TIME Hillary Clinton

Why Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Isn’t the Most Liberal Ever

Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at Rancho High School in Las Vegas on May 5, 2015.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at Rancho High School in Las Vegas on May 5, 2015.

Her positions are all within mainstream political opinion

A number of Beltway pundits have recently decided that Hillary Clinton is not just running a liberal campaign, but perhaps the most liberal campaign in decades. But that’s not entirely accurate.

Just as you can’t step into the same river twice, no presidential campaign ever faces the same electorate. And on a range of issues, America has become more liberal since the last time Clinton ran.

Without exception, the positions that have been cited as “boldly liberal” are entirely in line with mainstream public opinion.

Take gay marriage, which Clinton endorsed in 2013. As of last year, 6 in 10 Americans—and a whopping 74% of Democrats—were in favor of it too, according to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

Or immigration. Last week, Clinton was congratulated by many liberals for backing a broad path to citizenship for roughly 11 million undocumented people. But in an NBC/WSJ poll last fall, 60% of Americans were in favor of a “path to citizenship” and nearly 75% were even more in favor of it if the plan involved asking immigrants to jump through certain hoops, such as paying back taxes.

Or criminal justice reform. Last week, Clinton called for reforming sentencing laws and reducing how much military-grade equipment is funneled off to police departments. But as of last year, that’s pretty much exactly where most Americans were, too: 63% were against mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes, according to Pew Research, and nearly 60% thought militarization of police had gone too far.

The same is true on other socially liberal issues that Clinton has backed lately, much to the delight of the liberal base, including better gun control measures, a minimum wage increase, and paid family leave. As of 2013, 91% of Americans supported mandating criminal background checks before someone is allowed to purchase a weapon, and 60% supported reinstating a ban on assault weapons, according to Gallup. Roughly two-thirds of Americans are now in favor of raising the minimum wage and 60% believe that employers ought to give paid time-off to employees when they’re sick, according to a February AP-GfK poll.

In early May, liberal activist groups claimed victory after Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, hinted that the Democratic front-runner would soon announce a comprehensive plan to make college more affordable. But again, she’s right in line with most Americans. According to the Harvard Institute of Politics, 79% of Americans described student debt as “a problem” that needs to be addressed.

At the same time, Clinton has kept mum on some liberal ideas that are more divisive. She’s avoided taking a stance on President Obama’s big new free trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which many liberals have criticized. While she’s made some populist remarks about reining in Wall Street, she’s stopped short of getting specific on liberal ideas like capping CEO pay or breaking up the big banks. And she’s not taken a definitive stance on the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which has become a signature issue for environmentalists hoping to address climate change.

It’s possible, then, to imagine a more liberal campaign than the one Clinton is running. And if seems like she has the most liberal campaign in history, that’s partly because she’s facing an America that is more liberal on those issues.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Clintons Earned $25 Million From Paid Speeches Since 2014

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a speech during the David Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University in Manhattan, NY April 29, 2015.  (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)
Kevin Hagen—2015 Getty Images Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a speech during the David Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University in Manhattan, NY April 29, 2015.

Hillary and Bill Clinton have earned a combined $25 million giving paid speeches since January 2014, a massive income boost ahead of Hillary’s candidacy for president.

In addition, Hillary Clinton earned at least $5 million in income from her memoir Hard Choices, published in June. A senior campaign official confirmed the details of a financial disclosure form filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.

The couple’s earnings over the last year puts them among the country’s very wealthiest earners, and among the wealthiest candidates for president in 2016. Their effective federal income tax for 2014 was more than 30%, the campaign official said.

The couple has an awkward history of talking about their wealth. Justifying her speaking fees last year, Hillary said the family was “dead broke” when they left the White House. In an interview this month with NBC, Bill said he had to give paid speeches because “I gotta pay our bills.”

Bill and Hillary combined have given more than 100 paid speeches since last January. Hillary has entertained clients from a camps convention to an auto dealers association.

With reporting by Philip Elliott

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Shows Her Support for Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill

Tubman beat out Eleanor Roosevelt in an online poll

Hillary Clinton just threw her support behind putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

Tubman recently won an online poll about which woman should replace former President Andrew Jackson on the bill, edging out Eleanor Roosevelt for the win.

A petition was delivered to the White House this week by the Women on 20s campaign to push President Barack Obama to support the movement, and a bill was also introduced in Congress recently to try to get a woman on the 20.

