Hillary Clinton earlier this week authored a New York Times piece headlined "My Plan for Helping America's Poor" (my take on Hillary's plan is here).

When Mrs. Clinton describes "advocating for children and families" as "the cause of my life," Oren Cass of City Journal quips, "It often seems more like becoming president has been the cause of her life, but no matter."

Still, the New York Times gave her some prime real estate and she could have used the spot to put forth a plan that was serious and at the same time vote-getting. Cass says this is not the tact she took:

Instead, she serves a hodgepodge of leftovers. The lead item in her anti-poverty plan is actually her economic-growth plan, “to make a historical investment in good-paying jobs—jobs in infrastructure and manufacturing, technology and innovation, small businesses and clean energy.” That should sound familiar because it was also President Obama’s stimulus plan, apparently as appropriate now—at the peak of a business cycle with the unemployment rate below 5 percent—as it was in the depth of a recession with unemployment at 10 percent.

Clinton name-checks “raising the minimum wage.” (But to what? She’d rather not say.) She name-checks “finally guarantee[ing] equal pay for women.” (Current law already guarantees this and has left little-to-no gap in pay for comparable work.) She endorses goals like “access to high-quality child care” and “preschool available to every 4-year-old.” And, of course, she will “guarantee paid leave so parents at all income levels can balance their jobs and lives,” though by admission that plan is not targeted at the poor. That’s pretty much it.

Clinton doesn't mention education (except to give a notd Head Start-like programs, which have proven singularly ineffective at providing long-term benefits for children) and welfare reform. Sometimes, Cass notes, Clinton advocates contradictory approaches:

First, she wants to “expand Low Income Housing Tax Credits in high-cost areas.” Second, she wants to “model [my] anti-poverty strategy on Congressman Jim Clyburn’s 10-20-30 plan, directing 10 percent of federal investments to communities where 20 percent of the population has been living below the poverty line for 30 years.” The former is an $8 billion program of subsidies to housing developers, which Clinton now wants to focus more heavily on urban areas. But the latter calls for shifting investment toward counties with “persistent poverty,” of which 90 percent are rural. Clinton further confuses matters by promising to “put special emphasis on minority communities.” Clyburn has specifically noted that focusing on persistent-poverty counties is “not a partisan or racial issue” and touted as a key benefit that it is “simple and straightforward, with no regard to ethnicity or race.”

The verdict on Hillary's agenda, as laid out in the paper of record:

Instead, we get only cautious platitudes all the way down. Perhaps with a bit more focus on the stated passion for helping women and children, she might also get further with the exhibited passion for becoming president.

Hillary is expected to wipe the floor with Donald Trump in the presidential debates, the first one of which is Monday, when it comes to policy. She is indeed fluent in policy, but her actual policies are warmed over messes from yesteryear.