Keeping it in the family

Now it’s official. Big spending Hillary Clinton is seeking to take the US presidency back from one dynasty to another. Lucia Green-Weiskel reports

March 1, 2007
5 min read

Hillary Clinton, the New York senator, is now officially running for the US presidency. No one is surprised. There was plenty of not-so-subtle foreshadowing – in the 2006 New York senate race, Clinton doled out more than $36 million, six times more than her Republican challenger. She has made visits to Iraq and Afghanistan, and appears to be quicker to weigh in on foreign policy than issues related to her constituent state.

Clinton will set the tone for a big spender election. She has decided not to accept public funds in either the primary or general elections. This means that she is not legally tethered to any spending cap and instead will fund the campaign out of her own pocket – leaving her campaign dependent on corporate contributions. According to the political watchdog website, opensecrets.org, Clinton ranks among the top ten recipients of funds in the senate in eight of the 12 main donor industries, and is among the top two recipients for five of these sectors.

Clinton maintains close ties with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the pro-business, pro-free trade think-tank dubbed the ‘Republican wing of the Democratic Party’ by Howard Dean. She fronts the organisation’s American Dream Initiative, but the ‘national conversation’ that this aims to kick-start is more likely to be with corporate sponsors than with the voters. The DLC is funded by several of the largest US corporations, which have included Philip Morris, Texaco and Enron, as well as right-wing funds like the Bradley Foundation.

If the main goals of progressive Democratic politics in America is to reduce corporate infiltration of the American political process and to advance less militaristic policies abroad – the two themes outlined last month in plain speech by senator Jim Webb’s Democratic response to George Bush’s state of the union address – then Hillary Clinton’s record is one that runs in opposition to the progressive wing of the party.

When it comes to Iran, Clinton’s warmongering has surpassed even that of the Bush administration. Her rhetoric matches the most hawkish in the administration. ‘We cannot take any option off the table,’ she says. She has criticised Bush for not taking the threat of Iran seriously enough.

Clinton’s firm commitment to protect Israel’s security and defend the Israeli regime seemingly comes at whatever cost. Last year at Yeshiva University she expressed concern over ‘the threats that Israel faces [from Iran] every hour of every day’, concluding that it was ‘even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel’. This, even as the US National Intelligence Estimate predicts Iran won’t be capable of producing a useable nuclear weapon for at least 10 years.

The senator is warmly received at events of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby group. She speaks frequently of the ‘deep and lasting bonds’ between Israel and the US, rooted in their shared ‘Judeo-Christian ethic’. She says of US policy in the region: ‘The security and freedom of Israel must be decisive and remain at the core of any approach to the Middle East.’ Which sounds like she is either saying Israeli interests come before US interests or that the two country’s security concerns are so overlapping that they are indistinguishable from each other.

One only has to follow the money to understand the political underpinnings of her foreign policy. Only four other politicians in America receive more money from the pro-Israel lobby than Hillary Clinton.

On Iraq, it is her Democratic opponent Barack Obama (‘No amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else’s civil war’) who is coming across as the stronger anti-war candidate.

Clinton voted for the resolution in 2002 that enabled the president to go to war. Obama was not in office then, so avoids having any confusing voting history to defend.

Clinton is stuck in a conundrum. As the war has lost popular support, she has attempted to back out of her once firm commitment to the president’s plans, saying that she was ‘misled’. But with all her political experience, having survived the far-right-launched anti-Clinton campaigns of the 1990s, she will find it hard to explain to voters why she trusted a Bush-authored plan for a pre-emptive war in the first place.

While Obama has levelled effective criticism at Bush primarily based on the disaster pieces left by his administration in Iraq and New Orleans, Clinton has been hesitant. So far she has not been among the voices condemning the war. Nor has she come up with a plan to end it. As her anti-war opponent in the New York senate race, Jonathan Tasini, points out, she still supports the idea that there exists a ‘winning’ strategy in Iraq.


✹ Try our new pay-as-you-feel subscription — you choose how much to pay.

Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.

Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.

West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective

How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences

The Digital Liberties cross-party campaign
Access to the internet should be considered as vital as access to power and water writes Sophia Drakopoulou

#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part III: a discussion of power and privilege
In the final article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr gives a few pointers on how to be a good ally

Event: Take Back Control Croydon
Ken Loach, Dawn Foster & Soweto Kinch to speak in Croydon at the first event of a UK-wide series organised by The World Transformed and local activists

Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.

Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change

Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself

#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part II: a discussion of power and privilege
In the second article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the silencing of black women and the flaws in safe spaces

Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
'We have come together to denounce this brazen conflict of interest and to champion the growing need for independent, truthful and representative media'

Confronting Brexit
Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond

On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network

Disrupting the City of London Corporation elections
The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter

#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement

Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union

Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.

Social Workers Without Borders
Jenny Nelson speaks to Lauren Wroe about a group combining activism and social work with refugees

Growing up married
Laura Nicholson interviews Dr Eylem Atakav about her new film, Growing Up Married, which tells the stories of Turkey’s child brides

The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
On March 4 & 5 Bethnal Green will host a migrant-led festival fostering community and solidarity for people of all backgrounds, writes Sohail Jannesari

Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next

Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace

Pass the domestic violence bill
Emma Snaith reports on the significance of the new anti-domestic violence bill

Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
Sol Trumbo Vila says the mandate from the Podemos Assembly is to go forwards in unity and with humility

Protect our public lands
Last summer Indigenous people travelled thousands of miles around the USA to tell their stories and build a movement. Julie Maldonado reports

From the frontlines
Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices

How can we make the left sexy?
Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed

In pictures: designing for change
Sana Iqbal, the designer behind the identity of The World Transformed festival and the accompanying cover of Red Pepper, talks about the importance of good design

Angry about the #MuslimBan? Here are 5 things to do
As well as protesting against Trump we have a lot of work to get on with here in the UK. Here's a list started by Platform


23