May 21, 2016


How to Save Clintonism (DAVID M. SHRIBMAN, MAY 21, 2016, NY Times)

SINCE their premiere on the national stage a quarter-century ago, Hillary and Bill Clinton have been the closest of partners in politics. Through some rocky times they have turned to each other on vital projects, as in 1993, when Mr. Clinton asked his wife to lead an ultimately failed effort to establish universal health care. And then last week, Mrs. Clinton, her campaign straining to build momentum, said that her husband would be "in charge of revitalizing the economy" in a second Clinton White House.

With that announcement, Mrs. Clinton underscored that the couple had partnered in another joint venture: trying to refurbish Clintonism, the political creed that defined his two terms as president.

Celebrated by its supporters as a synonym for peace, prosperity and a common-sense centrism, Clintonism was -- and is still -- derided by its detractors on the left as corporatism and on the right as a shorthand for scandal and impeachable offenses. [...]

"He relishes campaigning, and she does it because she has to," said Edward G. Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and a longtime ally. But he insists that the two have the same outlook and ideology. "They are similar in their values," Mr. Rendell said in a recent interview, "and they are similar in what they care about."

Those shared values are in many ways at the core of Clintonism 1.0 and 2.0. Both Clintons are animated not just by a center-left approach to campaigning and governing, but also a devout faith in expertise, particularly of the academic sort, and in the power of policy. And both are dedicated globalists: As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton holds the record for number of countries visited in office, 112, while her husband made twice as many international trips as Ronald Reagan and three times as many as Richard Nixon.

It is in that global outlook that Clintonism might benefit Mrs. Clinton's campaign. At a time when Mr. Trump is vowing to restrict immigration and trade, and also reduce support for NATO and other international organizations that have been bulwarks of American foreign policy, Mrs. Clinton may find support among moderate Republicans and business interests for her vision of a more open, internationalist America.

Given that the W and UR years have been virtually identical to the Bill years, it's just smart politics to run on the policies that dominate the Anglosphere.
Posted by at May 21, 2016 6:46 PM