MSNBC host Krystal Ball boldly went there today saying that Hillary should not run because she would keep “another real middle class champion” (like Elizabeth Warren) from running.
“Is someone who sat on the rabidly anti-union board of Walmart for six years the right person to restore workers’ rights?” Ball asked. “Is someone who recently took $400,000 to give two speeches at Goldman Sachs the person we need to wrest control of the asylum back from the banking inmates?”
But here’s why she could be wrong. What Hillary did or espoused in the conservative 80s or did in the Clintonian triangulating 90s is not necessarily what she will bring to the White House.
I come back to Teddy Roosevelt. He was no fire breathing liberal, not at all. He was a conservative, business oriented, elitist Republican, through and through.
In college he looked down on his Harvard classmates that didn’t come from families as well seated as his.
As Police Commissioner of NY he stated openly that he would welcome class riots in NY so that he could send out his troops to shoot down the rioters.
His advocacy of progressive legislation was always with the idea that if conservatives like him didn’t address business corruption and unethical practices, socialists and anarchists would and it would likely be destructive of business.
None of this kept him from clearly seeing the challenges to the country and attacking the malefactors of wealth as he saw them. He was, despite his pedigree, the right man at the right time who reacted in the right way and achieved great progressive change.
I’m more in the camp that believes a Hillary presidency would be more like Teddy R (without the foreign militarism because she got a bellyful off the lessons of Iraq) than Bill C. My instinct is that she’d also likely be more combative than Barack O. who is a congenital compromiser always in fear of the angry black man label. Everything I’ve heard from Hillary since the 2008 election and the economic meltdown indicate to me that she does get it and would be very active in pushing labor friendly middle class saving initiatives.