There's nothing like a Koch endorsement if you want to ruin a Democratic campaign. So when Charles Koch tells the world he'd, um, back Hil, mayhem ensues. Right?
Charles G. Koch, the billionaire industrialist, suggested in an interview Sunday that he was open to supporting Hillary Clinton for president and said it was possible she would make a better president than her Republican rivals.
It was an unexpected sentiment from Mr. Koch, who has for years deployed his vast wealth to champion conservative causes and Republican candidacies, emerging as a major foe of the Democratic Party. ...NYT
And Hillary herself? What's her reaction?
Hillary looked aghast, stood up, shook herself off, straightened her bodice, refreshed her lipstick and tweeted "no way!" ["In a message on Twitter Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Clinton said she was not interested in endorsements from people who deny climate science and try to make it harder for people to vote.”]
For his part, Koch appears to be confused, out of touch. Apparently it has taken him a few months to catch up with the multiple inadequacies of current Republican candidates.
In an interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC, which aired on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Mr. Koch sounded at times baffled and disappointed by the language and ideas of several Republican presidential candidates.
He called a plan by Donald J. Trump to temporarily bar Muslims from entering the country “monstrous” and dismissed Senator Ted Cruz’s proposal to carpet-bomb territory held by the Islamic State as “frightening” hyperbole.
Mr. Koch spoke somewhat fondly of former President Bill Clinton, suggesting he held down government spending and regulation compared with his successor, President George W. Bush. He called Mr. Bush “a fine person, and tried to do the right thing but was misguided.”...NYT
[So you believed the Kochs were solid Republicans and the Clintons were Democrats! Ha!]
KARL: So is it possible another Clinton could be better than another Republican—
KOCH: It’s possible.
KARL: Next time around?
KOCH: It’s possible.
KARL: You couldn’t see yourself supporting Hillary Clinton, could you?
KOCH: Well, I— that— her— we would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way. But on some of the Republican candidates we would— before we could support them, we’d have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we’ve heard so far. ...NYT
Ye gods! Bipartisanship is one thing. But this is going too far. Isn't it?
Seriously, though. Hillary's credentials as a Democrat are getting more scrutiny. Bernie Sanders is not exactly backing her or status quo ante. On the contrary, he's dealing with the right/left split within the Democratic party.
Amid his unexpectedly strong showing in the Democratic primaries, Mr. Sanders has tapped his two-million-person donor list to raise money for liberal congressional candidates in New York, Nevada and Washington State. And in the waning months of Barack Obama’s presidency, Mr. Sanders’s allies are testing their muscle against the White House, mounting a public attack on the president’s housing secretary, Julián Castro, over his department’s sales of delinquent mortgages to banks and private equity firms.
“There is a greater goal here,” said Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, a co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who sent a letter to Mr. Castro criticizing the mortgage sales. “The contribution of Bernie that will be lasting for us is that we will coalesce around an agenda.”
The pressure from Mr. Sanders and his allies is putting the party establishment, which is closely aligned with Hillary Clinton, in a delicate position. Democratic leaders are wary of steering the party too far left, but do not want to alienate the Sanders supporters whose votes Mrs. Clinton needs in November, or risk losing the vast new donor base Mr. Sanders has created. ...NYT
It seems clearer that the enthusiastic crowd cheering Obama at his inauguration back in 2009 were damn fools. Not because they backed him but because they then left him to do the job by himself as soon as he took possession of the White House --overlooking the recognition that commitment to democracy doesn't end with their 2008 vote.
For those who continue to support Hillary now, in 2016, a reality check is advised. She's as close as you can get to being a traditional Republican (a reasonable party with no perceptible ties to the scurrilous group now on stage). Charles Koch is simply smarter and more perceptive than those who see Hil as a Dem. Charles Reid, writing at the Huffington Post, gets it.
How Clinton handles such endorsements, or even the occasional kind word from Charles Koch, is important. She already has a problem with perceptions. After all, she earned millions of dollars in speaking fees from strategically-situated business groups and has refused to release the transcripts of those talks. Her vote on the Iraq war in 2003 was a true and monumental misjudgment. Still, she will likely be the Democratic nominee. (And I should add that if she is the nominee, I am likely to vote for her myself).
What is crucial right now is that Clinton must maintain distance between herself and the Charles Kochs and Robert Kagans of the world. Their policy prescriptions have been proven wrong for America. The political winds, furthermore, are moving in a different, more refreshing direction. Progressivism is catching fire and and it is not likely to be extinguished anytime soon. This is the reason behind Bernie Sanders’ improbable success. A critical mass of the American public knows that unrestrained capitalism has failed, just as they understand that Middle Eastern militarism has been a mistake. Hillary Clinton should avoid associating herself with figures like Charles Koch or Robert Kagan. She should accordingly be very suspicious of Charles Koch’s blandishments. ...HuffPo