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Hillary Rodham Clinton (positions)

From dKosopedia

Progressive Punch ranks Hillary Clinton as the 10th most liberal senator in office.

Senator Clinton giving a speech in Chicago.
Senator Clinton giving a speech in Chicago.


Foreign Policy

The debate over Iraq, and perhaps all American foreign policy, is likely to dominate the 2008 presidential primary season and general election. Benefiting from popular anger over the War in Iraq and reflecting confidence that the Democratic Party nomination is hers to lose, Clinton has been careful to adopt only those foreign policy positions which appeal to the political center at the moment. She takes foreign policy positions that are "safe" in the sense of supporting positions preferred by everyone: human rights and peace, or supporting what is already being done by the current administration: micro-loans or supporting EU enlargement, or appeals to highly mobilized ethnic voting blocs: Cuban Americans and Jewish Americans. The strangest posiiton though is in conceiving Puerto Rico to be a matter for foreign policy rather than domestic policy. Is the Puerto Rican vote already "in the bag?"

Engage in world affairs, including human rights.
Human rights are central to our objectives abroad.
Keep Cuban embargo; pay UN bills.
Smartest strategic choice is peace.
Puerto Rico: Stop using live ammo at Vieques.
Foreign aid spending is only 1%; lead by remaining engaged.
Supports micro-loans to third-world women.
China: criticized authoritarianism with women & children.
Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)

The obvious problems with such a safe approach are that it suggests the absence of presidential stature because it tracks public opinion so closely and fails to specify what she will do when faced with issues that are much more difficult:

Would she be willing to use the U.S. military to defend Taiwan from attack by China?
Would she be willing to invade oil rich Venezuela to topple the government of Hugo Chavez?
Would she be willing to support having the U.S. re-join the International Criminal Court?
Would she close Guantanamo Bay and return its 45 square miles to the Cubans?
Would she be be willing to support a new round of negotiations for a treaty requiring serious carbon emission reductions?

Iraq War

Unlike the other two Democratic fronrunners, John Edwards and Barack Obama Clinton has refused to advocate immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from the failing Republican War in Iraq. Her various criticisms of the war have been "highly nuanced." During an April 20, 2004 interview on Larry King Live, a little over a year after the war began, Clinton was asked about her October 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution. "Obviously, I've thought about that a lot in the months since. No, I don't regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade.... The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration. It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared.. .. But I think that in the case of the [Bush] administration, they really believed it. They really thought they were right, but they didn't let enough sunlight into their thinking process to really have the kind of debate that needs to take place when a serious decision occurs like that."

In a November 29, 2005 letter to her constituents, Clinton summarized her position on the then two-and-a-half-year-long war by saying, "There are no quick and easy solutions to the long and drawn out conflict [the Bush] Administration triggered ... I do not believe that we should allow this to be an open-ended commitment without limits or end. Nor do I believe that we can or should pull out of Iraq immediately."

On June 8, 2006, Clinton said of the U.S. airstrike that demised Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: "I saw firsthand the terrible consequences of Zarqawi's terrorist network when Bill, Chelsea and I visited the hotel ballroom in Amman, Jordan last November where Zarqawi's followers had detonated a bomb at a wedding, killing and wounding innocent people. We owe our thanks to our men and women in uniform and others in Iraq who have been fighting Zarqawi and other insurgents and who are responsible for today's success."

On June 15, 2006, Clinton charged that President Bush, “rushed to war” and “refused to let the UN inspectors conduct and complete their mission.” “We need to be building alliances instead of isolation around the world,” she advised. And she insisted, “There must be a plan that will begin to bring our troops home.” But then she voiced the controversial phrase: “I do not think it is a smart strategy either for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment which I think does not put enough pressure on the Iraqi government, nor do I think it is a smart policy to set a date certain.”

On February 2, 2007, Clinton said, "If I had been president in October 2002, I would not have started this war," in addition to stating that if the conflict is not ended before January 2009, she would put a stop to it if elected president. How many Americans and Iraqis will die between now and that date 23 months from now?

