Bruce Bartlett in the L.A. Times notes a growing, if grudging, respect for Hillary Clinton from some of the major voices on the right: Kathryn Lopez, Rich Lowry, and William Kristol. Despite all the Hillary hatred in the past, they are beginning to see her as the least liberal of the Democratic candidates.
On economics, Clinton seemed likely to be a rerun of her husband’s administration: fiscally conservative, free-trade-oriented, pragmatic. She confirmed my conclusion in a May 29 speech on economic policy. In it, Clinton said, “There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets.” That’s about as good as any conservative can hope for from a Democrat.
Clinton’s voting record also shows that she is far from the most liberal member of the Senate. According to the National Journal, she ranked 32nd last year, with a rating of 70.2 (100 being perfectly liberal). Obama, by contrast, was significantly more liberal, with a rating of 86.
Conservatives “are coming to terms with the growing likelihood that she will be our next president and concluding that maybe it is something they can live with.” Of course, this may be less a measure of Sen. Clinton than a commentary on how far to the left the Democratic Party has moved in recent years. Still, it’s scary to think that “President Clinton” may be the best outcome conservatives can hope for in next year’s election.