Liberals: Where Does Hillary Clinton Stand, Anyway?

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:59 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Hillary Clinton's supporters are enthusiastic about her possible second run for the White House, but many of them admit they're not quite sure where she stands on many of the issues.

"We're waiting with bated breath to see if she runs and, assuming she's going to run, what will these positions be," Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy For America, told BuzzFeed. "Right now, we have no sense of where she's going to be."

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Chamberlain's group, founded by former presidential candidate Howard Dean, along with other progressive organizations, say they're concerned with Clinton's stand on the Keystone XL pipeline and immigration, among other issues.

"I think there's a lot of concern in the progressive community about where she stands on income inequality," Chamberlain said, noting Clinton's ties to Wall Street and her six years spent, decades ago, on the board of Walmart. "We're all wondering, has Hillary evolved?"

Earlier this month, 30 environmental groups joined in, sending Clinton a letter asking her to oppose the Keystone XL project, reports The Wall Street Journal.

"I think she's been conveniently coy on Keystone. We'd like her to be much more definitively against the project," said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups that signed the letter.

Ilya Sheyman, executive director of Political Action, did not make a specific comment about Clinton to BuzzFeed, but said liberal groups like his "expect to hear where every candidate stands on income inequality."

Clinton's new book, "Hard Choices," will lay out where she stands on many of the issues, said Seth Bringman, communications director for the Ready For Hillary super PAC.

"As she gets out there more, when the book comes out, and as she campaigns for 2014 candidates, we're going to continue to amplify her message," he said.

Bill Burton, who co-founded Priorities USA and now works as a consultant, said the book tour will provide pro-Clinton groups more material.

"When you run an outside group, it is very helpful to have some kind of organizing principle," said Burton. "In the absence of Clinton-as-candidate, Clinton-as-author is going to provide some basis for that."

Clinton, meanwhile, has been making several public appearances, and has made tough comments on Iran and Russia. However, she has not gotten involved in policy debates, likely because if she states her positions too soon, it could open her up to attacks from Republicans and to challenges from Democrats, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But since Clinton isn't yet a candidate, Burton said there is "no reason that she would actively be out there giving people a sense of what her message will be. But even though there's no campaign message that's been fleshed out, that doesn't mean people don't have a reason to be excited for her."

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