On the night of her primary victory, Senator Clinton credited the people of New Hampshire with helping her find her own voice. To judge by the rest of her remarks, it is the voice of an angry, divisive class-warrior, more like Senator Edwards than Senator Obama. "The oil companies, the drug companies, the health insurance companies, the predatory student loan companies have had seven years of a president who stands up for them. It's time we had a president who stands up for all of you," Mrs. Edwa… sorry, Clinton told her audience. She said she would deliver on the promise that "the government will be of the people, by the people and for the people, not just the privileged few."
It was an echo of Vice President Gore's Robert Shrum-influenced disaster of a 2000 Democratic convention speech in Los Angeles, in which the Democratic Party's candidate for president vowed to take on, "Big tobacco, big oil, the big polluters, the pharmaceutical companies, the HMOs," and said the president "is charged with the responsibility of fighting for all the people, not just the people of one state or one district, not just the wealthy or the powerful, all the people; especially those who need a voice, those who need a champion, those who need to be lifted up, so they are never left behind."
The upside is that Mrs. Clinton is raising money from the very industries she is bashing, making her sincerity open to question. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that Mrs. Clinton has raised $269,436 from the pharmaceutical industry, more than any other candidate, including Republicans, and $220,550 from the oil and gas industry, more than double what her closest Democratic rivals raised from the industry.
Mrs. Clinton claims she learned from her mistakes the last time around on health care reform, but it's hard to see how demonizing drug companies and health insurers during the campaign would set her up for a successful overhaul of the health-care system on her second try. Americans anxious about the economy want a president who will help our corporations prosper, not one who will depict vast risk-taking, innovative, and dynamic sectors of American business as public enemies. If this is the voice Mrs. Clinton has found, it will either be bad news for America or good news for Republicans.