EDITORIAL: Say anything
Hillary’s ‘public’ and ‘private’ positions
October 13, 2016 - 8:00 pm
Late last Friday, while seemingly everyone on the globe was distracted by a video of Donald Trump bragging about his ability to grope women, WikiLeaks posted more than 2,000 emails apparently hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. They contained excerpts of Mrs. Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches and other messages that further highlight her lack of credibility.
WikiLeaks says it has more than 50,000 emails, and promises to release more.
The documents provide a window into the inner workings of the Clinton campaign, and shine a light on her troubling — and often conflicting — views on trade, the middle class and other topics.
Not surprisingly, the emails paint Mrs. Clinton as a candidate who will literally say whatever she can to get elected.
“If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back-room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech in April 2013. “So you need both a public and a private position.”
While Mrs. Clinton has tried to craft a public persona as that of a populist, she admitted in a 2014 speech that the economic success she and her husband currently enjoy has left her private life “kind of far removed” from the struggles of the middle class.
Mrs. Clinton’s dueling positions can also be found in her support — and lack of support — for the Trans Pacific Partnership. While she called the deal the “gold standard” during her time as secretary of state, she has since come out publicly against it.
“I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech earlier this year in Michigan.
But that viewpoint was in sharp contrast to her remarks in a 2013 speech, when she told a crowd that she dreamt of “a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
Mrs. Clinton equates paying attention to politics with watching “sausage being made.” She says politicians should have public and private positions because it protects the public from the “unsavory” parts of our democratic process. The trouble is, the hypocrisy that Mrs. Clinton regularly displays is a prime example of what makes politics so frustrating to many Americans.
How do we know where Hillary Clinton’s private positions end and where her public positions begin? Given her penchant for prevarication, what should voters believe? What “private” positions will she eagerly jettison to curry favor with special interests? What “public” positions does she have no intention of honoring and are simply voter chum designed to attract support?
It all comes back to the same issue: Can anybody believe anything Hillary Clinton says about anything?