Monday 20 February 2017

Hillary says husband fits the Bill to revive the economy

David Lawler in Washington

Published 18/05/2016 | 02:30

Bill Clinton speaks at Passaic County College in Paterson, NJ. Photo: AP
Bill Clinton speaks at Passaic County College in Paterson, NJ. Photo: AP
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo: Reuters
Republican candidate Donald Trump
People hold signs of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) in support of US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (not pictured) as he addresses the audience at the theater of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo: Reuters
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses the audience at the theater of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo: Reuters

Hillary Clinton has already named one of her top economic advisers should she take the White House - her husband.

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The former US Secretary of State told voters that she would entrust Bill Clinton, America's 42nd president, with "revitalising the economy".

Speculation has swirled as to what role he would play in his wife's administration, but until now she had not spelt out what job he might be offered.

After months of praising his stewardship of the US economy during the 1990s, Ms Clinton told supporters in Kentucky that the First Gentleman would be dispatched to struggling areas as a sort of economic envoy.

"I'm going to put him in charge of revitalising the economy because, you know, he knows how to do it," she said. "And especially in places like coal country and inner cities and other parts that have been really left out."

Dissatisfaction has grown among middle and working-class voters who feel they are being left behind by an economy in which incomes are rising only for those at the top.

Many have backed Bernie Sanders in the campaign, seeing the former First Lady as part of the elite that protects its own interests at their expense.

Ms Clinton's comment that she would "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business" for the sake of renewable energy has further alienated them.

Aware that lower-income voters in states like Ohio may well decide her electoral fate in November, Ms Clinton has emphasised the more balanced growth that she says characterised Mr Clinton's time in office.

"When my husband was president, incomes rose for everybody," she said in Kentucky.

Mr Clinton, for his part, has regularly travelled to poor and rural areas on his wife's behalf.

The former governor of Arkansas, America's third-poorest state, has expressed empathy with the plight of struggling voters and stressed that Ms Clinton would fight for them.

Speaking earlier this month in West Virginia, Mr Clinton said he told his wife, "I want you to send me to any place in America that feels left out and left behind."

Asked last year if Mr Clinton would have an office in the West Wing alongside top officials, Ms Clinton demurred. "He's a pretty busy guy, I don't know about anything like that," she said.

Irish Independent

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