Vintage Hillary. As she fashions herself as a hardcore anti-Wall Street progressive in the midst of a surprisingly competitive Democratic primary, she's trying to explain away her six-figure speeches to major financial institutions, who also happen to be her generous campaign benefactors. At Thursday's (very low-rated) debate against Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton claimed that when she delivered these lucrative addresses, she spoke truth to power -- bravely warning about the subprime mortgage collapse prior to the 2008 financial crisis:
Given this alleged, evidence-free prescience, one might think that Mrs. Clinton would be eager to release video and transcripts of these speeches -- to showcase how right she was, and to highlight her fierce independence. When she was asked about producing these records prior to the debate, she laughed out loud:
When MSNBC's moderators pressed her on the same question on the debate stage, she served up a quintessentially Clintonesque punt. She'd...look into it:
Again, if she's the paragon of transparency that she claims to be (snicker), and if her Wall Street speeches were as prophetic and civic-minded as she says, her campaign should be turning them into ads. Instead, surprise:
In response to a question at Thursday night’s debate, Hillary Clinton said she would “look into” the possibility of releasing transcripts of her paid remarks to banking, corporate and financial services companies like Goldman Sachs. But by Friday morning, it did not appear that much looking was underway. Joel Benenson, Mrs. Clinton’s pollster, gave little indication at a Wall Street Journal breakfast with reporters that the transcripts would be forthcoming. “I don’t think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches,” he said. Whether they are made public is up to the Clinton campaign. Speaking contracts typically give the speaker the right to decide whether any material from a particular speech can be shared beyond the room. Goldman Sachs, for one, declined to make an on-the-record statement...Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton’s opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, has accused Mrs. Clinton of being in the pocket of Wall Street and big business by noting that she has received major donations from them and was paid more than $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year. She has struggled to explain why she took that money, saying at a CNN forum on Wednesday night: “Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered.”
Fact check on that last point:
One problem with HRC's speaking fee explanation. It's not "what they offered." It's what she charged. pic.twitter.com/PrgJXP48wL— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) February 6, 2016
She's so bad at this. But remember, Hillary wants you to know that the Clintons can't be bought. Alas, the public record raises serious questions on that front, and who knows that the FBI has dug up in those 32,000 deleted emails. Might their discoveries have anything to do with their reported decision to expand their criminal investigation to entail public corruption?