Candidate Hillary Clinton thinks there’s too much money in politics. But President Hillary Clinton — should she win — will find it very difficult to change that. Vowing to fix the country’s campaign finance system is a perennial campaign trail promise, especially for Democrats. But finding ways to reduce the amount of money in politics has bedeviled every presidential administration since Bill Clinton’s. Mr. Clinton promised campaign finance changes early in his first term. Barack Obama ran against big money in politics in 2008, even though he became the first candidate to refuse public financing in the general election since the system was introduced in the 1970s. Mrs. Clinton advocated expanding publicly-financed campaigns during her first run for office.
This election cycle, it’s no different. Mrs. Clinton has made decrying the nation’s campaign finance system as broken a theme of her early stump speeches. Speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Party headquarters on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton said disclosing finances is not enough. “What good does it do to disclose if somebody’s about to spend $100 million to promote their own interests and to defeat candidates who would stand up against them,” she said.
“We have to get unaccountable money out of our political system,” Mrs. Clinton said in another speech during her swing through New Hampshire. “That’s been made really difficult because of recent Supreme Court decisions. A president can appoint different justices, obviously, that’s part of the job, but it may take a constitutional amendment to once and for all say no unaccountable corporate billionaire money flowing into our political system.”
It’s not only Democrats who have expressed discomfort about the amount of money in politics, though Republicans by and large tend to be more supportive of loosening restrictions on spending. A handful of Republican presidential hopefuls, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have recently either complained about the burdens of continuous fundraising or expressed concerns about anonymous political donations.