According to Clinton, Tubman’s face on the bill would be “awesome, well deserved — and about time.”

Read Next: Exclusive: Read a 9-Year-Old’s Letter to Obama About Putting a Woman on U.S. Currency – And His Response

TIME Voting

Democrats Play Hardball on Voting Laws Ahead of 2016

This Oct. 2, 2012 file photo shows voters waiting in line to pick up their ballots inside the Hamilton County Board of Elections after it opened for early voting, in Cincinnati.
Al Behrman—AP This Oct. 2, 2012 file photo shows voters waiting in line to pick up their ballots inside the Hamilton County Board of Elections after it opened for early voting, in Cincinnati.

An Ohio lawsuit is a harbinger of things to come

Correction appended, May 22

There was a rare détente in the fight over early voting in Ohio last month. The ACLU and the NAACP came to a compromise with the Republican Secretary of State. Early voting days would be reduced from 35 to 28 days, but early voting hours were extended to include Sundays and after work on some weekdays.

“We have an incredibly robust system of early voting thanks to this settlement,” said Freda Levenson, legal director of the state’s ACLU chapter. Secretary of State Jon Husted likewise called it a victory for Ohio voters.

But for Democrats looking ahead to 2016, that wasn’t enough. Just two weeks after the settlement was reached, a team of Democratic-aligned lawyers filed another lawsuit, claiming that Ohio’s voting laws still make it too difficult blacks, Hispanics and young people to vote. The most prominent attorney behind the new challenge? Marc Elias, the go-to lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s emerging campaign.

Clinton’s campaign told TIME it is not behind the lawsuit, and Elias said the litigation had been in the works for some time. But there is no denying the lawsuit’s Democratic stamp. The attorneys on the case have longstanding ties to the Democratic party: Donald McTigue was general counsel for Obama’s reelection campaign in the state, and five of the seven lawyers on the case (including Elias) are from the left-leaning firm Perkins Coie. The plaintiff, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, is nonpartisan but supports progressive efforts in the Midwest.

The current legal challenge in Ohio is an early glimpse into some of the Democratic-led fights that will unfold over the next 18 months before the general election, as attorneys begin to aggressively challenge restrictive voting laws enacted and implemented predominantly by Republicans.

“You’re going to see an increase in the number of lawsuits challenging restrictive voting laws because there is a concerted effort by some on the right to make it harder to vote,” Elias, Clinton’s campaign lawyer who filed the case, told TIME. “You will see more lawsuits because there are more bad laws.”

Ohio is a conspicuous battleground for the first voting rights challenge of the 2016 election cycle. It is a swing state, one that the Democratic presidential nominee will likely need to win to prevail in the general election. The new, Democrat-backed lawsuit retreads some of the same ground as the nonpartisan settlement. And compared with other states, Ohio already has a relatively open voting process.

The lawsuit is part of a widening debate that has increasingly fallen along partisan lines, even as both sides insist they only seek to uphold the Constitution.

“Both parties over time have been guilty of using their power to enact legislation to affect elections and keep themselves in power,” said Levenson of the ACLU. “Republicans and Democrats have done that, and continue to do that.”

Recent battles over voting laws can be traced to the aftermath of Obama’s decisive 2008 electoral victory, which was due in part to high turnout among young people and minorities. Republicans in many states began enacting laws that required voters to bring state-issued identification cards, cut back on early voting hours or tightened the requirements for provisional ballots.

Nonpartisan groups as well as Democrats said that the laws disproportionately affected minorities and fought back in the courts. There was no evidence, they said, of voter fraud that could justify the new Republican laws, arguing that the restrictions violate voters’ constitutional rights.

President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 was marked by Democratic challenges to restrictive state voting laws in an effort to open up the voter pool in battleground states. Obama for America brought a case in Ohio with McTigue McGinnis & Colombo LLC, one of the firms that is bringing this month’s case.

Today, there are challenges in the courts over laws in Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee and others, as well as Ohio. The volume of lawsuits is likely to increase in the 18 months before the 2016 election. The Democratic National Committee is preparing for a hard-fought 50-state effort to expand voting, partly through litigation, with a special focus on battleground states. Nonpartisan civil rights groups are gearing up, too.

