In 2008, Clinton attacked Obama for gun control support

But in 2015, Clinton is attacking Bernie Sanders for insufficient gun control support. Let’s track the intense flip-flopping, solely meant to destroy rival Democratic nomination candidates, both times.

Now (Washington Post, July 9, 2015):

“I’m going to speak out against the uncontrollable use of guns in our country because I believe we can do better,” Clinton said Tuesday in Iowa City.

A few days earlier, she said in Hanover, N.H.: “We have to take on the gun lobby. . . . This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it.”
Gun control is one of the few issues on which Clinton has a more left-leaning record than Sanders, who represents a rural, pro-gun-rights state and has voted in the past for legislation to protect the firearms industry. Although Clinton has not attacked Sanders by name, by invoking guns she makes an unspoken contrast.
Despite his mixed voting record, Sanders did support the 2013 background-check bill and ­assault-weapons ban. And on the stump, he is trying to sound more forceful. He notes that “guns in Chicago and Los Angeles mean a very different thing than guns in Vermont and New Hampshire” but says — as he did two weeks ago in Bow, N.H. — that the next president must “come forward with a common-sense proposal on guns.”

In the Democratic field, former Maryland governor Martin O’Mal­ley has the strongest record in favor of gun control. He supported an assault-weapons ban as mayor of Baltimore in the early 2000s and then signed one into law as governor in 2013, along with a suite of gun restrictions that stand as among the nation’s toughest.
Howard Wolfson, for many years a top Clinton aide before going to work for Bloomberg, said Clinton’s avoidance of guns in 2008 should not be mistaken for a lack of interest in gun control.

In Indiana, “Clinton mailing attacks Obama on guns” – Ben Smith for Politico – May 4, 2008

Hillary Clinton has re-opened her sharp attack on Barack Obama’s position on guns, with a mailer in Indiana that seeks to raise questions about him with both supporters and opponents of gun rights.

The mailing — perhaps the sharpest-edged of Clinton’s five negative mail pieces in Indiana — casts him as a typical politician, saying different things to different audiences. It also revives his damaging comments in San Francisco that small town people cling to guns.
The piece is particularly striking coming from Clinton, who has been seen for most of her career as a firm advocate of gun control, but more recently has emerged — without dramatically shifting her stance on specific issues — as a defender of the Second Amendment who fondly recalled being taught to shoot by her grandfather in Scranton.

So which is it?

Is she now the candidate who “told people” in conservative states she “was for the 2nd Amendment, in order to get their votes” as her 2008 mailer alleged of Sen. Obama?

O’Malley on GOP economics: “Kind of patently bullshit”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, weighing a Democratic presidential bid, continued to hit his recent themes of re-regulating the economy to protect ordinary people, in a pre-recorded upcoming NPR interview, this time much more strongly:

“And, certainly, the concentrated wealth and accumulated power and the systematic deregulation of Wall Street has led to this situation where the economy isn’t working for us. All of that is true. But it is not true that regulation holds poor people down or regulation keeps middle class from advancing. That’s kind of patently bullshit.

NPR’s full interview with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will be broadcast Monday on NPR’s Morning Edition.

O’Malley also asked:

“The bigger issue is, do we have the ability as a party to lead by our principles? Or are we going to conduct polls every time we try to determine where the middle is on any given day?”

The former governor also recently addressed the National Action Network (Al Sharpton’s organization) and spoke at quite some length — drawing upon his experiences as Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore — about the death of Walter Scott, police violence against Black Americans more broadly, and the general challenges surrounding race in America today. More than six minutes of excerpts were posted in this video:

Most of his remarks were pretty solid, in my opinion, and I think it’s been a while since a White politician spoke this openly with these words for this amount of time on this issue.

March 25, 2015 – Arsenal For Democracy 121


Topics: Who will shape the 2016 presidential election issues most? What are the consequences of the 2015 Israeli elections? People: Bill, Nate, Sasha. Produced: March 23rd, 2015.

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Episode 121 (28 min):
AFD 121

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AFD: O’Malley in Iowa echoes Bernie Sanders
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O’Malley, in Iowa, echoes Bernie Sanders

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is in Iowa today exploring a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. After his old donor base froze him out in favor of Hillary Clinton, he seems to be running harder now on a platform similar to that of Bernie Sanders — emphasizing income inequality, Wall Street malfeasance, the importance of investing in education, and the need to strengthen infrastructure. Cedar Rapids Gazette:

[…] he lamented income inequality and the reckless disregard for the nation’s economy exhibited by big Wall Street banks.
Americans can change the direction of the economy and country by making better choices. As governor of Maryland, O’Malley said, he chose to invest in the state and its people rather than “join the ranks of right-wing ideologues in some other states who tried to cut their way to prosperity.”

“Instead we did more to educate our children” by increasing school funding and not raising college tuition for four years. “We made our public schools the best in country “not by doing less, but buy doing more” and invested in infrastructure — “not only water and wastewater, but in roads and transit, school construction.”
O’Malley called for raising the minimum wage, expanding Social Security and collective bargaining rights. Making it easier for people to vote and doing more to educate future generations.

“It means we should invest more in our country so our country can give more back more to us and to our children and to our grandchildren,” he said. “And yes, it means we should stand up to powerful wealth special interests who nearly wrecked out country in the Great Recession and will wreck it again if we don’t put in place the rules, the regulations and the enforcement that will keep other people from gambling with our children’s future, with our nation’s economy and with our money.

This rhetoric also puts him in direct contrast on almost every issue with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has been traversing Iowa regularly in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Whether or not O’Malley actually commits to running or gets anywhere, it’s important to have a vocal and respected Democrat in the field in Iowa pushing back on the Scott Walkers of the world. Otherwise, they just get months and months of unchallenged opportunity to build and cement policy narratives.