Understanding how Hillary Clinton would govern
20
September

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , /


Hillary Clinton: “You know, I suppose I could
have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas but what I decided to do was to fulfill
my profession which I entered before my husband entered public life.” Hillary Clinton has been a major political
figure my whole adult life. I’ve been covering her, in one way, or another
since I became a journalist. And no politician I’ve covered has left
me so confused. There is the Hillary Clinton I watch on the
nightly news and that I read described in the press. She gets described as cold, unlikable, Bill O’Reilly: “One of the most robotic statements
I’ve ever seen.” calculating, manipulative. She’s not a great campaigner. The private email server and the Goldman Sachs
paydays frustrate even the people who like her most. Polls show most Americans doubt her honesty. And then there is the Hillary Clinton described
to me by people who have worked with her, people who understand Washington in ways I
never will. Their Clinton is described in superlatives. She’s brilliant, warm, funny, authentic. And she gets things done. Everybody says that, she gets things done. Bob Greenstein: “A master policy strategist
– how do you move the policy to make things actually happen?” She inspires this real loyalty which, to be
honest, is an order of magnitude greater than what most politicians get in DC. Neera Tanden: “Even when I don’t work for
Hillary – like, I don’t technically work for hillary – it still feels like I work
for Hillary.” I’ve come to call this “The Gap.” And I spoke to dozens of her colleagues, going
back to her time in college, in the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, everybody who’s worked
with her acknowledged the gap. And so does Hillary Clinton herself. “It’s always amusing to me that when I have
a job, I have really high approval ratings. When I’m actually doing the work,[..] Then I seek a job, and all the discredited
negativity comes back out, all these arguments and attacks start up.” And so after interviewing Clinton, I interviewed
all these people who have worked with her, who know her, people who like her, people
who have clashed with her. And I asked every one of them to begin. What is true about hillary clinton when she’s
governing that is not obvious about her on the campaign trail? What accounts for the gap? To my surprise, all these people I spoke to,
at some point in our conversation they all the said the same thing every time. Tom Harkin: “She really, truly, is interested
in listening to people.” Thomas Nides: “Part of her gift is her ability
absorb a lot of information. But not just clinically reading a briefing
book. She wants to hear information from real people,
real voters.” She listens. The first few times I heard this it sounded
like such bulls***. What a gendered compliment, “she listens.” Neera Tanden: “Her strengths are to really
hear what people are saying and incorporate it into what she’s doing.” After 11, 12, 15 times though, I began to
take it more seriously, to ask more questions about it. Clinton actually kicked off her 2000 senate
campaign with a “listening tour.” The press hated it. They thought it was was just one more way
she was dodging having to say real things about the hard issues. But to her, it wasn’t bulls***. Hillary did another of these listening tours
to kick off her presidential campaign. Tanden: “She was doing a bunch of events in
new hampshire and heard a ton about the Opioid addiction problem in New Hampshire. So she decided to put forward a policy on
Opiate addiction – And a bunch of other political leaders have done that since.” Let’s state something obvious here. Let’s stop and talk about the elephant in
the room. There is a gender dynamic at play here. Women weren’t guaranteed the vote in this
country till about 1920. And you don’t have to assert some grand
patriarchal conspiracy to suggest that campaigning, a process created by men, dominated by men,
and until recently, limited to men, might subtly favor male traits. Male traits maybe like talking over listening. It’s really interesting to look at the Democratic
primary through this lens. He’s a great talker. That’s where his skills come from. She’s a great listener, that’s where her
advantages come from. And this time, the listener won. But it felt illegitimate to a lot of people
– Clinton’s endorsements, her firewall of allies made her look like a tool of the
establishment, while Sanders’ speeches left people marveling at his political skills. I want to be very clear here. I’m not saying that anyone who opposed Clinton
was sexist. I’m not saying she should have won. What I’m saying is that presidential campaigns
are built to showcase the stereotypically male trait of standing in front of a room
speaking confidently. A campaign built on charismatic oration feels
legitimate in a way that a campaign built on deep relationships does not. But here’s the thing: deep listening, building
those relationships it is crucial to being President. And it can also get you in trouble. I’m going to walk through a couple ways
Clinton uses her real skill, and it is a skill, at listening as a leadership style. But you also get a sense of how her process
can go awry. This guy, Bob Greenstein, he’s devoted his
life to understanding and improving policy that affects the poor. And when I asked him about whether Clinton’s
listening ends up in anything he got really specific about how this works. Greenstein: “Bill Clinton had run on a platform
that included the slogan” Clinton: “If you work full time, you shouldn’t
have to raise your kids in poverty. We should reward working families and lift
them out.” Clinton: “By expanding the refundable Earned
Income Tax Credit, if you work 40 hours a week and you’ve got a child in the house,
you will no longer be in poverty.” Greenstein: “When his first budget came out
in 1993, it indeed had a large expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. But It fell short.” A policy is flawed in a pretty technical and
complicated way. “So we did a paper showing this. I had a little quote from Bill Clinton, and
the lede said but his plan falls short of the goal.” “I sent it to her top policy adviser, who
gave it to her, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.” She actually listens. She engages, she reads the memo. “At 9 AM the next morning, I receive a phone
call from the White House.” And then she goes and gets the change done. “To my amazement, they withdrew the original
proposal and submitted the revised within a few days, and it became law in ’93. This was the heart of the Earned Income Tax
Credit of 93, that is one of the biggest anti-poverty advances of the last several decades and lifts
millions of people out of poverty. ” I heard stories like that again and again. Clinton apparently has a habit of talking
to people and stuffing little notes from her conversations in suitcases, and then every
few months, she makes her whole staff assemble, they would dump out these suitcases of basically
trash. And then they would try to organize the notes
to extract policy ideas, or figure out problems they should address, based on what she’s
heard. People in her senate office told me that this
really did lead to legislation, to new amendments. You can’t understand her without understanding
this part of her process. Nides: “I think one of Hillary Clinton’s real
gifts is to listen to you – shut up, not talk, not just sit around and tell me what
i want to hear and just blather on and on – which many of my friends who have been
in the political world do. She basically hears, thinks, and then talks
