Hillary’s Pragmatic, Capable, and Competent. So Why Doesn't America Trust Her?

Author & Political Scientist
Ian Bremmer calls Hillary Clinton a "moneyball America" candidate for president, meaning she advocates for a pragmatic, unemotional set of policies. Take China, for example. As secretary of state, Clinton knew she couldn't attack China for human rights abuses because you don't talk bad about your banker. Her goal was to protect American value, not enforce American values. Although she hasn't exhibited this attitude much on the campaign trail, Americans should be aware this is the exact sort of Hillary to expect in the White House.
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TRANSCRIPT

Ian Bremmer: Hillary Clinton given her secretary of state record has a very significant foreign policy record that we can actually look at. And I’d say as secretary of state she comes down fairly strongly as a moneyball America candidate. I mean really focusing without sentimentality on where America gets value for investment. It’s not about values. It’s not about promoting democracy in the free market globally. It’s about focusing on those issues and those areas where the United States by investing, by spending resources, by committing people can really move the needle for America. She talks about the pivot to Asia, economic state craft. She was the principal architect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She did not want to get bogged down by the Middle East. She focused not at all on Israel-Palestine unlike her successor John Kerry. She, in Libya, she was reluctant to get involved militarily and only supported it when it was a relatively pinpoint series of military engagements with no American casualties during the military offensive. And no plans for state building or nation building afterwards. Then she launched the reset with Russia, which was really intended so that the Americans wouldn’t have to focus so much on the country that used to be our principle protagonist. Now some of those things worked. Some of those didn’t work and some of those we’re going to wait and see. But the fact was that as a strategy Hillary really did articulate moneyball. I remember when she even said on China, you know, it’s really hard to criticize your banker on human rights. That is a classic moneyball statement, right. It’s like hey, you know, we’d like to talk to China about human rights, but it’s not really realistic. They’re too big.

They hold all this cash. We can’t really push them that much. Very pragmatic. Interestingly, Hillary the candidate, you know is a little bit different. She’s tried to back away from the Iran deal. She’s back away from the risk-aversion on Syria. She’s backed away from the Russia reset. And she hasn’t even said that she supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which to me is a little ludicrous. Clearly she’s doing that for political reasons, not for policy reasons. It’s disappointing. I can’t say it’s surprising. Most people that run for president, if they’re credible, are inherently political and do things that disappoint us all as human beings. I wouldn’t necessarily only say that that’s Hillary. It’s certainly found on the Republican side too. She does more of it than many. She’s a Clinton. But she’s also a very effective politician. I guess what’s interesting is that so far, of course, since she’s declared her candidacy over a month ago we’ve actually heard very little from Hillary. She’s not taking many questions. Again also a perfectly good strategy. If there’s no one credible running against you on the Democratic side, why would you want to tip your hand until you know who you think you’re going to run against on the Republican side and then shape your message accordingly to best be able to beat up on that person. It makes sense politically; doesn’t inspire as a leader, right. So I think the real point on Hillary is we know she’s competent. We know she’s quite capable. We actually know she’s got a lot of foreign policy experience. We don’t really trust her. And also something a little aside, but I think it’s interesting. I think as a people I think that Americans — I think we have a harder time with women being inauthentic than we do with men. I think like Bill Clinton, you know, if he were to pull off the same stuff we’d be like ah, it’s just Bill. So what. But I mean with Hillary we’re like wait a second. I think there’s a double standard here. I think it hurts her a little bit and we haven’t quite gotten through it. So I mean for all those reasons kind of interesting, but still very early days and I wouldn’t dare to make any projections on the presidential race on the basis of what we’ve seen from Hillary so far.