Generally, Clinton:

Israel, Iran and the Middle East

Clinton is a strong supporter of Israel. At a pro-Israel rally in New York in front of the United Nations on July 18, 2006, Clinton spoke in support of Israel's efforts in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict: "We are here to show solidarity and support for Israel. We will stand with Israel, because Israel is standing for American values as well as Israeli ones." She condemned Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran. That is pretty rhetoric but factually incorrect. American values once included enthusiastic support for the annexation of the territory of weaker neighbors, as in the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War. Today however few Americans would support the annexation of territory belonging to other countries. Isreal continues to occupy territories, including parts of the West Bank and Gaza, and the Golan Heights, that it seized in 1967.

Speaking to an audience of 1,700 members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in January 2007, Clinton stated: "U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons...In dealing with this option can be taken off the table." Senator Clinton also stated, "We need to use every tool at our disposal, including diplomatic and economic in addition to the threat and use of military force." Source: Samantha Gross. "Sen. Clinton: Iran Is a Threat to Israel." February 1, 2007. News Report Hillary has encouraged diplomatic engagement with Iran before taking any stronger action to keep Iran free of nukes. She thinks that we should "exhaust all possibilities" before taking military action. Source: Maggie Haberman "Israel Fans Groan Over Hill Speech." February 2, 2007. News Report

Humanitarian Intervention Abroad

In a February 2005 speech at the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, Clinton expressed regret that the international community had failed to effectively intervene in the 1990s during the Rwandan Genocide and early in Bosnian War, and praised the United Nations and NATO interventions that did occur, later in the Bosnian War (leading to the Dayton Agreement), in the Kosovo War, and in East Timor. Regarding the ongoing large-scale killing in Darfur, Sudan, she then advocated "at least a limited NATO role in logistics, communication and transportation in Darfur in support of the African Union."

United Nations

On February 13, 2005, at the Munich Conference on Security Policy, Senator Clinton outlined her support for a strong United Nations. "My first observation is simple but it must govern all that we do: The United Nations is an indispensable organization to all of us - despite its flaws and inefficiencies. This means quite simply, that everyone here today, and governments everywhere, must decide that our global interests are best served by strengthening the U.N., by reforming it, by cleaning up its obvious bureaucratic and managerial shortcomings, and by improving its responsiveness to crises, from humanitarian to political." Senator Clinton continued, "At its founding in San Francisco sixty years ago, fifty members signed the Charter. Today, the U.N. has 191 members, and, quite frankly, many of them sometimes act against the interests of a stronger U.N., whether consciously or not, with alarming regularity. Since the U.N. is not, in the final analysis, an independent hierarchical organization, like for example a sports team or a corporation, but no more - or less - than a collection of its members, the U.N. becomes progressively weakened by such action. Ironically, "the U.N." - an abstraction that everyone from journalists to those of us in this room use in common discussions - is often blamed for the actions (or inactions) of its members." Clinton has co-sponsored a Senate resolution "expressing the sense of the Senate on the importance of membership of the United States on the United Nations Human Rights Commission."

Domestic Policy


Clinton has been praised by New York farmers for her understanding of the needs of small farms.

Civil and Human Rights

Censorship - Freedom of Expression & Free Speech
Gay Rights

Clinton supports domestic partnership rights or civil union rights but not marriage rights for gays and lesbians. She was quoted as saying, "We ought to be providing domestic partnership benefits for people who are in homosexual and lesbian relationships," on February 11, 2000. In an interview with John Roberts of CBS News on December 7, 2003, Clinton expressed her opposition to same-sex marriage while affirming her support for some form of civil unions for gay couples. "I think that the vast majority of Americans find [gay marriage] to be something they can't agree with. But I think most Americans are fair. And if they believe that people in committed relationships want to share their lives and, not only that, have the same rights that I do in my marriage, to decide who I want to inherit my property or visit me in a hospital, I think that most Americans would think that that's fair and that should be done." Clinton supports the Defense of Marriage Act that allows each state to decide whether to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state; it also codifies that for federal purposes, only the marriage of one man and one woman is recognized as valid. Following a 2006 New York State Appeals Court ruling that denied any state constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Clinton reiterated her support for "full equality" under the civil unions mechanism. With politically charged issues (and gay marriage is probably the most politically charged "moral issue" right now) it is always difficult to discern a politician's true feelings on the matter. There are many issues that certain politicians cannot be seen as supportive of, due to unique weak spots in their public image. Regardless of how Hillary feels about gay marriage, it would undoubtedly be unwise for her to campaign in support of it, as the Republican slime machine casts aspersions on her own marriage constantly. They would go wild if she said she supported gay marriage - she would be spun as doing everything in her power to destroy marriage.

