Hillary Clinton Invisible Americans Speech (Video)

Patrick Hynes (who does blog consultancy for the McCain campaign) passes along a speech by Senator Hillary Clinton in Nashua, New Hampshire last night. Her theme, fairly typical Democratic stump speech fare, focused on the downtrodden:

If you are a hard working single parent who can’t afford health insurance or a small business owner who worries about energy costs or a student who can’t afford to continue college, you are invisible to this Administration. You are invisible to the oil companies earning record profits while you pay more at the pump. You are invisible to the companies who outsource your job, or lay you off or end the promise of your pension. For six long years, President Bush and the Washington Republicans have looked right through you.

Here’s the video:

It’s unclear, frankly, why oil companies or manufacturing firms would have any interest in people’s worries about health care or tuition. Our economy is organized around a division of labor along lines of specialization. There are charities and non-profits out there specializing in these various concerns. I want ExxonMobile to be looking for oil and otherwise making sure that there’s gas available when I pull up to fill my tank.

I would argue, too, that none of those things are the province of government, either, let alone the federal government. Still, that’s a long-running political debate.

But, wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s husband president for eight years right before Bush took office? What exactly did he do to stop companies from moving their operations to places that most maximized their efficiency? Or to restrict the price of gasoline so that it didn’t reach market levels? To ease the worries of small business owners? To make sure kids could continue college? To prop up unsustainable private pension plans? Not much that I can recall.

Indeed, Bill Clinton’s hallmark–the one area where he was intellectually consistent, took commendable political risks, and legitimately deserves credit for an economy that was going to boom regardless of who occupied the Oval Office–was as a staunch free trader. Indeed, Clinton was arguably the strongest advocate for unfettered international trade we’ve ever had in the White House. Is his wife really going to undo that if she gets elected?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

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