Clinton’s Big Switch from ‘Moderate and Center’ to Liberal Activist
Policy + Politics

Clinton’s Big Switch from ‘Moderate and Center’ to Liberal Activist


Hillary Clinton coming out against the Trans-Pacific trade deal will go down as just latest in a long line of policy positions that not only puts her at odds again with President Obama over a plan she once endorsed, but also gives her more cred with progressives.

“I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad, just as I did when I was Secretary of State,” Clinton said in a statement. “I appreciate the hard work that President Obama and his team put into this process and recognize the strides they made. But the bar here is very high and, based on what I have seen, I don't believe this agreement has met it.”

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Her reversal sparked immediate, predictable condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike, especially since Clinton helped negotiate the deal while she was still the nation’s top diplomat and was once aligned with the moderates in her party.

"You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center," Clinton told the audience at a Women for Hillary event in Ohio. "I plead guilty." This stance, along with a litany of other pronouncements, signals a new allegiance with the far left flank of the Democratic Party, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Here is a list of instances where Clinton has moved left, and sometimes right, in her bid for the White House:

Immigration. In the early days of her presidential campaign, the former First Lady said she would go beyond Obama’s immigration reform plans for a more sweeping overhaul of the U.S. system, expanding on his executive orders to allow millions of undocumented immigrants and their children to stay in the country.

Keystone XL pipeline. After months of dodging questions about the project, which is still being reviewed by the White House, Clinton announced on September 22 she opposed its construction due to environmental concerns.

Healthcare. A few days before her Keystone announcement, Clinton came out against the so-called Cadillac tax on pricey healthcare benefits that makes up part of Obamacare, the president’s signature domestic achievement.

Syria. In a rightward shift following the migrant crisis gripping Europe, Clinton last week endorsed a no-fly zone in Syria.

Voting Rights. Clinton backs universal and automatic voter registration, with an opt-out for voters who don’t want to register. She also supports early voting along with weekend and evening voting.

Preschool. In June, Clinton pledged that as president she would work to make preschool available and affordable for every American child, a massive federal expansion that could wind up costing tens of billions of dollars.

Prison Reform. Clinton calls for body cameras on police, swifter probation programs, and help for mental health patients.

Gun control. Since last week’s mass shooting in Oregon, Clinton has come out hard for doing more to restrict access to deadly weapons, including taking executive action that goes beyond anything Obama himself has attempted.

Higher Minimum Wage. This summer Clinton signaled her support for a $15 minimum wage, an issue that is like catnip to the Democratic liberal base.

Profit Sharing Tax Incentive Plan. Clinton proposed a 15 percent tax credit for any business that shares profits with employees.

College debt. In August, Clinton unveiled a wide-ranging, somewhat convoluted, plan that would allow students to attend in-state colleges without borrowing for tuition and change how they repay other loans.

Family leave. Last month, Clinton proposed a mandatory seven days of paid sick leave and three months of paid family leave for new parents.