On Bloomberg TV, the conservative political historian and journalist Mark Halperin says that Hillary Clinton’s populist and leftist statements don’t worry Wall Street – he even asserts (at 0:27 on the video), that “Wall Street won’t hold her accountable to it,” meaning that they feel confident she doesn’t really believe the populist things she says – but that her veering left to win the nomination is toxic to her final campaign anyway. She’ll still be able to collect hundreds of millions of dollars from Wall Street for her campaign (even as they also fund the Republican Party), but she will be weakened by the primaries – weakened in the general election campaign against the Republican.
Here is why (according to his analysis): the distrust of her among “the left” during the Democratic Party Presidential primaries is driving her to say things that will be thrown back against her by the Republican nominee during the general election, when the Republican nominee will be able to expose her self-contradictions, which she will necessarily have gotten herself into while she was trying to persuade enough Democrats to vote for her during the Democratic primaries.
Halperin says (1:13 on the video) that, “She’s terrified of the left, their demands will never end.” In other words: The only way that Hillary Clinton will be able to convince enough liberals to vote for her to become the Democratic nominee will be for her to say things that will be inconsistent with other things she says, so that, in the following general election campaign (if she gets that far), only Wall Street and a few still-trusting liberals will support her, which will give the Republican nominee a much clearer and bigger field of political appeal. The Republican nominee will be able to maintain a less self-contradictory conservative line, by adhering, presumably, to the Ronald Reagan model – one which holds together both the religious and the aristocratic bases of the conservative movement, to draw far more conservatives to the polls come Election Day, than the by-then-demoralized Democratic Party will be able to motivate to the polls.
Halperin is basically saying that the only way Hillary Clinton will be able to win the Democratic nomination (since Wall Street is in the bag for her, and only the Party’s liberal base can block her from winning the nomination) will be for her to spout a line that is so “everything-for-everybody” as to depress the Democratic Party’s turnout come Election Day.
The ultimate conclusion of his analysis (though he doesn’t explicitly say it), is that Republicans will be very fortunate if Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee selected at the Convention in 2016. Halperin is presenting the argument for Republicans to do as little as possible during the primary season to deter her from winning the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination.
This way, Wall Street won’t have any political worry, no matter what the outcome of the Presidential campaign is.
PS: Also, and along the same lines, at Bloomberg News on April 16th, was a report that Hillary will hire as her campaign’s financial manager a former Wall Streeter who has turned against the most extreme pro-Wall-Street positions, Gary Gensler. He favors imposition of the modest requirements that are set forth in the Obama-supported Dodd-Frank Act, which is the complex regulatory reform law that Congress managed to pass in 2010 despite solid Republican opposition, and that is still largely not in force (because of that Republican opposition). In other words: Ms. Clinton is placing this moderate pro-Wall-Streeter, Gensler, in charge of her campaign’s finances, presumably in the hope that anti-Wall-Street Democrats will confuse Gensler as being anti-Wall-Street, and that those pro-Main-Street progressives will also confuse Gensler’s non-policymaking position as being a policymaking position. Implicitly, she further also is expecting that there will be plenty of Democrats who confuse Barack Obama’s Presidency as having been anti-Wall-Street despite his having secretly promised Wall Street CEOs inside the White House on 27 March 2009, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks [a contemptuous reference to today’s progressives, as being today’s equivalents of yesterday’s KKK who had lynched Blacks]. … I’m not out there to go after you. I’m protecting you.” President Obama then actually kept that promise to them, by blocking prosecution of each and every one of them.
Consequently, one can already see, in Ms. Clinton’s campaign decisions, the direction in which she already is heading her campaign so as for her to be able to win the White House in 2016.
It might also be worth noting here that her husband, Bill Clinton, had ended the Democratic FDR Glass-Steagall Wall-Street regulatory reform law, thus allowing the reckless Wall Street gambling that produced the 2008 crash and the subsequent bail-outs of Wall Street, and the resultant widening U.S. economic inequality – which Obama and the Clintons verbally rail against. So: the Clintons, and Obama, have been enormous benefactors to the billionaires who gamble on Wall Street and whose losses are paid by future U.S. taxpayers in the form of the soaring federal debt, which future U.S. taxpayers will ultimately be called upon to pay.
So: if the only real choices that the American public will have for the Presidency after Obama’s Presidency ends will be Hillary Clinton and some Republican, then Wall Street will have nothing seriously to worry about. But can buying the Federal Government really be that cheap and easy, for the megabank chieftains and their investor-friends?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.