Hillary Clinton is no centrist

You’ve probably noticed over the course of the last several months Senator Hillary Clinton’s shift to the center, no doubt in an effort to cast herself in a more moderate light should she decide to run for president.

Raymond Keating has written an opinion piece in Newsday that examines Sen. Clinton’s votes, and puts to bed the myth now being perpetuated by her and some of her supporters that Mrs. Clinton is ‘middle of the road’:

Well, it certainly is hard to detect any centrism in her overall Senate voting record. Each year, for example, she has scored 95 percent with the left-wing Americans for Democratic Action.

But let’s focus on four key Senate votes that presented opportunities for Democrats to flash their moderate side. In October 2002, 29 Senate Democrats voted for the Iraq war resolution. Clinton was one of those 29, and while subsequently critical of how President George W. Bush has handled the war, she has not backed away from her vote. Score one for moderation.

Next came a vote on banning partial-birth abortions in 2003. Clinton made a splash earlier this year by calling abortion a “sad, even tragic choice.”

Nonetheless, she could not bring herself to vote to stop the particularly horrific practice known as partial-birth abortion, although 17 of her fellow Democrats in the Senate did. Score one against moderation (and life).

While her husband generally grasps the benefits of free trade – noting in his speech “trade lifts people out of poverty” – Sen. Clinton opposed the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement this past June. Ten Senate Democrats voted for it. Another blow against Hillary’s moderation.

Finally, there was the confirmation vote in September for John Roberts as U.S. Supreme Court chief justice. With Roberts’ powerful intellect, obvious mastery of the law and sound temperament, only an ideologue could have voted against him. Twenty-two Democrats gave a thumbs-up for Roberts, including some big-name liberals such as Christopher Dodd (Conn.) and Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.). Hillary Clinton voted against Roberts.

One key vote and some occasional centrist talk do not make a moderate. Just as Bill Clinton the New Democrat was more about political posturing than policy reality, Hillary Clinton’s move to the center lacks credibility. It is simply Clintonian.

Read the whole thing.

Comments are closed.