Voters have already begun to evidence concern about the former Secretary of State’s’ extremely cozy relationship with Wall Street.
It bothers them.
A recent Bloomberg/Des Moines Registe Iowa Poll showed that “ a plurality of caucusgoers, 44 percent, view Clinton’s ties to Wall Street as a matter of concern.”
Voters aren’t stupid. They’ve read about the more than $150 million bonanza that the Clintons have personally collected in the last decade from the kindness of their corporate friends. They’ve seen the fat-cat sponsors who have donated hundreds of millions to the Clinton philanthropies who are then showcased at the expensive events produced by the Clinton Foundation. And they’ve learned about the amazing Clinton arrogance – the demands for fees of $250,000 per speech along with private jets, presidential suites, business class seats for their staff, photographers, and even a stenographer to capture Hillary’s every word.
And it will be even more so when American investors realize that their retirement plans have plummeted by 25% or even 50% due to a market collapse. Especially when they also learn that Hillary’s best friends at Goldman Sachs have just reported a healthy third quarter profit of $2.24 billion on revenue of $8.39 billion, their mood is probably going to sour even more.
What’s wrong with this picture?
And Hillary has given them good reasons for concern. At recent speeches for Goldman Sachs that paid her $400,000 in one week, she soothed the bankers and, in effect, absolved them from blame for the financial crisis, telling them that we all got into the financial mess together and we’ll have to solve it together. No mention of Goldman’s sinister role in the subprime mortgages that caused the recession. No mention of the half a billion dollar fine – $500 million – that Goldman paid to the SEC in 2010 or the $1.2 billion fines paid to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for misleading investors on subprime mortgage bonds.
It wouldn’t be polite to raise those issues with a friend that has been so generous with its $5 million contributions to various Clinton entities and causes in the past decade, would it?
Published reports indicated that the bankers were very happy about Hillary’s attitude – as well they should be. And they know the Clintons can be counted on to show their appreciation for the Wall Street largesse. At the most recent Clinton Global Initiative, Hillary made a special point to introduce the Clinton Goldman sugar daddy, CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who then made sure that the cword knew just how close he is to the Clintons.
But lately Hillary has been talking out of the other side of her mouth. Aware of her growing vulnerability on corporatism, she coyly makes isolated criticisms of corporations. Nothing really serious, but enough to make the crowd feel that she’s with them.
When out campaigning for Democratic party candidates, she laments that corporations “seem to have all of the rights but none of the responsibilities of people.”
Hillary’s relationship with Goldman, problematic at the best of times, is likely to become more and more toxic as the Wall Street unraveling continues. For financial populists, Goldman is enemy number one. When Republicans and rival Democrats draw the close connections between Hillary and her Wall Street cronies, voter anger is likely to be directed at the former Secretary of State because she is sharing Wall Street’s largesse rather than in the voters’ pain.
Hillary’s relationship with Wall Street will set off cries of hypocrisy among the left, whose ranks will swell as the number of disgruntled investors increase.
Combine resentment about Wall Street with animosity over the escalating war in Iraq — which she supports — and Hillary Clinton’s future may not be as bright as some believe.