Saturday Morning Post: The Weekly View from Washington
If you haven’t yet, you can find our new cover story here on what a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean for business. It demonstrates how the Democratic nominee has managed to offer up something for everybody in a coalition straining between the centrist establishment her husband once defined and a newly assertive populist wing. But the divisions within the party can’t stay papered over for long. Clinton, if she wins, soon will have to make revealing decisions about how to staff her administration and what posture to take in a potentially explosive lame-duck fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Liberals already are patrolling both fronts for any hint that their candidate is wobbling on what they perceive as commitments to reject corporate insiders for key posts and to stand athwart the trade pact.
Yet Clinton would also be looking to launch her presidency by forging bipartisan agreement on a massive jobs package, likely marrying infrastructure spending with corporate tax reform. To advance that project, she’ll be calling on the notably deep roster of Republicans and business leaders the campaign has managed to recruit. Most on that list say fear of a Donald Trump presidency drew them to Clinton initially. But they’ve stuck around because they liked what they heard in an economic pitch focused on growth and now see themselves continuing to back her beyond the election. “If I’m going to support and vote for her, I feel vested in her success,” one veteran Washington Republican says.
Will there really be a kumbaya moment after such a brutal campaign featuring two historically unpopular candidates? How long will it last and what will it yield? “She’s thinking a lot about this,” says Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, a Republican who’s now fundraising and making public appearances for Clinton. “How does she craft an agenda in the first 100 days that signals to the people who were Trump voters that she understands the challenges they face and that she’s going to do something about it? She’s very aware the narrative post-election is going to be critical.” (On that score, Clinton’s comment at a Friday night fundraiser that half of Trump’s supporters belong to “the basket of deplorables” surely won’t help.) Of course, everything will turn first on the results of the election itself, including the margin in the presidential contest and the new balance of power on Capitol Hill. But if Clinton is elected, her ability to preserve an unlikely team of endorsers from business could go a long way toward determining whether she’s able to cobble together some early wins in office.