“We are working with partners daily in a number of states with an eye towards 2016 in order to prepare for those elections,” said Chris Fields, manager of legal mobilization at the nonpartisan Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “If a law is going to make it more onerous for voters to participate, that’s where you’ll see the challenges.”

In cases like the one in Ohio, Democrats may be prepared to go farther then nonpartisan civil rights groups.

While Ohioans in 2004 and 2008 faced notorious obstacles to vote, it today has one of the more open voting systems in the country, with 28 days of early voting, polls open for 13 hours on Election Day and one-third of voters in the state voting by mail. The average wait time to vote in Ohio compares favorably to other states, according to research by Pew which found that Ohio voters waited on average 11 minutes to vote in 2012, compared with 25 minutes in South Carolina and 45 minutes in Florida the same year.

Other solid blue states may have more obstacles to voting than Ohio. New York has no early voting at all. California residents cast error-prone provisional ballots—which are disproportionately used by minorities and are rejected at high rates—much more than Ohioans.

Critics say that it’s no coincidence the first lawsuit of the 2016 cycle was filed in Ohio, and not elsewhere. Husted, the Secretary of State, said that a Democratic lawsuit so close on the heels of the earlier settlement is an attempt on the part of “legal lapdogs” to “interject chaos in the system.”

“We already settled all these issues,” Husted, a defendant in both cases, told TIME. “Less than two weeks later, the lawyer for the next presidential campaign files a lawsuit, and I think that Ohioans are growing pretty tired of the outside meddling in our election system.”

The new Democratic Ohio lawsuit challenges a number of state provisions, including the use of just one polling place in each county for early voting, the reduction of some electronic voting machines, and Ohio’s elimination of one week of early voting, among other measures. Some of the measures are recent directives of Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration.

The lawyers say in the new complaint that Ohio’s voting measures, many introduced by a Republican gubernatorial administration, “disproportionately burden specific populations, including African Americans, Latinos and young people—each of which are, not coincidentally, core Democratic constituencies.”

Democrats’ focus on a battleground state like Ohio is a harbinger of efforts to come.

“What we see right now is an election war being fought within legislatures and within courts,” said Pratt Wiley, national director of voter protection at the DNC. “We really do view this as way to help us win elections as well as it being the right thing to do.”

Elias, Clinton’s lawyer, is a longtime Democratic player who has represented the DNC and many of the party’s dignitaries.

Last year, Elias represented Virginia voters in a lawsuit that accused the state’s General Assembly of racially discriminatory gerrymandering, and he helped write a federal law that increased the amount of money rich donors can give to the Democratic and Republican parties. He was the top lawyer on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Elias said he did not coordinate with Clinton campaign in the Ohio suit, and he pointed to a history of voting issues in the state. “We’re trying to fight efforts that make it harder to vote,” Elias said. “Why Ohio? For the same reason as in any state that cuts back and makes it harder to vote.”

Still, the Clinton campaign will likely keep an eye on the lawsuit as it progresses.

“This lawsuit was not filed on behalf of the campaign,” said a Clinton spokesperson. “However, the campaign shares the concern about undue burdens being placed on the right to vote in states across the country, including Ohio.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the title of Freda Levenson. She is the legal director of the ACLU of Ohio.

TIME 2016 Campaign

Why Presidential Candidates Must Answer Hypothetical Questions

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during an event at the Metropolitan University in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 28, 2015.
Ricardo Arduengo—AP Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during an event at the Metropolitan University in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 28, 2015.

One big word hides more than it reveals in presidential politics

Here’s a hypothetical to consider: If presidential candidates don’t want to answer serious policy questions, can they just call the question “hypothetical” and refuse?

Take your time. The answer is important. The functioning of our democratic process may depend upon it. Also, this is not really a hypothetical.

Just take a listen to Sean Hannity’s radio show Tuesday, when the host asked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush a simple question: If he had been president in 2003 with the knowledge that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, would he still have invaded the country? “I don’t know what that decision would have been—that’s a hypothetical.” Never mind that he had just answered another hypothetical question, saying he would have made the same decision to go to war if he was president and was faced with the same intelligence as confronted his brother, George W. Bush.

On Wednesday, during a swing through Nevada, Bush faced similar questions once more, and responded with indignation. “Rewriting history is hypothetical,” he said, before not answering again. To accept the question’s premise, he continued, “does a disservice” to those in the military who died in the war, according to Bloomberg.

