hillary Clinton has made inequality a key campaign theme, who agrees that this is the issue that should be the focus of policymaking in 2017-2020, who is aware of Clinton’s policy proposals to combat inequality, who agrees with Clinton’s policy proposals to combat inequality, and who yet decides not to vote for her because she thinks Clinton has adopted this all out of expedience.

Why would that happen?

—Matt Yglesias
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