“While I was working on those streets, watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart,”
A cheap shot if you ask me. Of course, Wal-Mart is always a good target, and when a candidate has ties to the giant, it plays well to mention it. But let’s look at Hillary’s connection to Wal-Mart, shall we? Factcheck.org:
According to accounts from other board members, Clinton was a thorn in the side of the company’s founder, Sam Walton, on the matter of promoting women, few of whom were in the ranks of managers or executives at the time. She also strongly advocated for more environmentally sound corporate practices, board colleagues and company executives noted. She made limited progress in both areas, but she never voiced any objections to the company’s anti-union stand, they said. But in 2005 she returned a $5,000 contribution to her campaign from Wal-Mart, citing “serious differences” with its “current” practices.
Hillary may not have been able to accomplish her goals, but at least she tried. The attack by Obama was nothing more than an oportunity to link her name to a corporation the left hates. As the NY Sun notes:
Mr. Obama may have missed it, but in his home state of Illinois, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce named Wal-Mart its 2007 corporation of the year. Mr. Obama may have missed it, but Wal-Mart was last year named one of the top 50 companies for African American MBAs by Black MBAs magazine. Mrs. Clinton’s association with the company is something for which our senator should be not attacked but praised.
I wouldn’t go as far with the praise as the NY Sun, but her contributions seem to be worth a lot more than the shot levied at her by Obama would suggest. Wal-Mart deserves criticism for many of its policies, but in the past few years, it’s done pretty well, particularly in the area of environmentalism. In fact, The Weather Channel has named Wal-Mart on of the 10 names you need to know in climate change
In an October, 2005, speech titled “Twenty-First Century Leadership,” Wal-Mart committed to three large sustainability goals: to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products that sustain our resources and the environment. The company set goals of increasing fuel efficiency in Wal-Mart’s truck fleet by 25 percent over the next three years, and doubling it within 10 years; reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2012; and reducing energy use at stores by 30 percent.
Operating more than 7,000 stories that generated $345 billion world-wide, Wal-Mart has begun to buy solar power, make its trucks more efficient, sell organic food and cotton, reduce company waste, attempt to bring more sustainable practices to industries as diverse as gold mining and packaging, and the company has gone beyond legal requirements to get potentially hazardous chemicals out of the products on its shelves.
For all its faults, Wal-Mart is doing some good – probably more than all large corporations. An example:
Wal-Mart announced the opening of its second generation of High-Efficiency stores (HE.2) that will use 25% less energy than Wal-Mart Supercenters. […] In addition to saving energy, the new stores will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by lowering refrigerant by 90% […]
The HE.2 series will incorporate several learnings from the HE.1 stores and new technological advances, including white roofs, low-flow bathroom faucets, LED lights and an advanced daylight harvesting system.
All good things, no? And Wal-Mart seems to be doing what they’re doing in spite of criticism, not because of it. Wal-Mart has a long way to go in a lot of areas and deserves criticism. But is it not possible that Clinton’s prodding while serving on the Board of the company had at least a little influence on some of the good they’ve recently done?