Hillary pushed fast track trade authority 45 times while secretary of state
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton now says she believes President Obama should work with those Democrats in Congress who oppose granting him fast track trade authority - despite the fact that she pushed for such a bill 45 times as secretary of state.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, seems reluctant to take a firm position on an issue dividing her party: whether President Obama should have fast-track trading authority for the immense trade deal he has been negotiating, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With some progressive voters eyeing her with some skepticism, and facing a challenge (such as it is) from candidates on her left, she is being advised to tack in that direction.
President Obama has been pushing hard for the deal, while Democrats in the House of Representatives on Friday revolted and voted against a key part of the legislation. One told me, "there was a very strong concern about the lost jobs and growing income inequality," adding, pointedly: "Ms. Clinton should take notice."
She clearly did. After first dodging the issue, on Sunday in Iowa, Clinton said that "the President should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers, to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible. And if we don't get it, there should be no deal."
Clinton said, "there are some specifics in there that could and should be changed. So I am hoping that's what happens now -- let's take the lemons and turn it into lemonade."
But as members of the Obama administration can attest, Clinton was one of the leading drivers of the TPP when Secretary of State. Here are 45 instances when she approvingly invoked the trade bill about which she is now expressing concerns:
Tapper then lists 45 instances where Clinton urged the agreement be adopted. She can claim that she was forced to do so as part of Obama's cabinet, but that raises questions about her sincerity - the last thing she wants given the skepticism of her motives on the left.
But in this case, Clinton needs to make discretion the better part of valor. From her point of view, opposing fast track, no matter how insincere her conversion, will prevent the left from ganging up on her. The last thing Hillary Clinton wants or needs is an angry base. Better that they resign themselves to her inevitabilty rather than get up on their hind legs and openly oppose her.
A profile in courage she is not.