about where her views are. And you don’t walk away thinking you just
wasted an hour of my time.” I heard another story about her at the State
Department, that when she came in there, she had to win the trust of career staff, people
who didn’t know her, who hadn’t come to work for her. And one thing she would do is invite these
diplomats and researchers to big meetings and then reference something they had written
deep in an obscure memo years ago. And they were thrilled that a secretary of
state was actually digging into their work, and it helped her win over a lot of support
in the building. They felt respected. One reason people like working for her, a
reason she has a very loyal staff, is she actually listens to them, takes their advice,
reads their memos. A lot of politicians don’t. Clinton uses listening, in a very real way,
to win over allies. In 2000, when she got to the Senate, she was
already a very polarizing figure. Trent Lott – majority leader during Bill
Clinton’s impeachment trial – he first said “She will be one of 100 and we won’t
let her forget it” A few years later, they teamed up on Hurricane relief. And it wasn’t just Lott. In 2006, the times tallied her weird alliances. It was Tom DeLay on foster children. New Gingrich on health care. Bill Frist on medical records. Bob Bennett on flag burning. Rick Santorum around children’s exposure to
graphic images. John Sununu on SUV taillights. Mike Dewine on asthma. And the way she did it, again, was listening. She surprises people who expected to hate
her by being really friendly, and by paying close enough attention that she’s able to
figure out where they can collaborate. But a process based on listening doesn’t
always get you to the right answers. You have to listen to the right people, for
one thing. And Clinton sometimes doesn’t. Clinton:”I will take the President at his
word” It’s part of how she ended up voting for
the Iraq War: she listened to people who were giving her the wrong intelligence and whose
appetite for war was perhaps stronger than she thought. Clinton: “that he will try hard to pass a
UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible” Another problem is she can listen to too many
people. The biggest government reform Hillary ever
sought, the health care bill in 1993 and 94, it was a disaster. She created this massive sprawling process
with 500 policy experts. Clinton: “There are so many lessons to be
learned.” Everybody was being heard, everybody’s ideas
were being reflected in the bill. Advocacy ad against bill: “A national limit
on health care?” And so we ended up with a bill that was so
complex that nobody could understand it. You can hear this in her speeches too, her
speeches often sound like a laundry list to people. And that’s because so many different voices
are in them. Consensus in that way become an enemy of inspiration. Health care advocacy ad: “There’s gotta be
a better way.” Listening can also be a way of delaying tough
decisions. Joshua Green did an exhaustive review of private
communications of her 2008 campaign for president and concluded that aides “routinely attacked and undermined each
other, and Clinton never forced a resolution.” “Clinton’s loss derived not from any specific
decision she made but rather from the preponderance of the many she did not make,” There is one group Clinton never listens to. And that is the press. In some ways her distrust here is understandable
– there’s been an incredibly long history of media-fueled scandals that have amounted
to very, very little. “Today […] the House Select Committee on
Benghazi finally released its 800-page report on the attack.” “After a two year, seven million dollar investigation,
the eighth investigation to date, the authors of the report make no new accusations, and
provide no new evidence of wrongdoing against the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.” But in our interview, she seems blind to the
fact that her own behavior is, correctly, under a brighter spotlight. Clinton:“A democracy relies on the glue
of trust,” “There’s got to be that rock-solid belief
that this transaction between us as voters and citizens rests on something deep and sacred.” “And I don’t know how we get back to that.” If she’s that worried about trust, a start
would have been turning down Goldman Sach’s 2013 offer to accept $675,000 for three speeches. Anderson Cooper: “Did you have to be paid
$675,000?” Clinton: “Well I don’t know. That’s what they offered.” That was 2013. People already didn’t trust Goldman Sachs. I think she sees the loss of public trust
in her as caused by the same forces that led to the loss of public trust in everything
else: a press corps obsessed with controversy, uninterested in substance, and incapable of
in policing the boundaries of decency and truthfulness. And look. I’m a member of the press, I’ll cop to
some of that. But Clinton’s explanation here has become
a rationalization. She has lost sight of the bar she should be
held to and now plays loose with the public’s trust herself. Clinton: “I did not email any classified material
to anyone.” FBI Director Comey: “110 emails, in 52 email
chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information.” Now it’s not the press who will be Clinton’s
toughest opponent if she wins. She gleefully called Republican’s enemies
she was glad to make. Cooper: “You’ve all made a few people upset
over your political careers. Which enemy are you most proud of?” Clinton: “Probably the republicans.” And when I asked her if she regretted that
comment, because she worried about all the negativity in politics, she kinda said not
really. Clinton: ”Not very much. You can go back and look at how i’ve worked
with Republicans.” “But you know they terrible things about me,
much worse than anything I’ve said about them. That just seems part of the political back
and forth now.” Now, it’s interesting and weird what Clinton
said there. She doesn’t apologize, she says Republicans
say worse about her, but she says she will nevertheless be able to work with Republicans. “I think I have a very strong base of relationships
with them and uh, evidence of that.” And what’s weird is there is some evidence
of that actually. You can hear in her approach to working with
Republicans a gentle critique of Obama. His approach is summed up by this 2013 joke
he made about Mitch McConnell. “Of course, even after I’ve done all this,
some folks still don’t think enough time with congress. ‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell,’
they ask. “Really?” “Why don’t YOU get a drink with Mitch McConnell.” This is where Hillary differs. Clinton: “A lot of governing is the boring
of hard boards. There’s nothing sexy about it. I think it is getting up every day, building
the relationships, finding whatever sliver of common ground you can occupy, never, ever
giving up in continuing to reach out even to people who are sworn political partisan
adversaries.” And look, a Hillary Clinton presidency, it’s
not going to be some peaceful era in politics. if she’s in the White House, Republicans
will spend every waking moment working to recapture it. It is easy to imagine reading an article,
in the third year of a Clinton presidency, that sees this process as the root of her
failures. Where the president gets lost in the details,
where she’s searching for common ground with Republicans she can’t find. But Clinton will try, and there may even be
moments when she succeeds, even small pieces of common ground. She will build these relationships. No one will ever accuse her of not having
Mitch McConnell over for enough drinks. Hell, he may even like having a drink with
her. He’ll probably find she’s a pretty good
listener.


