From calling for raising middle-class wages to announcing a plan to share corporate profits with workers and go after Wall Street criminals, Hillary Clinton gave a remarkably populist/liberal speech Monday laying out her economic policies.
The 2016 Democratic frontrunner is highlighting her progressive bona fides on everything from social to economic issues as she contrasts herself with an increasingly conservative Republican field.
But she's also facing a stronger-than-expected challenge from the left in the form of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The socialist is drawing large crowds across the country with his populist Robin Hood-style message of taking income from the rich and giving it to the poor and cracking down hard on Wall Street.
Sanders isn't a real threat yet to her path to the nomination, but Clinton most certainly had his adoring crowds in the back of her mind as she laid out her campaign's major economic policy points. Here's four ways she tried to differentiate herself from Sanders.
Key quote: "For far too long these challenges have been dismissed by some as women's issues. Well, those days are over."
What she said: This time around, Clinton is making her potential history-making run for the White House a major theme of her candidacy. And she spent a good chunk of her time Monday at the progressive New School talking about how as president she'd implement specific federal policies to make it easier for women to work, such as fair pay laws and expanding access to child care and paid sick leave.
Why its different from Sanders: Sanders has advocated for similar policies, including 12-week paid maternity leave, but he doesn't spent as much time as Clinton talking about gender policy. And that makes some sense: Clinton has the potential to make history, and Sanders is doing a lot better among white liberal men, the polls show.
Key quote: "I know firsthand the role that Wall Street can and should play in our economy helping main street grow and prosper."
What she said: Clinton certainly tried to appeal to the left-wing of her party by criticizing Wall Street as too focused on short-term, quarterly profits instead of America's long-term economic health. She promised to criminally prosecute Wall Street CEOS responsible for trading that led to the 2008 financial crisis, and she called for policies to rein in such trading, such as taxing risky high-frequency trading. But the former New York senator refused to vilify Wall Street as the over-arching reason Americans are hurting today.
Why it's different from Sanders: Sanders, by contrast, has made Wall Street one of his top enemies. "I think these people are so greedy, they're so out of touch with reality," he told CNBC's John Harwood in May. Sanders is promising a "revolution" to redistribute -- and he does use that word -- wealth from the top 1 percent to the masses. A key part of his plan is to break up big banks on Wall Street and raise taxes on the rich.
Key quote: "Let's get back to making decisions that rely on evidence more than ideology."
What she said: Clinton ended her speech with what sounded almost like a plea to stop campaigning on purely partisan politics, which she blamed for creating Washington gridlock. Of course, she pitched herself as the candidate to do just that. "I want to have principled and pragmatic and progressive policies that really move us forward together," she said.
Why it's different from Sanders: While certainly criticizing Republicans here too, this part of her speech could almost be read as a direct shot at Sanders. His call to break up big banks and significantly raise the income tax rate is seen by establishment Democrats as just not politically viable. And on Sunday, Sanders seemed to make the case that Democrats shouldn't work with Republicans.
Sanders-supporting liberals were closely watching Clinton on Monday to see if she'd stake out even more liberal positions on trade and minimum wage and welfare.
But Clinton probably left those folks wanting. She did not talk about expanding Social Security, she did not call for raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour, and she did not explicitly disapprove of President Obama's trade deals with Pacific Rim nations and Europe.
So while she is pivoting to the left more than any other modern Democratic presidential candidate, what Sanders said Sunday on CBS's "Face The Nation" still holds true about the two candidates:
"There are very significant differences of opinion that we have."
[This post has been updated to reflect Sen. Sanders' focus on policies for women and families]