Bush is not the only likely presidential candidate who has used the word “hypothetical” as a get out of jail free card. PolitiFact has an long essay devoted to Hillary Clinton’s use of the “hypothetical” dodge while Secretary of State and a Presidential candidate. Recently TIME asked Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal whether he supports any pathway to legal status for those undocumented immigrants. “That’s a hypothetical conversation,” he responded, in an emailed statement. “Any attempt to deal with the millions of people who are currently in this country illegally prior to securing the border is illogical.”

The problem with all of these evasions is they seek to undermine the central—and hypothetical—question of the presidential selection process: If you were to become president, what kind of president would you be? Hypothetical means “of, based on, or serving a hypothesis,” from the ancient Greek “hupothesis,” which means to propose, to suppose, or literally, to put under. For nearly two years, the nation puts its candidates under a microscope of suppositions: How would you react as President to ISIS? What would you do to my taxes? How would you improve the economy?

So the issue is not whether or not candidates need to answer hypothetical questions, as Bush, Clinton and Jindal would suggest. Of course they do, and they do all the time. The question is what counterfactual scenarios they should be presented with, and what counterfactual scenarios are speculative, personal or misleading enough to be out of bounds.

In the past, the boundaries have been drawn rather broadly. Michael Dukakis was famously asked a death penalty question in 1988 about his wife that began, “If Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered. . . .” John McCain was asked in 2000 whether he would support an abortion for his hypothetically pregnant 14-year-old daughter. In 2013, Chris Christie was asked in a debate what he would say if one of his children told him they were gay. Clinton eagerly answered a debate question in 2008 that asked what her military response would be to Al Qaeda attacking two more American cities simultaneously.

Maybe those questions were appropriate, and maybe they were not. But the fact that they were “hypothetical” was not the reason they were inappropriate. And in contrast to all of them, asking Jindal his views on his plans for 11 million undocumented immigrants seems rather tame. The question of whether Jeb Bush would support a foreign invasion in the absence of the threat of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons also seems, at least, germane.

Neither Bush or Jindal want to answer the questions because their answers would cost them. In answering on immigration, Jindal must choose between alienating a nativist strands of the Republican Party, and his electability in a hypothetical general election. Bush must choose between entertaining criticism of his brother and reassuring those in both parties still smarting from his brother’s foreign policy missteps.

So they say “hypothetical,” a word that is not enough. Candidates can refuse to answer, but they owe the voters more than a five-syllables in explanation. Is the hypothetical question misleading? Is it fanciful? Is it unfair? Is it inappropriately personal?

Or maybe they just need to answer one follow up question: If we want voters to believe that the presidential selection process works, what is the cost of allowing candidates to hide behind big words?

TIME Campaign Finance

Meet the Man Who Invented the Super PAC

David Keating of the Center for Competitive Politics testifies during a Senate hearing highlighting abuses in the public financing of campaigns on May 7, 2013, in Albany, N.Y.
Mike Groll—AP David Keating of the Center for Competitive Politics testifies during a Senate hearing highlighting abuses in the public financing of campaigns on May 7, 2013, in Albany, N.Y.

The plaintiff in a landmark campaign finance case wants to loosen regulations even further

The mastermind behind the super PAC has no regrets. “My only regret is the backlash,” David Keating says with a wry smile.

Keating is one of the most influential political activists you’ve never heard of. He was the architect of a federal lawsuit that ended in a landmark 2010 court ruling that reshaped the way elections are run. The case, SpeechNow.org vs. FEC, scrapped annual limits on individual contributions to campaign advocacy groups, ushering in the era of super PACs—political-action committees that can raise unlimited sums as long as they don’t coordinate directly with parties or candidates.

Five years later, campaigns are only beginning to harness the power of Keating’s creation. In the 2016 presidential race, virtually all of the candidates will have companion super PACs, many of which will wield more influence than the campaigns themselves. Candidates have leveraged super PACs to supercharge fundraising, pay for staff salaries and trips to primary states and even assume the duties once reserved for the campaigns themselves, from running TV ads and organizing supporters to direct mail campaigns and digital microtargeting.

Many of these innovations have surprised Keating, a soft-spoken man with a graying beard. But he delights in watching how, year by year, political strategists are using super PACs to refine the mechanics of elections. Using a super PAC specifically to promote a candidate “just never entered my mind,” he says. “But it’s totally obvious when you think about it.”

