Thank God for WikiLeaks.
I confess, I was starting to wonder about what the real Hillary Clinton – the one you never get to see behind closed doors – really stood for. But now that, thanks to WikiLeaks, I’ve had a chance to peruse her speeches to Goldman Sachs and other banks, I am more convinced than ever she can be the president America needs today.
Seriously, those speeches are great! They show someone with a vision, a pragmatic approach to getting things done and a healthy instinct for balancing the need to strengthen our social safety nets with unleashing America’s business class to create the growth required to sustain social programs.
So thank you, Vladimir Putin, for revealing how Hillary really hopes to govern. I just wish more of that Hillary were campaigning right now and building a mandate for what she really believes.
WikiHillary? I’m with her. Why? Let’s start with what WikiLeaks says she said at Brazil’s Banco Itaú event in May 2013: “I think we have to have a concerted plan to increase trade … and we have to resist protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade.”
She also said, “My dream is 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.”
Compare our hemisphere, or the European Union, or the Asian trading nations with, say, the Middle East – where the flow of trade, tourism, knowledge and labor among nations has long been restricted – and the case for Hillary’s vision becomes obvious.
The way Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have made trade and globalization dirty words is ridiculous. Globalization and trade have helped to bring more people out of poverty in the past 50 years than at any other time in history.
Do we need to make adjustments so the minority of the U.S. population that is hurt by freer trade and movements of labor is compensated and better protected? You bet we do. That’s called fixing a problem – not throwing out a whole system that we know from a long historical record contributes on balance to economic growth, competitiveness and more open societies.
In a speech to a Morgan Stanley group on April 18, 2013, WikiHillary praised the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, which included reforming the tax code to increase investment and entrepreneurship and raising certain taxes and trimming some spending and entitlements to make them more sustainable.
Hillary stressed behind closed doors: “Simpson-Bowles … put forth the right framework. Namely, we have to restrain spending, we have to have adequate revenues and we have to incentivize growth. It’s a three-part formula.”
She is right. We’ll never get out of this economic rut, and protect future generations, unless the business and social sectors, Democrats and Republicans, all give and get something – and that’s exactly where WikiHillary was coming from.
When I read WikiHillary, I hear a smart, pragmatic, center-left politician who will be inclined to work with both the business community and Republicans to keep America tilted toward trade expansion, entrepreneurship and global integration, while redoubling efforts to cushion workers from the downsides of these policies.
I’m just sorry that campaign Hillary felt she could not speak like WikiHillary to build a proper mandate for President Hillary. She would have gained respect for daring to speak the truth to her own constituency – and demonstrating leadership – not lost votes.
Nonetheless, thanks to WikiLeaks, I am reassured that she has the right balance of instincts on the issues I care about most. So, again, thank you, Putin, for exposing that Hillary. She could make a pretty good president for these times.
New York Times News Service