March 25th, 2008
02:05 PM ET

Hillary Clinton’s desperation move on housing hits a slump

Beyond the repetitive cable TV news loops of Barack Obama’s clergymen, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a lot going for her as she faces the fight of her life in Pennsylvania. 


She managed to pull out a win among working class whites in Ohio with a populist pitch claiming that she’d opposed the NAFTA agreement that was the centerpiece of her husband’s trade policy.  That particular hat trick is a little harder to repeat in the Keystone state, however, since a Freedom of Information Act Request has now forced her to open up her records as First Lady. These prove that she actually hosted meetings in support of NAFTA at that time. (See David Sirota’s blog post on the subject.)

So instead of exaggerating her opposition to NAFTA, Team Hillary is repeating a tactic they’ve refined better than anybody else – a multi-point public policy program.  We’ve seen Clinton’s multi-point public policy programs for just about every topic you can imagine, and this one seeks to invent a political advantage from the housing crisis. 

This time, however, the policy wonks’ desperation move is just like the troubled mortgages it seeks to address: it’s upside-down, an amalgam of policy prescriptions borrowed from other Democrats, together with others that are already happening anyway, no thanks to Hillary Clinton.  

For instance, Clinton’s team has Xeroxed a proposal by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and her former opponent, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), to expand the Federal Housing Administration’s ability to purchase and restructure mortgages that have, in today’s parlance, “gone underwater.” 

Unsurprisingly, however, this is already being done without Hillary Clinton. The FHA is already trying to get as many homeowners as possible under its umbrella, and it is the loan companies, not the government, that will have to make the call whether to write down the troubled notes. Furthermore, according to a report by David C. John at the Heritage Foundation, the Frank-Dodd approach will not stop foreclosures, even for those who qualify—rather it offers a “government buyout of problem mortgages disguised as a refinancing plan.”

New York’s junior Senator was particularly self-righteous when she demanded that the President form an “emergency working group” to study how to establish “broad restructuring” of the at-risk mortgages.  This, too, is already happening. The HOPE NOW Coalition has been working at restructuring these loans since last fall.  It now includes 90 percent of the sub-prime mortgage servicers, and in less than a year, the industry has already restructured mortgages to save more than 1 million families from foreclosure.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that any policy prescription from Hillary Clinton includes a hefty price tag.  In this case, she proposes an additional $30 billion so local governments and non-profits can buy and re-sell foreclosed properties to low income families or convert them into rental units.  This is on top of the $168 billion stimulus package that was just signed into law (which Clinton claimed contained “nothing” to address the housing crisis).

On this score, she’s wrong on both points.  First, the stimulus package at least increased the limits on FHA loans, - in fact, FHA has pumped almost $50 billion of liquidity into the housing market in just the last six months.  What’s more, Community Development Block Grants already allow the states and local governments to use federal dollars for the purchase, re-sale or rental of foreclosed properties at risk. (As an aside, HOPE NOW has supported a toll-free hotline, 1-888-995-HOPE to provide mortgage counseling in multiple languages.)

At a time when more and more folks have the jitters about the economy and making their mortgage payments, it’s important to separate fact from political theatre. Our role should not be to overcorrect the economy or to make the federal government to a realtor of last resort.

– Leslie Sanchez, spokesman and deputy press secretary at the Republican National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign, author of “Los Republicanos: Why Hispanics and Republicans Need Each Other.”

Filed under: Economy • Hillary Clinton • Housing Market • Leslie Sanchez
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Lexie

    Are we now starting to see the REAL Lying Hillary Clinton? I wish the media would call her Bosnia story just as it it, she lyed. She didn't over extend her story, she made up a complete different story, she even went into details about ducking bullets, ha ha Hillary you're a little too early for April fool's jokes. If she gets into the White House is this just a little hint of what's to come?

    March 25, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  2. WAC

    I knew Hillary was dillussional and bi-polar too. Just give her enough time and she will expose herself. Go Hillary!

    March 25, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  3. Kathy, Andover

    You whining Hillary supporters, would you rather change the subject . . . to maybe Hillary's foreign policy experience!

    March 25, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  4. Carol

    If Hillary "misspoke" on the Bosnia story, I don't want her to answer the red phone.