Not everyone is so sanguine about the impact of his creation. Political critics, campaign-finance watchdogs and even some candidates argue that super PACs have invited an avalanche of outside spending that gives the wealthy outsize influence and makes a mockery of the limits established by the FEC.

“We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all,” Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton said recently. But it’s a sign of the super PAC’s power that Clinton has nonetheless embraced a group of her own. Despite her stated objections, she plans to personally court influential donors, according to the New York Times.

Keating celebrates such changes. A longtime conservative activist, he believes in an unfettered right to political speech, and decries caps on campaign donations as an infringement of First Amendment rights. Now the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, an independent group that works to loosen campaign-finance regulations, he says his mission was “to do for the First Amendment what the NRA did for the Second.”

Keating casts super PACs as a better way for ordinary citizens to organize and exercise their First Amendment rights. “It comes down to speech,” he says. “If you don’t like [others’] speech, start your own group and talk to people.” And he argues a system that allows the super-rich to pump a gusher of cash into elections is a testament to a thriving democracy.

“That’s how we elected all our great presidents,” he told TIME in an interview Tuesday in his office in Alexandria, Va., ticking off leaders from Lincoln to Eisenhower who took office after elections held under looser campaign-finance regulations. “Rich people have always had the ability to spend whatever they want.”

SpeechNow came on the heels of Citizens United, its more-celebrated brethren in the annals of campaign-finance deregulation. “After Citizens, our case became a total slam dunk,” he says. Though lesser known, SpeechNow significantly widened the impact of Citizens, making it the arguably the more important of the two landmark cases. The combination paved the way for an election that has already seen significant evolutions in super PAC usage.

The two most interesting innovations in 2016, Keating says, have been the quartet of interlinked super PACs backing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and the approach taken by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has delayed his campaign launch to stockpile his Right to Rise PAC. The group has effectively supplanted Bush’s campaign-in-waiting as the hub of his political operation. “What Jeb is doing takes a lot of discipline” due to the prohibitions on direct coordination, Keating notes, though says he is confident that Bush’s lawyers have kept him on the right side of the law.

Though a staunch conservative—he was formerly an executive at groups like the National Taxpayers Union and the Club for Growth—Keating appears to admire the political innovations of the super PAC era no matter where they come from. He notes that Correct the Record, a research group originally formed to defend Clinton, has relaunched as a pro-Clinton super PAC that says it is able to coordinate with the likely Democratic nominee because it will restrict itself from paid media campaigns.

“Here is another innovation–a Super PAC that can legally coordinate with a candidate,” he wrote in an email Tuesday evening. “The reason why they can do that is because they will not make any public communications, as defined in the regulations. Mass mailings do not include e-mail.

“Clever,” he concluded.

But maybe not. About an hour later he emailed again. “This … issue is actually pretty complicated,” he noted, “and it’s not clear they can do what they say they want to do. There isn’t enough detail about their plans to determine if what they plan to do is OK or not.”

It seemed a fitting testament to the murkiness of this new campaign-finance landscape that even its creator can’t always be sure what’s legal.

TIME celebrity

Bill Clinton Would Move Back Into the White House Under These 3 Conditions

He's hopeful

Bill Clinton joked about his future living arrangements on Tuesday night’s Late Show With David Letterman.The former president said he would move back into the White House on three conditions: The first, his wife, Hillary Clinton, is nominated for president; the second, Hillary wins the election in 2016; the third, he gets asked.

But beyond the stipulations for moving, Clinton was very supportive of his wife. “It would be a good thing for America if she wins,” Clinton said. “I hope she does.”

Late Show With David Letterman airs at 11.35 p.m. ET/10:35 CT on CBS.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Economy

Here’s the Secret Truth About Economic Inequality in America

Mmmmmoney: Get a grip; it's just paper
KAREN BLEIER; AFP/Getty Images Mmmmmoney: Get a grip; it's just paper

Once you look at the issue this way, it's hard to think of it any other way

We all know that inequality has grown in America over the last several years. But the conventional wisdom among conservatives and even many liberals has always been that inequality was the price of growth–in order to get more of it, we needed to tolerate a bigger wealth gap. Today, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, the Columbia professor and former economic advisor to Bill Clinton, blew a hole in that truism with a new report for the Roosevelt Institute entitled “Rewriting the Rules,” which is basically a roadmap for what many progressives would like to see happen policy wise over the next four years.

