Lately, though, I've been struck by the media's pronouncements of changes in how Hillary presents herself as well as her perceived policy shifts. Even though it's to be expected from our still male-dominated sexist media, I'm still taken aback by the repeated failures of the punditry to realize that in most instances Hillary hasn't changed, the media has just begun to perceive her through a non-stereotypical lens.
So this morning, I paused in scanning the online news coverage to reflect on Harry Enten's piece at 538 titled: Hillary Clinton was Liberal. Hillary Clinton is Liberal. And it's fascinating to see how Hillary has ranked in comparison to Barack Obama:
A bunch of reporters have recently discovered a shocking truth: Hillary Clinton is liberal! (I heard a rumor that Columbo has been helping with the investigation.)
We’ve gotten this raft of “Clinton is liberal” exposés as Clinton has revved up her 2016 campaign, speaking out in support of gay marriage, a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally, and criminal justice reform. But what many of these articles miss is that Clinton has always been, by most measures, pretty far to the left. When she’s shifted positions, it has been in concert with the entire Democratic Party.
To see how these different issues fit together to form an overall political ideology, we usually use three metrics: one based on congressional voting record, one based on public statements and one based on fundraising.
Clinton was one of the most liberal members during her time in the Senate. According to an analysis of roll call votes by Voteview, Clinton’s record was more liberal than 70 percent of Democrats in her final term in the Senate. She was more liberal than 85 percent of all members. Her 2008 rival in the Democratic presidential primary, Barack Obama, was nearby with a record more liberal than 82 percent of all members — he was not more liberal than Clinton.
Clinton also has a history of very liberal public statements. Clinton rates as a “hard core liberal” per the OnTheIssues.org scale. She is as liberal as Elizabeth Warren and barely more moderate than Bernie Sanders. And while Obama is also a “hard core liberal,” Clinton again was rated as more liberal than Obama.
Sometimes I wonder whether people are confusing Clinton with her husband. Bill Clinton’s statements have been far more moderate. He has also had a more moderate donor base, according to Adam Bonica’s fundraising scores.