Earth & Conservation

How Conservative Is Hillary Clinton?

Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic presidential frontrunner, but many say she does not represent party values. How conservative is she?

Already one of the strangest election years on the books, 2016 features two controversial major-party candidates in Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Previously, we detailed the odd liberal leanings of the Republican candidate.

This week, we look at the surprisingly strong conservative credentials of the Democratic nominee. As Tim Pool explains in today's Seeker Daily report, Hillary Clinton is among the most right-leaning candidates the Democrats have ever put forward for president.

Clinton's foreign policy views are considered especially hawkish. During her Senate years from 2001 to 2009, Clinton's support for the Iraq War were squarely in line with conservatives, and she frequently backed President George W. Bush in his various anti-terror initiatives. As Secretary of State under President Obama, Clinton allegedly encouraged aggressive bombing in Libya and the arming of Syrian rebels.

Aside from her foreign policy record, Clinton is also considered fiscally conservative. In fact, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget tagged Clinton as the most fiscally conservative candidate on the left. She's also consistently come out in support of free-trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), although she recently reversed course on that after severe criticism from labor and progressive groups. But generally speaking, Clinton is regarded as pro-business and pro-trade, with close ties to major financial institutions.

RELATED: Why Is Hillary Clinton So Controversial?

Clinton has even espoused some surprisingly conservative positions on social issues. When her husband, President Bill Clinton, signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, she was quoted as saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Only as recently as 2013 did she openly come out in support of gay marriage, later saying that her views "evolved over time."

Hillary Clinton is the most powerful Democrat on the scene just now, and no other public figure is so consistently demonized by hardliners on the right. But in terms of her voting record, financial backers, and stated public policy positions she's actually the most centrist candidate the Dems have put forward in decades.

She'll be the first to tell you, too: "You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center," Clinton said just last year. "I plead guilty."

-- Glenn McDonald

Learn More:

CNN: Clinton 'pleads guilty' to being a moderate

PolitiFact: Hillary Clinton's changing position on same-sex marriage

Washington Post: Actually, Hillary Clinton is a fiscal conservative - look it up

CNN: $153 million in Bill and Hillary Clinton speaking fees, documented