    March 25, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  5. Optixmom (Rochester, NY)

    Oh yeah, she is sooo desperate. How dare she bring up issues that are important to the American people. I mean really, who cares about Healthcare, the Economy, or Iraq. Maybe it would be more interesting for her to talk about her "typical white" grandmother.

    March 25, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  6. Louis Jacinto, Los Angeles, CA

    Mr. Cooper,

    Why has CNN failed to do an indepth look at the sexism in this campaign?

    btw, I'm not ready to vote for someone who did not see The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

    March 25, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  7. Mary Leona

    Hillary Clinton said that she misspoke concerning her experience with sniper fire because she was sleep deprived. What would she do if she is sleep deprived while answering the telephone at 3 o'clock in the morning?

    March 25, 2008 at 7:23 pm |
  8. Donna

    If Obama had said that he flew in under sniper fire, Hillary would have tore him to pieces on that. However because she had said it ( I mad a mistake) Why won't the media let it rest on Rev. Wright. Everyone continue to go over and over the same thing instead of what the American people have said what is on there mind. (like the houseing, insurance,jobs ect.)

    March 25, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  9. Karen

    After the near character assassination of Obama by association, Senator Clinton's supporters complain that the media is reporting about Ms. Cinton's "mispoken" trip to Bosnia.
    Fair is fair ... or is it... unfair is unfair?

    March 25, 2008 at 7:03 pm |
  10. Ginger

    O.K. lets not use the word desperation. So now it's pick on Hillary day.
    It is almost like a Tit for a Tat. Who will be next.
    Can we start reporting positive news? I'm sure there is some out there.
    What can the news do the help the citizens of Floriday and Michigan.
    We know leaving it up to the candidates will not work. Hillary wants the vote Obama does not., check mate.
    Why have polititions gotten so lax about citizens right to vote?

    March 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  11. Freedom Rider

    Arachnae above is way off mark.

    I don't think cnn is favoring the RNC when just last week Anderson was schmoozing Obama on his private jet.

    March 25, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  12. allxdreamer

    I would like to commend all the Hillary Clinton supporters and say thank you. I too am for Hillary and I too know she is the best candidate for the job. Stick to your views and vote for Hillary. Hillary can still get as many delegates as Obama if in all States we just vote for her. WE can do this people!!!

    March 25, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  13. allxdreamer

    Well Michael: In case you didn't see or hear, Bill clinton is not running for President, Hillary his wife is. And as in most marriages, husbands and wifes don't always see things eye to eye. Like Hillary was against Nafta from the start. Nafta was in talks when Regan was President, but that is another story. But in Bill Clinton's defense, when Bill was President gas was as low as .89 cents a gallon and the U.S. had trillions of dollars. Now gas is 3.00 and 4.00 diesel a gallon and our Country is indebted to China and other countries. So you tell me, was our economy better in the Clinton days or now? Think what you will about the Clintons, but they know how to run this Country. Something Bush, McCain, and Obama have no idea. I hope I answered your question. Thanks.

    March 25, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  14. Maya

    I'm so, so proud of Hillary Clinton for even making it *this* far – having to tackle biased media sources like yourself. She's so strong to still be in this race.

    I don't think you're at all objective anymore – as an Australian viewer, I only have CNN or Fox available for a fix of international news, and from here on - I'll take the latter, as awful as it may be.

    March 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  15. allxdreamer

    Hillary is not desperate. You just want to label her that way. The fact is Obama nor Hillary can get to the finish line. So neither one can win. So is it so unfair for Hillary to still be campaigning when this primary is not over yet? I don't think so. Are all your ppl Obama supporters, because all of your articles are negative about Hillary.

    March 25, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  16. Goodheart

    Hillary is going to crush Obama in Pennsylvania. Not only is she up in the polls, but he's already admitted he will most likely lose the state.
    The is no caucus in Pennyslvania, so he has no chance.

    Just mark another important big state in Hillary's column. By the way, Hillary is at least trying while Obama is lying on the beach somewhere!

    March 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  17. xtina

    the American Dream of home ownership shouldn't be as easy as having a mortgage banker play with the numbers. A bank can't give you common sense when you sign those papers

    March 25, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  18. Kent, Illinois

    Ya, she will be like a filibuster. She will talk just to talk. She has to bring up topic after topic to create distance from the Bosnia deal. It will probably work. Everyone will be chasing her around jumping on the next headline news she stumps about.

