A Sneak Peek At Hillarynomics

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 20 2015 @ 2:02pm

A report released last week by The Center For American Progress is being touted as “the potential seed of [Clinton’s] economic agenda”:

It tackles the issues Americans consistently list as their top priority in polls – jobs and the economy – but in a way that’s less likely to alienate the business community and financial sector, or appear inauthentic to her own identity. The report’s international focus also plays to the former secretary of state’s strengths, and it would allow her to promote lessons she’s learned from her many travels abroad.

Yglesias calls the report “the best guide to what Hillarynomics is likely to look like”:

In some ways, it defies stereotypes of the Clintons as standard-bearers for neoliberal centrism by endorsing fiscal stimulus and a strong pro-labor union agenda while downplaying the strong education-reform streak of the Obama administration. But it’s also notable for the Obama-era liberal ambitions it pushes aside. In the main recommendations for the United States, there’s no cap-and-trade or carbon tax in here, no public option for health care, and no effort to break up or shrink the largest banks. Nor is there an ambitious agenda to tackle poverty.

Instead, you get a multi-pronged push to boost middle-class incomes. After an extended period in which Democratic Party politics has been dominated by health care for the poor, environmental regulation, and internecine fights about Wall Street, Hillarynomics looks like back-to-basics middle-class populism.

However, Frum believes that, with actions like his SOTU address, Obama is trying to force Hillary to adopt his agenda:

Almost as much as a Republican victory, a Clinton succession would punctuate the Obama presidency with a question mark. Obama’s highest priority over the next two years seems to be to convert that question mark into an exclamation point, to force Hillary Clinton to campaign and govern on his terms. Whatever happens after that, he can at least say that it was his kind of Democratic Party—not Bill Clinton’s—that won a third consecutive mandate, after having twice done what Clinton never did: win an outright majority of the presidential ballots cast.

Of course, Hillary Clinton can see all this, too. So can Bill Clinton, perhaps even more acutely. The next fascinating question is: what will they do about it?