Clinton, you need to have a private and public position on policy

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
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Mar 22, 2010
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This oft-cited line takes on a different meaning when seen in more context ...
You just have to sort of figure out how to — getting back to that word, “balance” — how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today. That, I think, has probably been true for all of our history, and if you saw the Spielberg movie, Lincoln, and how he was maneuvering and working to get the 13th Amendment passed, and he called one of my favorite predecessors, Secretary Seward, who had been the governor and senator from New York, ran against Lincoln for president, and he told Seward, I need your help to get this done. And Seward called some of his lobbyist friends who knew how to make a deal, and they just kept going at it. I mean, politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.

http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-hillary-clinton-private-speeches-released-2016-10

Sounds scary right? But look at how she ends ...
And finally, I think — I believe in evidence-based decision making. I want to know what the facts are. I mean, it’s like when you guys go into some kind of a deal, you know, are you going to do that development or not, are you going to do that renovation or not, you know, you look at the numbers. You try to figure out what’s going to work and what’s not going to work.

[Clinton Speech For National Multi-Housing Council, 4/24/13]
I believe in evidence-based decision making too. I want to know what the facts are too. I like politicians like Hillary Clinton that, "try to figure out what’s going to work and what’s not going to work."

Thanks wikileaks for revealing that side of HRC.
 
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rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
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Are you saying the Trumpets are taking this out of context? Shocking!
 

kapolani

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2011
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I can buy that.

But, why even have a public vs private persona?

Lay out the facts. Show this evidence based decision making.

Why the subterfuge?
 
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thermodynamic

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May 3, 2009
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I can buy that.

But, why even have a public vs private persona?

Lay out the facts. Show this evidence based decision making.

Why the subterfuge?
Good question.

My guess is: Possibly because the public might not like the extra or differing details in the private edition, or if a politician does/accepts something in public for the genuine well-being of the country but personally has certain reservations or disagreements... the goal is always the benefit of the country, regardless of personal belief and sometimes making compromises. Anyone in such a position would have an internal struggle at some point?
 

kapolani

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2011
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525
USA
Good question.

My guess is: Possibly because the public might not like the extra or differing details in the private edition, or if a politician does/accepts something in public for the genuine well-being of the country but personally has certain reservations or disagreements... the goal is always the benefit of the country, regardless of personal belief and sometimes making compromises. Anyone in such a position would have an internal struggle at some point?
The goal should be for the benefit of the country, but Clinton has always been painted as a 'me first' sort of person.

For transparency there should never be a public and private persona.

If you have nothing to hide and you are supposed to have the country's best interests at heart there should be total transparency so there can be no ambiguity about the way you do business.

The Clintons have always been looked at with scrutiny because of their shadiness, this makes it look even worse.
 

DrewDaHilp1

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2009
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She has only been painted that way by Republicans who are trying to make her look bad.
She does that all by herself. Republicans didn't make her or her foundation take cash from Russia for uranium deals. Republicans didn't make her lie about the reasoning for the attack on Benghazi, Republicans didn't make her create her own server in her bathroom, Republicans didn't make her delete hundreds of thousands of e-mails.
 
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AlliFlowers

Contributor
Jan 1, 2011
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She does that all by herself. Republicans didn't make her or her foundation take cash from Russia for uranium deals. Republicans didn't make her lie about the reasoning for the attack on Benghazi, Republicans didn't make her create her own server in her bathroom, Republicans didn't make her delete hundreds of thousands of e-mails.
They didn't make her do anything. However, anything she does they view as vile and evil.
 

LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
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But, why even have a public vs private persona?

Lay out the facts. Show this evidence based decision making.

Why the subterfuge?
How is it subterfuge? You can hold a personal opinion and yet follow law that differs from it. You must uphold the law if you are a public offficial. If you don't think a law will be Constitutional then you can veto a bill rather than pass it, and if it passes anyway, then advocate for its challenge in in the courts system, and if it is upheld at the Supreme Court level, then acquiesce in upholding it or resign. That's how the rule of law works here and we see that play out often in state legislatures.

Yes, there are efforts every day to observe letter of law and violate its spirit. Food for another thread...

What you do publicly beyond letter of law as an elected official (or candidate) may indicate a personal difference or not, i.e. you can be a governor who opposes the death penalty yet abides by the current law. Such a person may or may not also publicly advocate for repeal of the death penalty.

Most elected officials who are opposed to the death penalty or to abortion, to pick two controversial issues, will probably make their personal views known but also emphasize they will follow the law -- since they must swear to do so upon taking office.

As far as policy proposals, it makes perfect sense in a polarized electorate not to publicize personal views that may be at odds with proposed policy. We are not currently a nation that knows how to discuss much of anything without pegging out two and only two posssible positions: For/Against, Mine/Yours, Possible/NoWay and so forth. We hear a word and we stick a tag on whoever uttered it.

So if, for instance, you personally prefer a single payer option for healthcare and yet realize your nation is unprepared to adopt it, you might well opt to look for other ways to improve an existing system if you're a legislator or the President. To do that does not require you to get up on a table first and say "I'd much rather have single payer here but since I know half you you hate that idea, how about this instead?"

I mean you'd lose half the country at the words "Single Payer" and the other half at "...but..." -- so it's better in such a case to just propose whatever it is you think it feasible to propose, and if your private view is solicited, then determine how you want to indicate that your personal views don't particularly (or at all) figure into the legislation you are proposing.

People get that. How? Because as adults we all know situations we are not fond of that exist because they're legal and not a high priority for trying to adjust. I'd like free tacos and pizza. It's not going to happpen. I'm not going to ask for it, either. I might ask for zoning laws not to impede competition among small businesses. Why should I single out pizza and tacos, my personal preferences. I might just leave it at "small businesses" and let people imagine their own preferences. Maybe you'd like another gas station. We can work together on the zoning law. That's... good politics. People can argue later when your damn gas stations pop up on all four corners. By then I'll be building another taco store at the north end of town...

So I feel a politician who advocates publicly for reform of healthcare legislation does not have to preface her remarks every day with a reminder that she might personally favor single payer legislation. What's the point? As a private opinion holder, she's one person having an opinion that does not stand up to the opposition of the insurance companies and pharma lobbies. As a legislator or administrator, she is sensible enough to propose some changes publicly that are actually feasible.

And in closing let me say i haven't a clue if Clinton actually favors single payer. I'd think probably not...
 

balamw

Moderator
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Aug 16, 2005
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In late 2008, the original Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln can to the Ronald Reagan Presidential library at a time when on a clear day I could see the library from my bedroom window. So we went to see it. How could I resist going to see it? This was well before the 2012 Spielberg film.

Distilled down. One of the key themes of the exhibit was this tension between the position Lincoln had arrived to personally and privately (abolition) and what he could actually get others to support (far more limited measures) and the tension between these two positions. One private and held between close confidants and one publicly taken. It presented many letters between Lincoln and his confidants and many other contemporary sources in the context of the US Civil War in an exquisite way.

It's sad to think that the museum goes of the future may have to deal with multimedia displays and 140 character tweets and edits in black Sharpie instead of excerpts from beautiful handwritten letters.

The Wikipedia article on Lincoln and Slavery presents some of this in an XXI century digestible format.

Wikipedia said:
Douglas criticized Lincoln as being inconsistent, saying he altered his message and position on slavery and on the political rights of freed blacks in order to appeal to the audience before him...
Honest Abe would be spinning in his grave if he saw what had become of his Grand Old Party.

B
 
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