    March 25, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  19. onenibble

    Hillary has good ideas about the economy and she doesn't go to Canada like the Obama campaign and explain that they won't really do what they promised the voters. Hillary knows more about the economy and can accomplish more as president. I don't know if Obama learned anything about the economy from the Rezco years or not. If he saw Hillary's speech on the economy he might have picked up a little information.

    March 25, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  20. Tamika

    funny how we(myself included) claim CNN is being not being biased when they are bashing our candidates. They did it all last week to mine(and still is)..she can take a little heat now..or get out the kitchen!

    March 25, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  21. island hopper

    I have mixed feelings on the gov't taking over for failed mortgages. On one I feel pain of people without homes! Anything to keep them under their roof. On the other hand we can't keep looking up to the Capitol Hill to solve all our problems.

    March 25, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  22. Lilibeth

    Ms. Sanchez, can you please tell us what Mr. Obama's solution to the economic crisis is? And for that matter Mr. McCain's solution? Then after that, can you please give an opinion on which solution is the best? At the very least, please tell us all sides of the story. Thank you.

    Edmonds, Washington

    March 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  23. b daley

    I wonder where he went to church for Easter? Maybe the inevitable is finally setting in for the invisible man and soon his vacation will reach a permanent status. Oh what will the children of the corn do?

    I'm surprised they didn't have a row of flags draped behind this clown.

    The world doesn't need an Afro-Marxist leader!

    March 25, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  24. Penny Leonard

    How can ANY ONE trust Hillary again?? Miss. "Words are important" Your detailed, harrowing account of your arrival in Bosnia was SPOKEN by HILLARY on 3 occassions on the campaign trail....Would Hillary let Obama get away with "misspoken" words 3 times on his campaign trail??...Hillary said...." I speak a million words a day" and I "misspoke" about Bosnia....now she is saying her plane was re-directed to a safer air field......Which is it....misspoken words.....or....plane redirected??? .....America....is this what you want for President? News Media....right now Bush will not let you show military casts flown home to US....and I suspect Bush will NOT let the News Media speak about certain issues as well.....When traveling in Europe....We see and Hear ALL the NEWS,,,,,America wake up.....We Americans are not allowed to hear and see all the news and we need to insist Transparency....Gov Richardson of New Mexico, who worked for President Clinton, and KNOWS from the Inside out, what they are like to work for......Americans, wake up....you KNOW what your boss is like when you work for him or her.....Gov. Richardson said about Obama....."There is something special about Obama" ....he is " a GOOD" man......"WE now have an opportunity and only a "ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY" to make a change. Americans, if you have that opportunity on your job....take it.....vote for a GOOD MAN", vote Obama......vote for Transparency.....we might not get all the news honestly with Hillary as seen in her Bosnia experience.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  25. xtina

    A counterpoint to those who say "the Clintons have nothing more to offer". Between the two (Obama and Clinton) when you think of that 3:00 am phone call, I don't think Obama has had the experience being a Junior Senator (or a back-bencher so to speak) to have the judgment and savvy to handle it. In a pinch, Hillary can fall back on Bill. That may give Americans some sense of confidence.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  26. John

    Before reading too much into the veracity of statements in this argument, you should note carefully the author of this article and their position and ask yourselves whether this is a news article, or simply more propaganda grinding it's way through the politico media mill.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  27. Arachnae

    Why on earth is CNN providing a platform for the RNC? Don't they have their own website?

    March 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  28. mary

    Hellooooooo superdelegate please do something, in telling her that she have to step down, for the good of the party and for her. Obviously she is make a fool of her.

    Go Obama 08

    March 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  29. Rob - Ohio

    Nothing Hillary does or says isn't without script or review. Her slips are not slips at all. They are calculated attempts at deception. If she can confuse more voters about her experiences or lack there of, then she wins more votes. It is all about spin over spin, to keep the opposition busy sorting through the mess so that she can attempt to speak about the issues.

    By the way, isn’t padding your resume illegal and at the very least immoral?

    Speaking about her supposed housing crisis initiative, several others are already putting into action some of the very things she is proposing – nothing like stealing the thunder from the real workers that are trying to solve the issue.

