The astroturf is allegedly being planted at coffee houses, spontaneous Chipotle stops being tipped off to the media, and the Clinton Foundation, who stopped disclosing their donors five years ago despite a promise from Clinton to do so in 2008–will not stop taking donations from foreign governments. Yeah, it hasn’t been the best week for Clinton in terms of authenticity and transparency. Questions remain over her private email system, in which she wiped the server clean, that she used when serving as our secretary of state.
Yet, there’s another angle that cuts into her working class hero narrative she’s trying to establish for herself; her populist rhetoric isn’t being taken as serious among those in her top donor base–that being Wall Street and the financial sector. Nevertheless, some of the more progressive elements in the party are waiting to be convinced of her authenticity (via Politico) [emphasis mine]:
It’s “just politics,” said one major Democratic donor on Wall Street, explaining that some of her Wall Street supporters doubt she would push hard for closing the carried interest loophole as president, a policy she promoted when she last ran in 2008.
“The question is not going to be whether or not hedge fund managers or CEOs make too much money,” said a separate Clinton supporter who manages a hedge fund. “The question is how do you solve the problem of inequality. Nobody takes it like she is going after them personally.”
Indeed, many of the financial sector donors supporting her just-declared presidential campaign say they’ve been expecting the moment when Clinton started calling out hedge fund managers and decrying executive pay all along — right down to the complaints from critics that such arguments are rich coming from someone who recently made north of $200,000 per speech, and who has been close to Wall Street since her days representing it as a senator from New York.
The only surprise, even to those who are apparently the target of the remarks, was that Clinton’s denunciation on the trail in Iowa and in a fundraising emails — widely read as a nod to the wing of the Democratic Party that prefers Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Clinton — came so soon. Far from creating genuine waves on Wall Street, Clinton’s comments were met with a resounding “meh.”
Still, it didn’t take long for Republicans to accuse her of dishonesty and for liberals to declare that they remain skeptical about her candidacy.
The liberal group MoveOn, which is working to draft Warren, on Wednesday pointed to an earlier statement insisting that it wouldn’t back down on encouraging Warren to run.
Anyway, say senior financiers, any grumbling comes from those who do not understand political reality or who are predisposed to oppose Clinton. They take refuge in the idea that Clinton’s rhetoric is more reflective of political necessity than some deep-seated animosity toward the wealthy.
The publication added that those in the financial sector that may fume over Hillary’s rhetoric on executive pay already didn’t like her, or don’t know their political history. It’s business as usual. So, again, everything from the Scooby Doo van to her policy seems to be nothing new so far, hence why some outlets are saying her campaign has zero substance. So far, Hillary isn't campaigning as if she were facing a strong challenger for the 2016 Democratic nomination, but, of course, that could change. For now, it’s a “wait and see” game regarding areas of policy that many in the progressive wing are eager to read in due time. Nevertheless, it seems some groups, like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, are reportedly satisfied with the “populist” tone set by Clinton.
One just have to look at Clintonomics to see that it was relatively pro-Wall Street during Bill's presidency. Also, it's hard for Hillary to label her self populist when the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from a Canadian financier–Frank Guistra–who's company he helped found is allegedly stomping all over workers' rights in Colombia. Guistra founded the oil company Pacific Rubiales, and sits on the foundation's board of directors.