There are a number of provocative insights but the key takeaway–inequality isn’t inevitable, and it’s not just a social issue, but also an economic one, because it’s largely responsible for the fact that every economic “recovery” since the 1990s has been slower and longer than the one before. Inequality isn’t the trade-off for economic growth; rather, it’s both the cause and the symptom of slower growth. It’s a fascinating document, particularly when compared to the less radical Center for American Progress policy report on how to strengthen the middle class, authored by another former Clinton advisor, Larry Summers, which was widely considered to set out what may be Hillary Clinton’s economic policy agenda.

While the two have some overlap, the Stiglitz report is bolder and more in-depth. It’s also a much more damning assessment of some of the policy changes made not only during the Bush years, but also during Bill Clinton’s tenure, in particular the continued deregulation of financial markets, changes in corporate pay structures, and tax shifts of the early 1990s. During a presentation and panel discussion on the topic of inequality and how it relates to growth (I moderated the panel, which included other experts like Nobel laureate Bob Solow, labor economist Heather Bouchley, MIT professor Simon Johnson and Cornell’s Lynn Stout, as well as pollster Stan Greenberg), Stiglitz made the point that both Republican and Democratic administrations have been at fault in crafting not only policies that forward inequality, but also a narrative that tells us that we can’t do anything about it. “Inequality isn’t inevitable,” said Stiglitz. “It’s about the choices we make with the rules we create to structure our economy.”

One of the big economic questions in the 2016 presidential campaign will be, “why does inequality matter?” The answer–because it slows growth and thus affects everyone’s livelihood–is simple. But the reasons behind it are complex and systemic. Senator Elizabeth Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio were on hand to help connect the dots on that front, with de Blasio calling for more social action in order to “move to a society that rewards work over wealth,” and Warren re-iterating a hot button point that she made last week about inequality and the trade agenda; she believes that Fast Track trade authority for President Obama would allow big bank lobbyists on both sides of the Atlantic to further water down financial reform that could combat inequality, which led the President to call her ill-informed (he didn’t elaborate much on why). Warren noted that the trade deal was being crafted in conjunction with 500 non-governmental actors, 85 % of whom are either industry lobbyists or from the big business sector.

Warren’s mantra about how America’s economic game “is rigged,” ties directly into two of the key takeaways from the Stiglitz report; first, that inequality is all about the political economy and Washington policy decisions that favor the rich, and secondly, that it’s not one single decision–Dodd Frank, capital gains tax, healthcare, or labor standards–but all of them taken together that are at the root of the problem. “Our economy is a system,” says Stiglitz, and combatting inequality is going to require a systemic approach across multiple areas–financial reform, corporate governance, CEO pay, tax policy, anti-trust law, monetary policy, education, healthcare, and labor law. It might also involve revamping institutions like the Fed; Stiglitz and Solow both agreed that the Fed needs to start tabulating unemployment in a new way, perhaps focusing not on a particular number target, but on when wages actually start to go up, which Stiglitz said is the best sign of when the country’s employment picture is actually improving.

Thinking in these more holistic terms would be a big shift for lawmakers used to tackling each of these issues alone in their respective silos. But as Stiglitz and the other economists on the panel pointed out, they are often interrelated–consider the way in which pension funds work with shareholder “activists” to goad corporations into over-borrowing to make large payouts to investors even as lowered wages and profits kept in offshore tax havens mean that long-term investments aren’t made into the real economy, slowing growth. Or how continuing to tie worker’s healthcare benefits to companies makes them virtual slaves, decreasing their ability to negotiate higher wages, not to mention start their own businesses.

It’s a huge topic, and the Roosevelt discussion was part of the continuing campaign on the far left to try to make sure that presumptive nominee Hilary Clinton doesn’t continue business as usual if and when she’s in the White House. Progressives are looking for her to do more than talk about minimum wage and redistribution; they want her to make fairly radical shifts in the money culture and political economy of our country. That would mean a decided split from the policies of the past, including many concocted by her husband’s own advisors, ghosts that Hilary Clinton has yet to publically reckon with.

TIME Hillary Clinton

How Bill Clinton’s Library Promotes Hillary Too

William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Scott Olson—Getty Images The William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The 1992 presidential campaign was sold as two for the price of one

Hillary Clinton worked to expand health care, improve failing schools and served as “America’s foremost ambassador.” And that was just during her time as First Lady.