    This turns into the same ' kitchen sink' approach she and her campaign have employed since Super Tuesday.

    We are down to the 11th hour and the Hillary camp is desperate. According to Bill Clinton, McCain is better suited than Mr. Obama to sit in the big chair.

    At what point does the party leadership step in and tell Hillary to go back to her job in New York and leave the real politics to those that have what it takes to succeed?

    Her party’s actions have me really looking to Mr. Obama as the only solution to this mess and the salvation of the Democratic Party.

    Mr. Obama, we believe in change – we need change, we need to change.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  30. Adirondack Ed

    This action of calling for something to happen that has already happened is so typical of Mrs. Clinton. Here in NYwhen she first came on the scene to tell us that she was going to be our next senator, the cable company had already begun moving fibre optic cable north of Albany. It ran directly along side Route 87-The Northway. Anyone could see the trenches and little flags right at the edge of the road. In her campaign literature, she "promises" that she will bring high speed internet to the North Country-check out the blue pamphlet her campaign handed out. The March after she gets annointed, there is a ceremony in Lake Placid celebrating the arrival of the cable. Hillary stands there and says "see I told you I would bring high speed internet to the North Country." Even if she dug the holes herself day and night, it couldn't have happened that fast but she took all credit for it. LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE, again.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  31. Yolanda

    Anderson keep up the good work. I am an Obama supporter to the core and whether it's good or bad news on him keep reporting. Overall, things are equal and fair here. If it were on the other foot, what would the Hillary supporters have to say then.

    The problem we all have with Obama is that we can't find anything discredited on him personally, it's always someone he knows personally or his campaign team.

    What's wrong people, never thought a man of color (Bi-racial) could be the real deal????

    March 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  32. Nat S.

    You guys are thoroughly in the tank for Barack Obama, following the proud example of MSNBC. i's a sad day when I have to tune into Fox News to get "fair and balanced" coverage."

    360 used to pride itself on showing all sides of the story. This Leslie Sanchez is incredibly biased. This is nothing but a bunch of Republican talking points, presented as fact.

    Shame on you, Anderson Cooper!

    March 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  33. Michael

    I don't understand what is wrong with America. The Clintons have already served their time. Hillary has nothing more to offer. She has asked that she should be hired based on her resume. But the fact is she bloated and exaggerated it. That is dishonesty. Besides, Bi-Hillary have been inconsistent. Why should you trust them. There was snipper fire at Bosnia, she claimed there was, she championed NAFTA and turned around to oppose it, she had no role in peace agreement in N. Ireland and claimed honour for it.
    America wise up.
    Fire her and vote for Obama to unite us.



    March 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  34. Leonard Ballard

    why can't we have one more debate but modified . each canidate in an isolation room then ask the question everybody has to answer as if they were first not hearing what the other person is saying I think we would get a much better idea of what there thoughts are instead of them fighting or trying to build upon the others ideas.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  35. cary

    That's exactly what it is –desperate. What's next? Bailing out investors who "flipped" houses? Will the "government" bail me out of credit card balances in the future too?

    March 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  36. Tyler, New Jersey

    Everyday I watch CNN and I am bitterly disapointed. CNN is biased. Hillary does something good, has actual ideas and what not, she copied. Obama soaks in the sun: Very Presedential. If Obama is to be the nominee is because of the bias media coverage.

    AC360, I loved you guys, that is, until you guys became a part of Barack's Campaign. Just yesterday, one of CNN's contributors said that Hillary would scare the republicans more: she would fight tooth and nail to win. I think that her ambition is too strong for america to handle. She should be president. All her life she has tried to benefit our nation and she is shunned by the media, while Obama, three years in the Senate and he is some sort of God.

    CNN please post this.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  37. Carolyn

    Dear Mary Lou,
    I actually believe CNN is an equal opportunity basher. I was a Clinton supporter but have become disenchanted with Bill saying outrageous things (on his wife's behalf) then whining about how the media treats him when there is back-lash.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  38. Carol

    Maybe if we all just ignore her she will go away. It's worth a try.

    March 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  39. Betty Ann

    You need to be a LITTLE more discrete about your favoritism to Obama.
    You are being too obviously transparent~
    Don't let your bias show so much.
    tisk, tisk. . . .

