Clinton's Trade Reversal Fails the Sniff Test

And two analyses think it might hurt her in the long run
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2015 1:11 PM CDT
Hillary Clinton makes a campaign stop at the Westfair Amphitheater in Council Bluffs, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton on Wednesday came out against a major trade deal supported by the White House known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even though she supported it in its early stages as secretary of state and later praised it in a memoir. An honest change of heart? An NBC political analysis has a much different take: "This flip-flop isn't believable at all." It's all about "protecting her left flank" against Bernie Sanders and gaining favor with organized labor. Clinton says she made her decision based on new details about the TPP, but the NBC post says her newfound "opposition is so unbelievable, it feeds every negative stereotype about her—despite the short-term political benefits."

One of those stereotypes? That she puts polls ahead of policy. At Vox, Ezra Klein writes that Clinton has provided critics with plenty of fodder on that front over the years. In this case, "knowing Clinton's record, her advisers, and her past comments about the deal, it's hard to believe Clinton really opposes the TPP deal." So, yes, she might gain ground with the left, but these types of "convenient policy changes" undermine her greatest strength: "that she's an extraordinary policy mind who understands these issues better than her challengers, and so can be trusted to make better decisions on them." Click for the full NBC post, or for Klein's full post.)

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