That’s the portrait painted by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, which despite the name has no shortage of material on Hillary. Around every corner of the Little Rock museum is another testimonial to Hillary’s role in his administration and a reminder that—as he put it in the 1992 campaign—voters got “two for the price of one.”

These days, Hillary Clinton is running as her own woman, stressing her time as U.S. Senator from New York and Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. She’s also moving away from her husband’s record on issues as varied as trade deals, gay rights and policing.

(Bill Clinton can hardly take offense. He even does a bit of that in his own library. In one display, the library tries to distance him from the now-scrapped Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that barred gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. “The law was never applied as intended,” reads a placard.)

Throughout the modern and spacious library, Bill Clinton offers nothing but the predictably glowing account of his wife’s skills and experience as a public servant. Even in failure, as was the case in her push to overhaul the nation’s health care system, Clinton’s library pitches success. “The effort to expand coverage, led by the First Lady, set the stage for step-by-step improvements to our health care system over the next seven years,” reads one caption.

Similarly, Hillary Clinton was tapped to “spearhead” education reform. And in describing her landmark address in China, in which she declared women’s rights are human rights, the library’s displays lauded her: “As America’s foremost ambassador, she brought to Beijing a message of hope, empowerment and social development.”

An inquiry to the library about how the former First Lady is represented and how the exhibits might have changed since they opened in 2004 was referred to a public relations adviser, Jordan Johnson. He did not return phone messages.

Yet not all depictions of Clinton are exactly flattering. After all, it isn’t every museum that has depictions of a spouse on needlepoint or on a quilt. Or includes a pair of cream cowboy boots emblazoned with her initials in gold leather, a gift from a Houston admirer. Or a stitched blanket from a California supporter that includes not just the Clintons’ October wedding date but also daughter Chelsea’s birthday.

At the same time, the scandals of the 1990s are obviously whitewashed and political scores are settled, as is the case at most presidential libraries. The Clintons single out House Speaker Newt Gingrich as pushing the “politics of personal destruction.” The museum reminds visitors that in 1994, shortly before becoming Speaker of the House, Gingrich publicly described Clinton Democrats “the enemy of normal Americans.”

In describing the government shutdowns the followed GOP takeover of Congress, the Clinton library describes Republicans as “rejecting compromise” and bringing “an ideological agenda.”

The library’s take on independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who discovered Clinton’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky? “A conservative activist who had never before prosecuted a case.” The resulting impeachment had “no constitutional or legal basis.”

And on the failed land deal known as Whitewater that set off the string of scandals that threatened Clinton’s presidency, the library is terse: “No evidence of wrongdoing was ever found.”

But there is no escaping some of the awkwardness that crept into the Clinton presidency amid the tumult. In a 1998 holiday portrait taken in the White House’s formal Blue Room, the pair is not touching or even looking at each other. Bill Clinton admitted to having an affair with Lewinsky during the summer of that year.

By the following year, facing a shared Republican enemy and the threat of impeachment, the Clintons again were embracing and working as political partners, as the library is fond of portraying them.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Why Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Opponents Only Throw Softballs

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with a group at an event at Rancho High School in Las Vegas on May 5, 2015.
John Locher—AP Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with a group at an event at Rancho High School in Las Vegas on May 5, 2015.

Republican presidential candidates are already running hard against Hillary Clinton. Hours before she announced her campaign for president, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul released an online video accusing Clinton of “corruption and cover-up, conflicts of interest,” calling her “the worst of the Washington machine.” Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush challenged her on her use of a personal email account while she was Secretary of State. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz asked a crowd, “How can the American people trust her with another position of power?”

In the Democratic primary, things are very different.

Clinton’s three top likely challengers — former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb — have notably refused to criticize Clinton’s ethics. All three have avoided mentioning her private email account, her handling of the Benghazi attacks in 2012 or the controversy surrounding the Clinton Foundation fundraising, among other popular GOP lines of attack. Aides from several of the emerging campaigns told TIME they don’t plan to do so, either.

“We’re not going down that road,” said Tad Devine, a top advisor for Sanders’ campaign. “We’re not going to run a negative campaign.”

“Jim’s the kind of candidate who’s going to focus on what he wants to talk about and let the media make all the contrast and comparison that are to be made,” said Craig Crawford, spokesman for Webb. “He won’t get in this because he wants to run against somebody.”

