And now, a brief 2016-related detour from the End of Discussion tour: As politicos gawked at Donald Trump's stream-of-consciousness announcement of his net worth (and presidential campaign), a Sufffolk poll out of New Hampshire likely sent a shiver up Team Hillary's collective spine. Unelectable avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders -- whose backwards views on economics are somewhat leavened by his honesty and earnestness -- is within shouting distance of the Clinton Death Star in the early primary state:
Sanders leads Hillary among the Granite State's Democratic men, and is deadlocked among liberals -- i.e., the party's base. These are red flags. Let's be clear: This man will not be Democrats' nominee for president. Hillary Clinton will be, barring some unforeseen political earthquake or event. But the presumptive nominee utterly fails to inspire large segments of the electorate, including major elements of her own party. Democratic voters jumped ship as soon as they were presented with a plausible alternative to Hillary in 2008; many clearly yearn to do so again. There's something to this sentiment:
Little evidence that Warren was ready to be president, but watching Sanders surge into contention in NH sort of proves Draft Warren right— daveweigel (@daveweigel) June 16, 2015
Her married name, network and jaw-dropping money machine probably would have rendered her impervious to a last-minute Warren challenge, but Hillary Clinton is a flawed, unexciting candidate. She knows this in her bones, which is why she'll slog through a secretive campaign designed to reassemble the Obama coalition through identity- and class-based demagoguery (both staples of the End of Discussion playbook). In her re-announcement speech, Mrs. Clinton invoked hedge fund managers (like her son-in-law), CEOs, billionaires and corporations -- groups with whom she's actually quite cozy -- in her patented awkward and grating cadence:
Ross Douthat dubs her 'Hillary the Divider:'
The weekend’s this-time-I-mean-it Hillary Clinton presidential announcement was preceded by an interesting pundit debate over whether her apparent presidential strategy — trying to recreate the Obama coalition, running a little more to the left than people anticipated, not even making an attempt to retrace her husband’s electoral path and ditching certain beyond-red-and-blue ideas once embraced by the current president — is a good idea, either for her or for America...she’s also accepting, as her party has consistently accepted, a heightened racial and generational polarization in our politics, on the theory — thus far vindicated in presidential years — that this polarization will be a positive one for Democrats.
Her campaign is hoping that Democrats' hardcore polarization efforts will be sufficiently potent as to overwhelm questions about her record as Secretary of State, lack of tangible accomplishments, ongoing opacity-related scandals -- and, of course, the Clintons' gravy train. Some of its machinations have reeked of corruption; others are simply unseemly. Here's a new example from the latter category, via Politico:
When Condoleezza Rice headlined a 2009 fundraising luncheon for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, she collected a $60,000 speaking fee, then donated almost all of it back to the club, according to multiple sources familiar with the club’s finances. Hillary Clinton was not so generous to the small charity, which provides after-school programs to underprivileged children across the Southern California city. Clinton collected $200,000 to speak at the same event five years later, but she donated nothing back to the club, which raised less than half as much from Clinton’s appearance as from Rice’s, according to the sources and tax filings...The groups range from smaller charities like Long Beach’s Boys and Girls Club and an AIDS service provider, Chicago House, to public policy advocacy groups, large universities and trade associations...Few of the groups talked publicly about their payments for Clinton speeches, citing concerns about angering the family or violating provisions in the speaking arrangements. But fundraising experts and people affiliated with some nonprofits on the list — including the Boys and Girls Club — grumbled that the hefty price tag for securing a Clinton speech is a significant drain on small charities’ fundraising and that community-based nonprofits could put the money to better use...A Boys and Girls Club volunteer who helped plan Hillary Clinton’s appearance said the arrangement “felt more like a pay-to-play type thing.” As Hillary Clinton positions herself as a champion for everyday Americans during her presidential campaign, scrutiny has been directed at the $139 million in speaking fees she and her husband have collected since leaving the White House — including millions of dollars from nonprofit groups.
Charity watchdogs have flagged the Clinton Foundation's practices, with one Sunlight Foundation official calling the organization a "slush fund." A former Clinton Foundation executive told a reporter in 2007 that the Clinton Foundation was "not charity," but rather a "commercial proposition" in which funds are "bankable." I'll leave you with a clips demonstrating Team Clinton's denial of reality, perhaps fueled by its extreme insularity:
"No poll says that." Except for multiple polls that say exactly that.