On October 25, 2006, Senator Clinton met with LGBT leaders in New York. When asked about her views on gay marriage, she suggested that conversations with her gay friends have caused her position to evolve. She also indicated that her support of civil unions is pragmatic, seeing civil unions as a quicker route to equality of benefits. Hillary stated, "I believe in full equality of benefits, nothing left out. From my perspective there is a greater likelihood of us getting to that point in civil unions or domestic partnerships and that is my very considered assessment." When asked about Eliot Spitzer's crusade for gay marriage in New York, Hillary emphatically stated, "I am not going to speak out against, I'm not going to oppose anything that the governor and the Legislature do."


Senator Clinton has pushed for a privacy bill of rights.

Racial Minorities

On reparations: "We have mental, emotional and psychological reparations to pay first. We have to admit that we haven’t always treated people in our own country fairly. We have some issues that we have to address when it comes to racial justice right now. I’m willing to work hard to be a strong advocate for Civil Rights and human rights here at home and around the world. I want to do everything I can to make sure that the programs and policies that have helped generations of African-Americans have a better life in this country continue. I think we should be focused on the present and on the future. We owe an apology to African-Americans for hundreds of years of slavery." (Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000)

On racial profiling: "I disapprove of racial profiling. I’ve spoken out about the need to rebuild trust between our police who put themselves on the line every single day and the communities that they’re pledged to protect. I want to go to the Senate to make sure that our police have the resources and tools they need to do the very best job, but I also want to go to make sure that our communities feel safe and protected." (Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000)

Religious Freedom

Hillary is a practicing Methodist, and firmly believes in protecting religious freedom. (Thus, she supports the separation of church and state.)

Religion in Public Schools
Women's Rights

At the 1995 UN World Conference on Women, Hillary said, “We must respect the choices that each women makes for herself and her family. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”

Clinton believes it is a grave violation of human rights:


Senator Clinton has been a staunch supporter of the legal right of a woman to end her pregnancy by abortion as determined in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973. Clinton considers herself an "anti-abortionist" who believes that the criminalization of abortion will not end its practice. Clinton believes that the acceptance and availability of birth control and sex education can do much to eliminate unwanted pregnancies and reduce abortion. She is firm in her belief that abortion should be legal, safe, and rare.

Hillary has long maintained that being pro-choice is not the same as being pro-abortion. Hillary puts aside her personal views on abortion because she believes that abortion is a constitutional right. Furthermore, she recognizes that it is never enough to change a law - you must change a mind. She is an advocate of teen outreach programs which teach both abstinence and safer-sex. She never supports abstinence-only programs.



Hillary says that one of her top priorities as a senator is supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, because they drive economic growth.



Hillary strongly supports public schools, and is interested in updating them with new technology. Clinton is against education vouchers for use at private schools. On September 13, 2000, she said, "I do not support vouchers. And the reason I don’t is because I don’t think we can afford to siphon dollars away from our underfunded public schools."

School Policy Positions:
Sex Education Positions:
Clinton advocates teen outreach programs which teach both abstinence and safer-sex, and rejects abstinence-only programs.


Energy Policy

Clinton supports energy conservation and opposes the Bush administration's energy policy.

Families and Children

Fiscal Responsibility

In her address to the 2000 Democratic National Convention on August 14, 2000, Clinton asserted that it is fiscally responsible for the United States government to stay out of debt. She stressed her support for the social programs, Social Security and Medicare, that were established during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. "We’ll never accomplish what we need to do for our children if we burden them with a debt they didn’t create. Franklin Roosevelt said that Americans of his generation had a rendezvous with destiny. It’s time to protect the next generation by using our budget surplus to pay down the national debt, save Social Security, modernize Medicare with a prescription drug benefit, & provide targeted tax cuts to the families who need them most."

In a 2004 fund-raising speech in San Francisco, she was highly critical of George W. Bush's tax cuts, saying that "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Clinton has sponsored legislation designed to reduce the deficit by rebalancing recent tax cuts. She has co-sponsored legislation related to debt and deficit reduction.

Gun Control

Hillary Clinton favors "sensible gun control legislation" and not limiting gun control lawsuits. She made gun control issues part of her 2000 Senate campaign.

