March 17, 2016

Clinton’s Coal Crisis Stretches Into Day 5

Secretary Clinton’s coal crisis has stretched into its fifth day today, as West Virginia’s preeminent radio host and columnist Hoppy Kercheval weighed in on what he called her “Kinsley gaffe.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton caught the attention of coal country for her statement during a CNN town hall last Sunday when she said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

The comment reaffirmed what coal industry supporters fear about Clinton, that she will continue down the path set forward by the Obama administration of using executive authority to make it impossible to mine and burn coal.

Clinton’s unsettling assurance sent Senate Joe Manchin scrambling.

Regardless, at the heart of Clinton’s coal country gaffe clean up is a deeply held distrust of out of touch liberal politicians like herself, and no letter to a senator will fix that:

Whether it is the result of years of political attacks, her tendency to obfuscate when cornered or a combination of both, Clinton does have a credibility problem.  An Economist/YouGov poll last month found 56 percent of respondents do not believe Clinton is honest or trustworthy, while only 27 percent say she is.

So we wonder about Sunday night’s coal comment.  Did she misspeak, as she has sought to assure Manchin, or for a moment was there unambiguous clarity about the bottom line of her position on coal?