One of Hillary Clinton’s favorite tropes is to claim that she has “35 years” of experience as an agent of progressive change.
She cited that figure at least four times in the Las Vegas debate, and Bill Clinton touts it on Hillary’s website.
It’s not subtle at all, as you can tell by the title, “President Clinton on Hillary: She is an agent of change.”
Since Obama gained momentum on the promise of change, Hillary has been trying every which way to coopt it, and Bill’s testimony is only the latest.
“The reason I think she should be President is that she’s got a 35-year-old record of being an agent of positive change,” Bill writes. “She has never been in a situation that she hasn’t left better than when she found it.”
So let’s take a look.
To her credit, she has a long history of working for children’s rights and women’s rights.
But that’s not the totality of her record.
Thirty-two years ago, she joined the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas, which represented such change agents as Tyson Foods, GM, Weyerhaeuser and Wal-Mart.
Hillary herself represented the utilities against the grassroots group ACORN, which was trying to keep rates down, and she represented Coca-Cola against a disabled veteran who was denied full benefits from the company, as Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair note on Counterpunch. (She won both cases for her corporate masters.)
She was the agent of something but I wouldn’t call it change when she then joined Wal-Mart’s Board of Directors.
And was she a “positive change agent” in the White House when she and Bill abandoned their friend Lani Guinier after he’d nominated her to be the first black woman to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department?
Was she a “positive change agent” when she went along with Clinton’s destruction of the safety net for women and children on welfare?
And as a Senator, she wasn’t exactly a “positive change agent” when she voted for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act.
“All her life, she has been an agent of positive change,” Bill vouches.
But when you look at her record, there is much less relevant experience and much less progressive change than meets the eye.