Hillary Clinton has been so non-committal in choosing where she stands on a number of issues, not even her campaign co-chairman in New Hampshire, William Shaheen, knows.
Shaheen said he knew Clinton’s ideology, but when Bloomberg’s John Heilemann asked him to explain Clinton’s positions on two issues, Shaheen went 0 for 2.
Shaheen said he did not know how his boss felt on the Keystone XL Pipeline or the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
"I do not know where she stands on that particular deal," Shaheen said.
Shaheen is a longtime Clinton ally. He served in the same position for Clinton in 2008 until he resigned for insinuating Obama not only used drugs, but dealt them
Shaheen is hardly the only supporter who does not know where she stands: Nobody does.
Clinton’s announcement video received terrible reviews for pandering without providing any substance. While candidates on both sides of the aisle have put themselves front and center to answer any questions thrown their way, Clinton has hidden in a "Scooby" van and has taken great care to avoid polarizing views by using vague terminology. The media has not taken well to the strategy.
MSNBC’s Krystal Ball lambasted Clinton’s phoniness when compared to Jim Webb’s more earnest approach.
"On the one hand, you've got a glossy, highly produced campaign launch video long on emotion and short on substance. And on the other, you have got a 15-minute monologue laying out a specific rationale for running and detailed policy positions," Ball said. "On one hand, you have a highly choreographed and staged Iowa tour with hand picked average Americans to craft an image of a candidacy focused on real people. And another a guy who flew commercial into Iowa with little fanfare."
Clinton herself offered few stances during her time in New Hampshire.
"Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security," Clinton said. "And we need to do our part to make sure we have the capacity and the skills to be competitive."
This has left Clinton’s base skeptical of her positions.
With a "developing" progressive agenda, liberals in the media have questioned her authenticity as a populist.
The 2016 candidate directly quoted Elizabeth Warren’s "decks are stacked" line on the campaign trail. Clinton has admitted that Warren has "put powerful people’s feet to the fire … even presidential aspirants."
Her change in tone and vague messaging has led to another problem for Clinton: flip-flopping. While the campaign has refused to acknowledge Clinton’s major shifts on issues such as gay marriage and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, her opponents within the party are bashing her "convenient evolution" that followed polling.
Clinton’s more moderate positions in 2008 clash with a more liberal Democratic party. Because she has no primary opponent, the Clinton campaign’s populist rhetoric aims to satisfy the left so she remains the overwhelming favorite for the nomination, while keeping her flexible enough to appeal to moderates in the general election.