It’s really good to be a Clinton. Since January of 2014, the power couple has raked in $30 million, with $25 million coming from paid speaking engagements. Most of the speeches were given to banks and corporations, which has some at MSNBC doing a double take over this haul after just a year and a half. This brings us back to “dead broke” gaffe Clinton uttered upon the release of her book, Hard Choices, last year; a statement that baffled her supporters and drew mockery from her detractors. We all know that a president’s earning potential goes through the stratosphere upon leaving office (via WSJ):
The Clinton campaign released the figures on the same day it filed a personal financial disclosure statement going back to the beginning of 2014, which it said is required by the Federal Election Commission. The information provided by the campaign was a preview of the full financial disclosure, which had yet to be released, and didn’t include the Clinton family’s total assets and liabilities.
The Clintons’ disclosed income since the beginning of 2014 would place them among the highest earners in the top 1% of the population. That is likely to serve as a reminder of the couple’s wealth, at a time when she is positioning herself as a champion of struggling middle-class families.
Earlier in May, Mr. Clinton, the 42nd president, said he would continue to give paid speeches. “I gotta pay our bills,” he told NBC News. “I work hard at this. I spend hours a day just doing the research. People like to hear me speak.”
The Clintons paid an effective federal income-tax rate in 2014 of more than 30%, the campaign official said. They also since early 2014 opened up a Vanguard mutual fund linked to the S&P 500 stock index, the couple’s only investment during this period, the official said.
I have no problem with Americans making money. Mitt Romney is loaded, but both he and Clinton faced questions about being in touch with the average American; Romney failed that test miserably. The Clintons have the “dead broke” and “gotta pay our bills” gaffes to grapple with, while Romney tried to make a $10,000 bet with Gov. Rick Perry on the debate stage and made the infamous 47 percent remark. Oh, and all of this stuff on top of Romney’s involvement with Bain Capital, which was blown way out of proportion by the left, but that narrative resonated, especially in Ohio.
The vast majority of Americans can’t afford to make $10,000 bets, the Clinton’s make more money than most American do in their entire lifetimes after just two or three speeches, and just because we have a large share of Americans on federal assistance doesn’t mean they want to be there.
There is an empathy deficit in American politics. Mitt Romney failed at bridging that gap, even though I genuinely believe he does care about people, despite how the Obama team bashed him in 2012. With Clinton, we shouldn’t expect much more success. Mitt Romney comes off as Mr. Genuine compared to the former first lady.