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Why Did Hillary Clinton Use Richard Nixon To Make Point In Interview?

January 10, 2016

James: (to Gregory):  Do you know what I find interesting?

Gregory: No, what?

James: What you find interesting.

With that as a backdrop comes this segment of an interview Hillary Clinton had with John Dickerson on Face The Nation.   I am at a loss to understand why Clinton used Richard Nixon in her response.

CLINTON: Well, you know, I think you have really mixed up two important issues here. I have been consistent on gun lobby restrictions. In fact, I supported the Brady Bill. Senator Sanders voted against it five times. So, there is a very clear difference.

And when it comes to Wall Street, yes, I represented New York. And I was proud to do so. And I took on Wall Street. I’m the person who came out against derivatives. I’m the person who came out calling for restrictions on CEO pay, which, thankfully, got into the Dodd- Frank bill.

I’m the person who went to Wall Street and actually confronted them in 2007. I called them out on the role they were playing in the mortgage market. So, I do have a history of taking on what I consider to be the abuses that come from any industry, including Wall Street.

And I will continue to do so as president. And the proposal that I have put forth about how we rein in the excesses of Wall Street, so we never again face what we did in 2008, has been judged as being more comprehensive, tougher, more effective by Barney Frank, by Sherrod Brown, my friend from Ohio who leads the banking efforts in the Senate, and by Paul Krugman.

So, I have plan that will go after not just the big banks, because Dodd-Frank has given us the tools to do a lot of that, but to go after the so-called shadow banking industry.

DICKERSON: Right.

CLINTON: And I think I’m well-prepared. I know what needs to be done. It’s kind of like Nixon going to China, John.

Let me be perfectly clear.

I think Hillary Clinton is very bright, will be the Democratic nominee, and from where the political landscape stands now there is a very good chance she will be the next president.

But there are times when I wonder why she says certain things.  Such as comparing her steps in dealing with Wall Street–which many can argue with some degree of correctness were tepid ones–to the bold and ground-breaking diplomatic international success of Richard Nixon’s opening to China.

I get the underlying message she wants to send that only someone who has a background such as hers–a former senator from New York who had as constituents Wall Street bankers–can once in the White House bring order and justice front and center about certain financial dealings.  After all, the reasoning goes it took a Cold Warrior to land in China and years later to embrace Chairman Mao.

But to somehow place the two issues (New York bankers and Chinese hardline communists) in the same sentence to make a political connection is simply silly.  And with what we know about the Clintons’ when it comes to political machinations am I the only one to think it odd to link arms–even rhetorically–with Richard Nixon?

This is not in any way to smear either Clinton who I am sure will be a good leader if elected, or Nixon who I have long regarded as one of the smartest–but also a clearly flawed man–to ever serve in the White House.    Instead it is just a reminder that politicians can say the most darn things.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2016 10:10 AM

    I do not have a Twitter account but would welcome your promoting the post. Thanks for your kind words. Hope you come back again to read. Have a nice day.

  2. January 11, 2016 5:05 AM

    I just happened to stumble across this when I was googling about the phrase to see if there were any news of others thinking it was an odd time to say it.

    I was glad to find one which was well written! I will be tweeting it out, probably, along with your handle if I find you have a Twitter after submitting this (I’m on my phone, so multitasking is limited :P).

    Might want to alter the title, though, as it suggests you aren’t aware of the historical reference being made or that it is a phrase significant enough to warrant a wikipedia page. Obviously, having read the post, I understand that you do, but I thought you may want to know, since if I interpreted it that way enough that I almost didn’t click through, thrn others may as well🙂

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