Health Care

In a speech to Harvard Medical School on June 4, 1998, Clinton outlined general support for universal health care for Americans. "There are 41 million people without health insurance. Who will take care of these people in the future? How will we pay for their care? How will we pay for the extra costs that come when someone is not treated for a chronic disease or turned away from the emergency room? The job of health care reform cannot be done when access to care depends on skin color or the neighborhood they live in or the amount of money in their wallet. Let’s continue to work toward universal affordable, quality health care."

Clinton has subsequently said that health care coverage improvements need to be made incrementally over time, in contrast to the more ambitious, wide-ranging plan that failed in 1993-1994. Clinton has recently collaborated with former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich on joint proposals for incremental health care improvements that would involve both private insurers and government.

Homeland Security

In a speech on December 8, 2004, regarding the passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks on her approach to homeland security. "[This] legislation calls for dramatic improvements in the security of our nation's transportation infrastructure, including aviation security, air cargo security, and port security. Through this legislation, the security of the Northern Border will also be improved, a goal I have worked toward since 2001. Among many key provisions, the legislation calls for an increase of at least 10,000 border patrol agents from Fiscal Years 2006 through 2010, many of whom will be dedicated specifically to our Northern Border. There will also be an increase of at least 4,000 full-time immigration and customs enforcement officers in the next 5 years."

Later in the speech, Senator Clinton described her satisfaction with the way in which the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 tackles what she views as the root causes of terrorism by improving education around the world and establishing schools in Muslim countries that will replace the current madrassas. "I am also pleased that the legislation addresses the root causes of terrorism in a proactive manner. This is an issue that I have spent a good deal of time on in the past year because I believe so strongly that we are all more secure when children and adults around the world are taught math and science instead of hate. The bill we are voting on today includes authorization for an International Youth Opportunity Fund, which will provide resources to build schools in Muslim countries. The legislation also acknowledges that the U.S. has a vested interest in committing to a long-term, sustainable investment in education around the globe. Some of this language is modeled on legislation that I introduced in September, The Education for All Act of 2004, and I believe it takes us a small step towards eliminating madrassas and replacing them with schools that provide a real education to all children."

Clinton voted for the USA PATRIOT Act in October 2001 when it was first enacted (as did all but one Senator, Russ Feingold). In December 2005, when a political battle ensued over its renewal, Clinton supported a general filibuster against it, on the grounds that the renewal legislation did not apportion enough money to New York for anti-terrorism efforts.

Regarding the December 2005 NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, Clinton stated that she was "troubled" by President Bush's 2002 actions. In a statement, she said: "The balance between the urgent goal of combating terrorism and the safeguarding of our most fundamental constitutional freedoms is not always an easy one to draw. However, they are not incompatible, and unbridled and unchecked executive power is not the answer."

Clinton has sponsored and co-sponsored several bills relating to protecting Americans from acts of terrorism as well as providing assistance to the victims of such acts.


Clinton has drawn praise from conservative commentators and lawmakers for her tough stance on illegal immigration. Clinton wants to create a system whereby workers can immigrate to the United States legally and be tracked. Senator Clinton has strongly criticized businesses for hiring illegal immigrants.

Clinton took a somewhat different tack on March 8, 2006, when she strongly criticized H.R. 4437, a bill passed by the House of Representatives in December 2005 and sent to the Senate, that would impose harsher penalties for undocumented workers. Clinton called the measure "a rebuke to what America stands for." Furthermore she said that it would be "an unworkable scheme to try to deport 11 million people, which you have to have a police state to try to do." The solution to the illegal immigration problem was, in her opinion, to make "a path to earned citizenship for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar for becoming a citizen." On March 27, 2006, Clinton again vowed to block the bill. Speaking before a New York group of open border advocates, she said: "[The bill] is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself." On April 5, 2006, speaking to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Clinton said her work for her New York constituents could fall afoul of the bill since some of her constituents are illegal immigrants. "I realize I would be a criminal, too. My staff would be criminal. We help people with all kinds of problems."

Science and Technology

Nanotech Research
Clinton favors funding nanotechnology research & development.
Stem Cell Research
Clinton supports embryonic stem cell research.
Space Science


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This page was last modified 12:18, 28 February 2008 by dKosopedia user DrDebug. Based on work by Mara and dKosopedia user(s) Lestatdelc, BartFraden, Piston25, Mr. Critical, Noitpecedetartenep, Crayon and GillFlanigan. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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