The New York Daily News has released the full transcript and a video of their editorial board interview with Hillary Clinton. Their conversation with Sanders made waves for being a fumble for his campaign, most notably due to his perceived lack of substantive answers to questions about some of his core issues. Hillary’s was, in contrast, jam-packed with details about how she plans to effect change and implement new policies.
But Hillary’s interview also stood out in contrast to the Sanders transcript because of who she talked about, and what kind of social change she was prioritizing. Throughout her interview, she focused not only on the progress she wants to make, but how that progress would impact the communities in America who need it most and are often underserved. Whereas Sanders often reverted to pointing to the “big banks” or “Wall Street” as the targets of his work, Hillary spoke eloquently about ushering in change for some of the most vulnerable communities in the country – including women, people of color, and the poor.
Naming oppression matters. Naming communities matters. Centering the most vulnerable or marginalized members of a community is a key component of intersectionality, the feminist practice of honoring how the interplay of different identities impacts our social power. One-size-fits-all solutions often leave out the people who most need to be lifted up and see progress – which is why Hillary’s never been one to promote them.
Again and again, throughout Hillary’s interview with the New York Daily News editorial board, she brought broad topics back to the people and communities that are uniquely impacted by different issues. She brought up equal pay when asked about the fight to raise a minimum wage, centering the millions of women who work in low-paying jobs and need not only a raise, but fair pay, to make ends meet. She zeroed in on the need to specifically address economically disadvantaged communities when tackling job creation and economic stabilization, making it clear that her work to build the economy will be built around those it’s currently leaving behind. She wove class and childcare into a conversation about college affordability, bringing to the forefront the experiences so often ignored when we talk about student debt and rising tuition prices.
This interview showed that Hillary’s ready to fight for us on day one as President of the United States. Here’s the excerpts that proved that when she wins, we win.
On Mass Incarceration and Crime Reform
One of the most extraordinary experiences that I’ve had is getting to know the mothers of the movement, women who have lost their children to violence, predominantly gun violence, some to police actions, but a lot to the epidemic of gun violence. And I listened to them, and they want to end the gun violence. One of the women who lost her son is a chief in the Chicago fire department. Her husband is a detective in the Chicago police department. Her honor student son was on a public bus in Chicago when a gang member got on because he saw on the back of the bus through the window somebody he was looking for from a rival gang and the guy started shooting. And this woman’s son put himself in front of his schoolmates and he died.
So you’re not going to get an argument from me that we still have to make sure that people can live without fear, that they can live safely and securely, that the epidemic of gun violence has to be addressed, which is why I’m so determined to take on the gun lobby… that we do need to reform police practices so that police don’t reach for their gun as the first choice. They try to deescalate situations. So I am committed to looking at this broadly. It’s not either/or. It has to be both/and.
On the Economy and Job Creation
I think if we take the plans I’ve outlined, and I’ve been as specific as I can be and much more than anybody else has been in this campaign, you can see the kind of blueprint that I would work to implement as President to try to get more good jobs with rising incomes, to target places that need extra help, places in upstate New York, places in Appalachia, Native American reservations, places that are truly being left out unless we change our approach. And I think we can get results.
On College Affordability
Here’s what I also feel really strongly about is as you’re looking at this…you know, when I taught at the University of Arkansas Law School, tuition was very low, but there were a lot of poor kids. And a lot of poor kids could scrape the money together for tuition, but their whole education was dependent upon keeping all the other costs affordable.
So they lived out in the country, and they had an old clunker car. And the car broke down. There was no mass transit. People were stuck. And for the lack of $300, they were out of luck, because they couldn’t get to classes, or if they were a single parent, the scholarship, I mean the child-care money was no longer affordable, or whatever their problem might be. So I started something called the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund to fund those expenses that were not tuition, but were room, board, books, but also these unexpected…and so I want to move Pell Grants so that they can be used for non-tuition expenses. So this whole package will lead to debt-free tuition.
But here’s the final point I want to make, why I feel absolutely committed to this. If you look at the data, and I know you do look at data, if you’re a young person in the bottom quartile of income right now, in America, you have a lesser chance of starting and completing college than someone in the same position did 30 years ago. Even if you’re a top student, if your grades are good, if your test scores are good. And we are just shrinking the pipeline. If we’re supposed to be a meritocracy, then let’s get back to helping people who deserve it. And I am not going to pay for my granddaughter. I’m not going to pay for Donald Trump’s children or grandchildren. I’m going to focus on middle-class, working and poor families. And that’s where I think we need to be lifting those young people up.
On Equal Pay
We also have to guarantee equal pay for women. And you know, people look at me when I say this like, “Well, that’s a luxury.” It’s a necessity. It goes into the wage base. It goes into the pocket book, and we have a continuing big problem about unequal pay for women. And the women’s soccer team is just the latest example. There’s a lot of issues around this because we have a lack of transparency.
So this is a big deal to me. I point out all the time, because when I’m speaking to big crowds, I say we have to guarantee equal pay for women. The women all applaud wildly, and a lot of the men are just sort of looking at me. And then I quickly say this is not just a women’s issue. It’s a family issue. If you have a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter who is not being paid fairly, she does not get a gender discount when she’s checking out at the supermarket. You’re a white woman, therefore you only have to pay 78 cents on the dollar, or you’re an African-American woman, you only have to pay 68 cents, or you’re a Latino, you only have to pay 58 cents. That doesn’t happen, so it is a family issue and it’s a broader issue of economic fairness and I would argue growth.