88 thoughts on “Understanding how Hillary Clinton would govern

  1. Hillary I wish you were President. You won the popular vote. I'm sorry the russians stole it from you. Three million more people voted for you instead of trump. You and the true Americans were robbed. Now we have no president 💔 I love the Clinton's and Obama. At least they LISTENED and CARED ❤️

  2. and when she says fulfill her profession she means fill up her pocketbook with all the money she could possibly steal from all the places she could possibly steal it and murder anybody who dares to divulge any of her criminal activities

  3. what she inspires is fear of being murdered or investigated by the IRS or being ruined by false lawsuits and criminal trials for stuff you never did like travel gate that's what she inspires

  4. And by arguments and attacks you mean like the two little boys wrapped up in a tarp and left on a train track in Mena Arkansas at your cocaine distribution center airport

  5. This shows that the controversies where just bad affects based on how good and how different she was as a person,candidate and leader.

  6. She is brilliant, otherwise she would not be where she is today, it's my trust what she will never have, not that a trust Trump anymore than her, it seems to me that politics is a hopeless cause, cause there will always be interests in the middle, our country is not gonna get better just worse in every aspect, otherwise the Bible is a lie and god is a liar, and that I do not believe for a second, what most people fail to understand is that this is the country where most wealth is created, which means there is not right and wrong, just competition, if the government was worried about the public things would be different, but it's not, it's a self serving government like all others.

  7. Hillary Clinton has her fair share of corruption and might not be the best candidate like Obama was, but in comparison to Trump it sounds like a no gamer. Clinton at least has political experience, having been First Lady before, meanwhile Trump is a businessman who got into this unexpectedly.

