Hillary Clinton and John McCain are two presidential candidates who have something in common. The Nation reports that they have not signed a statement supporting “the restoration of basic Constitutional principles after the battering they have taken during the Bush-Cheney era.”
Every Democratic candidate except Hillary Clinton has supported this pledge during the campaign. Needless to say, the Republicans have not. The sole exception among the Republicans was Ron Paul who signed a similar statement from a conservative organization which also defended the Constitution. According to The Nation:
The effort to get presidential contenders to sign on the American Freedom Pledge has been promoted by organizations ranging from the Center for Constitutional Rights to Human Rights Watch, MoveOn.org , Amnesty International USA, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and True Majority.
The pledge is anything but radical. It simply asks candidates to affirm a statement that reads: “We are Americans, and in our America we do not torture, we do not imprison people without charge or legal remedy, we do not tap people’s phones and emails without a court order, and above all we do not give any President unchecked power. I pledge to fight to protect and defend the Constitution from attack by any President.”
Most likely Hillary is holding out until the prohibition with regards to unchecked presidential power is rewritten to exclude her.
Update: Clinton’s refusal to sign t his pledge is consistent with previous information obtained on her views. A review of the candidates’ views on presidential power showed that Clinton “embraced a stronger view of a president’s power to use executive privilege to keep information secret from Congress than some rivals.” When I recently compared the views of Clinton and Obama, I noted Clinton’s tendency to support increased government power.