At the same time I thought Krugman would be too liberal to appreciate Hillary, and would instead favor more populist candidates like Obama and the "new farther left" John Edwards. Till some months back Krugman had been openly distrustful of Hillary, fearing for instance that she may be too beholden to drug companies and health insurers who have contributed to her campaign.
But he seems to have taken a lot of pains to understand each candidate's position and proposals on issues, and makes well-founded pronouncements. Hillary seems to have now won his respect, with the "turnaround" starting in September on healthcare issues. On the other hand, he has been increasingly troubled by Obama's stances on several hot button issues including approaches to the economy, healthcare, and social security. And I thought I was the only one who saw through Obama!
Seriously though, see Krugman's past five columns dating back to mid November that expose Obama's shallowness and policy shortcomings:
- Nov. 16, 07 Op Ed where he disses Obama for playing the sucker on the Bush / Republican hype of "reforming" (read curtailing) social security
- Nov. 30, '07 Op Ed on the major shortcoming of Obama's healthcare plan, and why Hillary and Edwards plans that mandate coverage are so much better
- Dec. 7, '07 Op Ed again attacking Obama's shortsightedness on healthcare issues
- Dec. 17, '07 Op Ed criticism of Obama's call to resolve all major issues through negotiations (though unlike Krugman I believe that some negotiations CAN yield very good results in areas like healthcare)
- Jan. 14, '08 Op Ed that praises Hillary's and Edwards' economic stimulus proposals while discounting those of Obama and the Republican field
In case you're wondering, I haven't "cherry-picked" Krugman's columns here, by omitting any since September 2007 that praise Obama or criticise Hillary. So there you have it. Paul Krugman sees through Obama's rhetoric and appreciates those offering more substance, even if they're centrists like Hillary who are not his natural allies. The question is: will the voters in general?