  8. How did the miss the abusive way she treated her staff and Secret Service people watching over her. She throws things at people and is very verbally abusive. Did you NOT see her on the campaign berate the women who just wanted a photo of her? It's very sad. Some of her staff was afraid of her. So when you speak of the staff, speak of all of them.

  9. What I'm hearing over and over is that Hillary fulfills the female role of, and this is a direct quote from the video, "shut up and listen". Maybe think about what you're saying there, Vox.

  10. LOL > Even peeps who like her hate her > she has IRS dirt on all her "Friends" thus the gushing approval > She's the Succubus > Head Witch LA Coven > Bill said it > there you go Mr "Journalist[sic] " investigate THAT

  11. My parents hate Obama and Hillary. When you ask them why they say Obama destroyed the country and Hillary is a criminal or a b****. Never anything to do with policy or substance.

  12. Hillary Clinton has only one issue
    That she is woman
    She wants to be a president cuz she is Woman

  13. Trump has not made any new military interventions, while the Clintons live depending on creating conflicts worldwide and dropping bombs on other nations. All with a horrible evil propaganda

  14. I believe that Hillary is the left side of the collumn, she is NOT to be trusted. She should be in Jail, or maybe better 6 foot under.

  15. I don't have the education to properly articulate or express how much i hate this woman. She is without doubt an absolute text book sociopath

  16. Hillary is a puppet that's no secret. it's always good to listen to other opinions and ideas but she took it to heart.

  17. Omg 😮 she is a great listener omg she takes great notes! Omg she can walk on water speak too and understand animals 🐕 cats 🐈 🐍 and 🦁 dude vox i don’t care! She took millions from wallstreet Goldman Sacs she changed bro! She was good inthe 90,s but after she took money from wallstreet she sold out! She paid off the dnc she is the establishment she is a hack! The end

  18. she has to look at the bigger picture ..listen to what the commmon american wants.. a be financially stable,,, dont listen to big donors..

  19. Hillary served 30 years in government but did little to help our country grow. Unlike Trump. who in his first two years of office has more remarkable achievements than any past president in US history.

  20. A couple of brave American soldiers would die in an attack that could and should have been easily avoidable

  21. Her greatest strength is as all the legalized bribes she gets from her wealthy donors. Her greatest weakness is all the legalized bribes she gets from her wealthy donors. She has no interest in doing things for ordinary people. Voting for Hillary was like voting for Obama 2.0. That's great if you think Obama was adequate.

  22. Ezra, you fundamentally misunderstand the problem. Hillary Clinton has terrible policies. She is a continuation of the neoliberal wave that shifted left parties to the right after the Reagan-Thatcher success. She would be a continuation of Bill's policies, which ultimately were disastrous. Whether she's a great listener or a great speaker or neither, honestly, irrelevant. Those are all means to an end, that end being changing policy.

  23. For anyone that is mad at President Trump for all of his B.S. remember that it was proven that Secretary Clinton ACTUALLY STOLE the election from Senator Sanders. If she wouldn’t have outright put the mechanisms in place to steal that nomination and truly won it this would hold more weight.

    Can you “listen” to that? Can you “hear” that? Otherwise we will end up with another 4 years of President Trump’s B.S.

    The Elephant in the Room warns you history repeats itself for those who refuse to listen and learn from it 🐘

  24. I'm watching this in 2018, and honestly a lot could also be applied to Elizabeth Warren. She listens. But she also talks, in a way I didn't feel Hillary did.

  25. America lost the opportunity to be the first modern country to be ruled by a real witch casting spells.

  26. Great listener , hear this :::
    You are not going to be a president of the greatest country on earth !!
    " YOU ARE TOO CROOKED FOR
    AMERICA "
    Americans by enlarge are not fools
    Well except for the liberals .

  27. You know if you invites the person your talking about, it means this video is going to support Hillary. Also from what you described about her, she sounds more to fit the role of an adviser than a leader

  28. Revelation 21:8 ESV / 50 helpful votes

    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

  29. Republicans are criminal Fadcidtic Mafia..but Some Democrats as Hillare should never be in Politics..they make more hurm than help

  30. Hillary Clinton would have been a nightmare for American if she got elected. Thank God for Trumps win 🙂 OH, and she doesn't inspire loyalty, people around her who don't have loyalty end up killing themselves.

  31. If what's presented here is true, I have the feeling that Hillary's idea of politics is like a sales job in corporation trying to get equally beneficial deals with other companies.. Politics isn't all that fair ground however

  32. Voting for the Iraq war cannot be just because she litsened to the wrong people. what Bshit is that?

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