April 4, 2016

Clinton Apparently Only Running In New York City Primary

Hillary Clinton may be paying lip service to upstate New York as she fights an increasingly close race with Bernie Sanders in her adopted home state, but the policies she’s promoting completely ignore every square mile of the state beyond the island of Manhattan.

In the past 24 hours alone, Clinton has touted her “shared values” with ultra-liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and jumped on board with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $15 minimum wage program, which is deeply unpopular with upstate representatives and employers and expected to result in heavy job losses.

In a pandering interview with NYC-based New York 1 on Sunday, Clinton heaped praise on de Blasio, now a top Clinton surrogate in the state, saying, “I have a great relationship with the mayor. He’s a friend of mine. We share a lot of the values.”

De Blasio is so extreme on the issues that leftist magazine The Nation – which has endorsed Bernie Sanders – called him “New York’s Most Progressive Mayor In Decades.” The Wall Street Journal detailed de Blasio’s efforts “to shift the party leftward” ahead of a May 2015 joint appearance with Elizabeth Warren to call for “steeper taxes on the wealthy.”

De Blasio’s liberalism is at odds with much of upstate New York, one of the last strongholds of moderate “Blue Dog” Democrats, who realize that while de Blasio and Cuomo’s liberal policies may be feasible for wealthy Manhattan, they are disastrous for struggling cities like Buffalo and Rochester and rural agricultural areas.

A study released by the Empire Center for Public Policy found that the job losses created by Cuomo’s pet project would be especially punishing to upstate New York:

Enacting a statewide, all-industry $15 minimum would cost New York at least 200,000 jobs — including 95,600 in New York City, with proportionately larger employment decreases in upstate regions. 

Other studies, including one by the American Action Forum, put upstate job losses even higher, in the hundreds of thousands.

Clinton’s all-talk-no-action approach to upstate jobs is nothing new to New Yorkers; she did the same thing as their senator. When she campaigned in 2000, she promised to create 200,000 jobs upstate. Instead, the region lost over 26,000 jobs during her first term, and Clinton insultingly tried to laugh her broken promise off as “a little exuberant” when called on it during a 2008 debate:

Clinton recently called the promise “a little exuberant.” During Tuesday’s debate with Barack Obama, the New York senator said she was figuring Al Gore would be in the White House. “When I made the pledge, I was counting on having a Democratic White House, a Democratic president, who shared my values about what we needed to do to make the economy work for everyone and to create shared prosperity,” she said.

It will be interesting to see what excuse Clinton finds to explain away her “exuberance” for backing a de Blasio-Cuomo agenda that is completely out-of-touch with the majority of the state.