As the Obama administration trumpets recent positive economic growth
figures, likely 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to hitch her wagon to that legacy, The Hill reported
Optimistic job growth figures
released on Friday capped off weeks of good news for the economy, and it is expected that Democrats, and Clinton in particular, will harness those results as part of their strategy to win the White House in 2016.
At the same time, Clinton allies told The Hill that she will likely emphasize that more needs to be done to help the middle class, something that Obama is also expected to highlight in his State of the Union address this month.
Democrat strategist Jim Manley told The Hill that he expects Clinton to "keep pretty close to the administration's basic economic policies." But, he added, "I wouldn't be surprised if she found ways to exploit the growing debate on economic equality."
Should she run, Clinton may also find ways to carve out her own messages from the platform of economic progress under Obama, using it to talk about her agendas on education, affordable housing, and youth unemployment to build her narrative, The Hill said.
But the strategy could have its political downsides if Republicans attempt to frame a Clinton candidacy as the equivalent of a third term for Obama.
"She has no choice but to own the Obama economic agenda because she has been in lock-step with him on it ever since 2008," Tim Miller, executive director for America Rising, told The Hill.
He said the controversial issue of Obamacare is part of Obama's economic record, so Clinton will be tied to that as well.
"He took her healthcare plan and then she whipped votes for it," Miller told The Hill. "There is no path for her to distance herself from him on it."
The Hill noted that Clinton's possible embrace of Obama's economic policy will stand in contrast to the way she has distanced herself
from his foreign policy even though she had served in his administration as secretary of state.
The most notable example came in an August interview in The Atlantic
when Clinton appeared to say that she disagreed with Obama's strategy in Syria.
"You never want to be a Monday morning quarterback on these issues because who knows how things would ultimately turn out but Obama has been passive on these issues," a former Clinton aide told The Hill in September. "She would have taken a more aggressive approach."
A strategy to weld herself to Obama's economic policies does not come without its political perils. Those on the left of her party have long been critical of her support of Wall Street.
But Ellen Tauscher, the former congresswoman who served as undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs at the State Department under Clinton, told The Hill she doesn't see a conflict.
"The question should be how do we get a Main Street thriving and doing well and how do we get a responsible Wall Street that is stimulating jobs … it's not either or."
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