Clinton 2.0

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I interviewed Hillary Clinton yesterday for a story that appears in the latest issue of TIME (fuller transcript here). Two things stood out to me. First, that Senator Clinton has distanced herself significantly from her husband on the issue of free trade. Here, for instance, is what she had to say about NAFTA, one of Bill Clinton’s signature accomplishments and something he fought hard to get through a Democratic Congress:

NAFTA was inherited by the Clinton Administration. I believe in the general principles it represented, but what we have learned is that we have to drive a tougher bargain.

The second is that, although she is talking a lot on the stump about universal health care, she isn’t likely to be offering another plan of her own before the election. Instead, she says:

I’m not going to be saying, here’s the only way to get there. I want to set the goals. I want to set the principles that I believe have to undergird the achieving of those goals and I want to set forth the different means of realizing them, and then really have it be part of the conversation, and as I go forward, talking about what I think would work better than other options to get where we need to be. But this is more about setting the goal and mustering the political will that will enable me to hit the ground running in January 2009, with I hope an even bigger Democratic majority in Congress to try to actually get it done.