For those of us who consider ourselves political junkies, the WikiLeaks emails are treasure. They show us the inner workings of some of the highest ranking politicians in the country.
But what we’re seeing isn’t pretty. What we see is just how flexible a candidate’s position on an issue can be when votes are on the line. Look at this WikiLeaks email for a prime example.
Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton has long supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal between 12 countries that has come under significant scrutiny during this year’s election season.
Clinton debate coach Ron Klein argued in newly released emails that “She has to be for TPP…She called it the ‘gold standard’ of trade agreements. I think opposing that would be a huge flip flop.”
But Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s campaign manager, argued that Clinton’s continued support would be “lethal with labor.” The emails suggest that Clinton’s private views had remained consistent but that she should consider changing her public position for purely political reasons.
Clinton had praised and supported the TPP while serving as President Obama’s Secretary of State and continued to support TPP after leaving the State Department. Internal operatives suggested that Clinton continue to support TPP but vow to improve it as president.
Clinton did eventually come out publicly against TPP. Why? The Daily Caller reported Clinton flip-flopped based on “intense pressure from labor unions, grassroots Democratic voters and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders” all of whom oppose the trade deal.”
Not surprisingly, “two major labor unions endorsed Clinton after she came out against TPP.”
These emails support the notion that was revealed in an earlier email leak that Clinton has both private positions and public positions on issues, a statement she has denied despite the evidence. For many voters, this is a critical issue. We need to have an honest understanding of what a candidate will do if elected in order to make educated votes. But we don’t get that with Clinton. Her views change with the wind and with the votes. Given that information, what do we really know about what she’ll do if elected? Not much, but it doesn’t look good.