Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton: A traitor to her class?

By Richard Barry

These guys, too.

I've been trying to figure out what point Republicans are attempting to make as they criticize the recent disclosure that the Clintons make a shipload of money giving speeches. If you missed it, based on a filing with the Federal Elections Commission, it was reported recently by various news organizations that  "Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned more than $25 million in paid speeches since early January 2014."

And don't forget the $5 million Hillary got for her book, which, I will admit, confuses me, having read the thing.

Yes, the Commission report "underscores how much wealth the Clintons continued to amass as the former Secretary of State prepared to launch her second bid for the presidency."
The 20-page report, describing her income, assets and liabilities in broad ranges, shows the former secretary of State gave 51 speeches since Jan. 6, 2014 — each with a six-figure paycheck. The last occurred on March 19, just weeks before she announced her candidacy.

They ranged from a $100,000 payment on April 11, 2014, for a speech delivered via satellite to the California Medical Association to a $325,000 appearance at a Cisco gathering in Las Vegas last August.

Bill Clinton has delivered 53, six-figure speeches since early January 2014, including three this week, according to the filing.

The former president has appeared before an array of audiences, from software giant Microsoft to Centurion Jewelry By Invitation Only LLC, which runs jewelry trade shows. He earned $500,000 in March 2014 for delivering the keynote speech at an international investors conference in Amsterdam, sponsored by the Pennsylvania-based law firm, Kessler Topaz.

But aside from Hillary's misstep about claiming to be broke when she and Bill left the While House, I don't quite see the concern, especially coming from Republicans who usually look favourably upon earning whatever the market will bear.

Unless it's the suggestion that making millions of dollars proves Hillary has no right to deliver a populist message. Unless, Republicans want to argue, the Clinton's one-percenter lifestyle means they are so out of step with the electorate that any attempt to speak on behalf of progressivism lacks credibility. Unless, they might say, possession of sizeable wealth is proof that one embraces capitalism to such an extent that claiming to be a Democrat is a lie on its face.

Maybe that's it.

At some level I can't help but believe that the Clintons, with their ability to make grand sums of money, their ties to international capital, and their cozy relationship to Wall Street are seen by establishment conservatives, much like FDR was, as a traitor to their class.

It's not that the Clintons are rich and hobnob with international decision-makers the world over that galls Republicans. It's that people like that should be Republicans.

But if Hillary Clinton insists on being a Democrat, I suppose all Republicans are left with is that she really doesn't mean it.


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  • I think it is like Glenn Greenwald's newest about how GCHQ is celebrating LGBT diversity and the history of selling wars as "liberal" causes because, for example, Afghanistan treats its women poorly. The Republicans aren't against Clinton because she's rich, but that is the primary way they can argue against her to liberals. And it works. Jonathan Chait seems always to find a liberal excuse for war, and most recently, he's found a liberal excuse to bash Clinton.

    By Blogger Frank Moraes, at 4:45 PM  

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