Instead, Clinton’s Democratic challengers are taking on her positions on trade, income inequality and foreign policy, arguing either that she’s wrong on the policy or that she’s come to the right position late. When they have been asked about the email or conflicts of interest, they have consistently deflected the question.

Asked in March about Clinton’s use of personal email, O’Malley basically ducked the issue. “I’m not an expert on federal requirements or state requirements, and I’m, frankly, a little sick of the email drama,” O’Malley said. When questioned about Clinton, Webb told a scrum of reporters that the email story is “between her and you all.” Sanders has said repeatedly he wants to run a campaign a debate “over serious issues” and not “political gossip.”

Clinton, for her part, has hardly mentioned her likely challengers for the nomination or she’s been charitable when speaking about them. When Sanders announced his candidacy last week, Clinton amicably tweeted her welcome to the race.

Much of the reticence around staging personal attacks on Clinton comes from her relative strength. She is widely admired in the Democratic Party, while her contenders are relatively unknown at the national level. O’Malley has been in Maryland politics for more than two decades as the state’s governor and a city council member and mayor in Baltimore, while Webb was a one-term Virginia senator. A full 69% of Iowa Democratic voters said they weren’t sure whether they rated Webb favorably or not, a good indication that many first-in-the-nation residents don’t yet know who he is, and 65% said the same of O’Malley, according to a Public Policy Polling survey taken last month.

For O’Malley, Sanders and Webb, a presidential bid would be their introduction to many voters across the country. A first impression as a harsh critic against a widely admired candidate would likely be a poor first impression.

“If you’re a lesser-known candidate and your first introduction to Democrats is a vicious attack on Hillary Clinton, it would backfire completely,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist. “But if you’re trying to become the lefty in the party or new fresh ideas person it helps you to get there to pick a policy argument with her.”

On that front, her challengers are happy to fight.

Though not yet officially a candidate, O’Malley has been the most vocal critic of Clinton’s policies, responding to each position she’s taken. He has drawn contrasts with Clinton on issues like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Obama initiative loathed by the Democrats’ progressive wing that Clinton called a “gold standard” when she was Secretary of State.

When Clinton tiptoed carefully around the deal last month, O’Malley sent an email to his supporters with the subject line “Hard choice?” and answered the question in the body: “Nope. To me, opposing bad trade deals like TPP is just common sense,” he wrote.

O’Malley also has painted himself as a more forward thinker on same-sex marriage and immigration, pointing out recently that he came to progressive views on both issues before her. “I’m glad Secretary Clinton’s come around to the right positions on these issues,” O’Malley said last month, referring to Maryland’s 2012 legislative approval of gay marriage. “Leadership is about making the right decision, and the best decision before sometimes it becomes entirely popular.”

His campaign is likely to continue to make Clinton’s credibility on hot-button policy issues a central part of his campaign against her. Hours after Clinton spoke at a roundtable about her support for immigration reform, O’Malley’s campaign reminded reporters that he was in favor of allowing children fleeing violence in Latin America last year to stay in the United States.

Clinton said at the time that the children needed to be sent back in order to “set an example.”

“When most leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties were saying that we should close our border to children fleeing violence in Central America, he defied them and said that we could not send children ‘back to certain death,'” a spokesperson for O’Malley said. “He was criticized for that position, but leadership is about forging public opinion, not following it.”

The other candidates have chimed in on policy occasionally, too. Before he announced his candidacy, Sanders suggested that Clinton isn’t ready to confront the “billionaire class.” Webb said earlier this month after Clinton gave a speech about criminal justice reform that that he had been talking about those issues “for nine years.”

All the same, Clinton’s likely rivals are keeping personal criticism to a minimum, and most policy distinctions have been indirect references. Left unspoken among them is that if the candidates lose to Clinton, any personal vitriol against her will be remembered in the Democratic Party — and possibly replayed in Republican attack ads — and could hurt their chances for public office in the future.

That means, for now, that the sharpest attacks on Clinton will continue to come from the Republican side.

“By the time it gets to Iowa and New Hampshire, the Republicans are going to be jumping over themselves to attack her. For us to get in any way associated is a liability,” said Devine, Sanders’ advisor. “Bernie is going to try to move toward his own strengths at all times.”

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