Hillary and the Suspension of Disbelief

Hillary alone pulled in $675,000 from Wall Street firms. When pressed about such exorbitant fees, Mrs. Clinton shrugged, “That’s what they offered.”

To believe that quip requires even more suspension of disbelief. If Clinton were truthful, she might have said something like, “That’s what my agents negotiated from financiers who knew exactly what they were getting in offering me such a ridiculously huge sum”

As Clinton pointed out, there are lots of former cabinet secretaries who make lots of money for speaking. But what she did not point out was that none matched Clinton’s speaking charges ($200,000 and up for 30 minutes), because none were at the time all but running for president with the specter of patronage and political leverage to sell.

Mrs. Clinton would have us suspend disbelief that she is anti-Wall Street despite: 1) raising hundreds of millions of dollars from Wall Street for the Clinton Foundation, 2) raking in enormous speaking fees from Wall Street banks and investors, 3) her husband consulting for a Wall Street firm that offshored millions of profits in the Cayman Islands, 4) her son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky running a Wall Street hedge fund, 5) her daughter Chelsea becoming a multimillionaire after working a few months for a Wall Street hedge fund, and 6) Clinton herself raising $21 million in her 2008 primary campaign from Wall Street-related firms.

Mrs. Clinton does not wish anyone to know what she actually told Wall Street to earn her millions. Like Mrs. Clinton, I have given hundreds of lectures, public and private, in the last 30 years. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I have no objection to anyone taping them or releasing a transcript. The suspicion grows that privately Clinton has assured them she will promote a Bill Clinton-like deregulatory climate, and that’s why they continued to pay her exorbitant sums, and why now they still donate and don’t pay much attention to her faux anti-Wall-Street populism.

Or perhaps in Donald Trump style, Hillary is reassuring her leftwing base that it takes a Wall Street profiteer to know how to fight Wall Street buccaneers. Or maybe she is following Barack Obama’s path in being the first presidential nominee to refuse public campaign financing in order to become the largest candidate recipient of Goldman Sachs cash in history.