Hillary Clinton today tied her fortunes to the rest of us losing ours. Speaking at an Ohio rally, the presidential contender told the faithful that economic issues would be the primary factor in the 2008 elections. That is, as long as it made people miserable:
Hillary Rodham Clinton spent almost three hours Wednesday trying to persuade a college gym full of Ohioans that her detailed plans to revive the failing economy can also resuscitate her dwindling campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Obviously, the economy is the No. 1 issue in the country, and it’s unbelievably important here in Ohio,” said Clinton. “I think, absent any intervening circumstances, the economy will be the domestic driver with all the related issues like health care and energy costs and home foreclosures.”
Absent any intervening circumstances? Like what — prosperity, employment, and security? It sounds like Hillary has her own version of hope and change in the presidential race. Specifically, her only hope is that the economy changes for the worse.
Most of us hope that we can avoid a downturn in the economy. That’s why so many of us want Congress to act to keep the tax rates from increasing in 2010 by making the Bush tax cuts permanent. We want Congress to start reducing federal spending and start working on entitlement reforms before the inevitable meltdown. Unfortunately, both Democratic candidates have proposed hundreds of billions in new spending and tax increases.
Maybe Hillary should take a hint from her own language here. The biggest worry about the economy comes literally from intervening – the kind of intervening done by politicians trying to enforce equal outcomes rather than provide equal opportunities. At the very least, we’d hope that she would be rooting for our success, rather than hoping to get lucky and ride a recession to power.