National Journal columnist Ron Fournier argued Tuesday that Hillary Clinton should figure out what her actual positions are because “nobody trusts her to come forward with an authentic message” at this stage of her campaign.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with host Chris Matthews, Fournier told the host that “a real leader” and a “successful politician” doesn’t tack to various positions for political purposes. He added that Clinton needs to clear up her positions because Americans are starting to ask “who is she?”
“You think Hillary makes a mistake going left with Bernie Sanders and those people,” Matthews told Fournier initially.
“No,” Fournier said in dissent.
“You don’t?” asked a shocked Matthews.
“Most of this country right now is populist, on the far right and the far left,” Fournier explained. “I think a populist message could be successful.”
“Her problem — you just pointed out her problem. Nobody knows what her position is and nobody trusts her to come forward with an authentic message,” Fournier continued. “She should decide where she stands on these issues and frame it and run on it instead of trying the figure out am I right, am I left, am I starboard.”
The National Journal columnist went on to explain that politicians in general, especially Clinton, should fight for what they actually believe in rather than pandering or tacking to certain positions. Matthews didn’t disagree, but seeped of skepticism.
“Don’t all politicians position themselves according to where they think it will work in the near term?” Matthews asked.
“No! It would be nice if we had politicians who position themselves where they are and convince the American public that this is the best place to be, especially if you do happen to be somebody who is going to take on the banks and is going to take on Wall Street,” Fournier said. “That’s a position that you can get a lot of Americans behind on the right and the left. If that’s where she is in her heart, she should argue it. If she’s more centrist, argue the centrist message, but who is she?”
“I think politicians try to figure out which way the wind’s blowing when they get in their boat and figure out which way to tack,” Matthews said.
“That’s the problem, especially in this day and age,” Fournier told the host.
“It may be a problem, but who doesn’t do that?” Matthews queried.
“A successful politician doesn’t do that,” Fournier said. “A real leader doesn’t do that.”