    March 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  40. Sylvia Barr

    Hilary didn't mis- speak or make a mistake about her experience in Bosnia. Hilary flat out lied! If she got the events mixed up with another event, then she made a mistake, and if she did, tell us which event it was where she had to duck and run for cover form flying bullets. If she cannot provide the actual event, then she out right lied to make herself look better than she is.

    Do we want nother liar in the White house?

    Sylvia Barr

    March 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  41. Sabina

    Hi all,
    Obama had this "Hillary housing-PLAN" on his* website 14 months ago....just an fyi...

    I guess she had it FAXed to her office.....


    Bill: "I DID NOT have sex with that woman"

    Hill: [while not having sex back in washington....]
    " I got off the plane in Bosnia, dodging incoming fire; they wisked us away, in a rainstorm of bullets...phew! I was coming ...to my wits end!!"

    Go ahead CNN post it!! 🙂 Hillbilly is NOT credible!!

    March 25, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  42. Paris

    Anderson Cooper you need to think hard about why you are in this business.
    You are bias and this brings the integrity of your reporting under question.
    CNN you are no longer a news agency, you’re part of Obama’s campaign.

    March 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  43. philosopher

    tell me why Clitonians fail to realize the truth I don't have any problem with a woman candidate but this woman is not the one.........Women think that this will be their only shot......well all i know if you try and forge this woman on to the democratic card.........if you cant be honest I dont care who you are associated with I can't trust you......Anderson Cooper is into reveiling the truth...............Can America Handle the TRUTH........I know they can't........so what to do now

    March 25, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  44. Christine

    Hate Hillary much? She will always be a better candidate than Obama any day. She can also give McCain a run for his money and she may win.

    March 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  45. Sonata

    What is this trash? This doesn't sound like something that belongs on Anderson Cooper's page, given that he is still a respectable journalist.

    March 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  46. Dina - Philadelphia, PA

    All I have to say is “Typical Hillary”. This is just like her claim of having foreign policy experience, NOT!!!! There is no weight to what she is saying, and she had the nerve to accuse Barack Obama of Xeroxing...now she is like John McCain, she doesn't know what’s going on in the country and has to be told by someone after she puts her foot in her mouth, pppppssssssttttttt. Hillary, they’re already doing that. But she does know how to take credit for things that she had no part in. I guess when the actions that have already been put into place to help the mortgage crisis, finally starts to make a positive impact for people who’s homes are being threatened to go into foreclosure, she will try and take credit for that too! Thank you investigating real issues!

    March 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  47. April in Texas

    This campaign has ruined Hillary in my eyes. I have seen her exagerate on her experience the never ending name calling (yes both camps have) and the constant rule changing to fit her. The other big thing is the dream ticket implications, with the number two offering the number one the VP position. That in itself reminded me of how my younger brother worked when we were growing up. Tons of childish behavior in politics recently have made me say to myself "what are they thinking".

    I don't really get how she is still in the race after all Bill Clinton said she would have to win Ohio and Texas and well she really didnt win Texas as Obama received more delegates.

    If Hillary was truely thinking about the future of America she would back out gracefully and help unite the democratic party before it is to late. This would show others for future elections that she does have the american peoples best interest at heart. We all know she will try to run again in 2012.

    As for me, she has slowly proceeded to go backwards as a few weeks ago I would have been happy with either canidate I dont think I could vote for her now.

    Now I just have to say ac360 "dude you rock"

    Obama 08
    Austin Texas

    March 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  48. Ram

    Let Hillary list her top ten accomplishments to show that she has that experience she claims to be the commander- in- chief. The truth will come out. She is cooking books & trying to fool people. Trust me she will be attacked & will lose.

    March 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  49. Mary Lou

    Why does CNN bash Hillary continually?? I think you would find more to bash about if you looked closer at Oboma!!! I'm tired of CNN!!

    March 25, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  50. Cindy

    It is funny that Hillary didn't know that all of these things that she suggested was already occurring! It seems like she should be up on a subject before making suggestions on how to fix it. She looks mighty dumb traipsing out these ideas that are already in place. Is this how she'd be in the White House!? Makes you wonder how up on everything she really is!

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    March 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
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