Under powerful attack from Bernie Sanders in last night’s debate over her cozy relationship with Wall Street titans like Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton stated that Sanders is “the only one of this stage that voted to deregulate the financial market in 2000. . .which [was] one of the main causes of the collapse in ’08.”
Sanders, of course, was the only one of the stage who could have voted to deregulate in 2000. Neither Clinton nor Martin O’Malley served in Congress at that time.
But this fact doesn’t render Hillary’s shot unfair, at least by current standards. I imagine that most presidential candidates would be willing to make such an argument if put on the defensive.
Consider this, however. Bill Clinton signed into law the very act — The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 — that Hillary attacked Sanders for supporting. I don’t know the exact state of the Clinton marriage in 2000, but it seems highly unlikely that Hillary would have voted against an act her husband was willing to sign.
Indeed, it is virtually certain that Hillary would have voted for the legislation given that it passed the House by a vote of 377 to 4. Stalwart House liberals such as Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman, Sherrod Brown, Barney Frank, and David Bonior voted “yea.” Ron Paul voted “nay.”
In the first Democratic debate, Hillary tried to differentiate herself from Sanders not solely by cherry-picking rare instances in which Sanders voted “conservatively,” but also by occasionally defending capitalism. In last night’s debate, I heard only cherry-picking.
It sounded a little like desperation.