There's money-grubbing in politics, and Maureen Dowd is shocked, shocked! Well, she's in high dudgeon because it's taking place in Clinton World:
Why is it that America's roil family always seems better in abstract than in concrete? The closer it gets to running the world once more, the more you are reminded of all the things that bugged you the last time around.Gee, I can't imagine why the Clintons would be so obsessed with money. Is it possible that I can find a justification for this? Oh, wait! Here's something in the very same issue of The New York Times:
The Clintons' neediness, their sense of what they are owed in material terms for their public service, their assumption that they're entitled to everyone’s money.
Are we about to put the "For Rent" sign back on the Lincoln Bedroom?
If Americans are worried about money in politics, there is no larger concern than the Clintons, who are cosseted in a world where rich people endlessly scratch the backs of rich people....
... [Chris Christie] has built a sprawling, 50-state fund-raising network, including major Republican players like Harold Simmons, the billionaire backer of a Karl Rove-led "super PAC" that spent $105 million in the 2012 race.And that's just Christie. Every other big-name Republican in America with eyes on the White House is doing exactly the same thing, or trying to.
... Already, Mr. Christie is assembling the kind of national fund-raising network that would be essential to a presidential campaign; some 35 percent of the $9 million he has raised for his [gubernatorial] re-election is from out of state, and he has held fund-raisers around the country, both in donor-rich enclaves like Palm Beach, Fla., and McLean, Va., and in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Chicago and throughout California.
... The governor has tapped some boldface contributors like the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But more important for his future ambitions are the checks he has gathered from loyal Republican givers like Mr. Simmons, the deep-pocketed Dallas political patron, and lesser-known local power players like Dax R. Swatek, an Alabama lobbyist.
... winning the backing of people like Mr. Swatek, who can raise money from a wide variety of sources, helps the governor reach potential presidential donors in other state capitals and business communities across the country.
Mike DuHaime, Mr. Christie's chief strategist, has also reached out to Mercer Reynolds, a Cincinnati executive who is one of the Republican Party's top contributors and was Mr. Bush’s finance chair in 2000. Earlier this month, Mr. Christie held a fund-raiser at a Las Vegas hotel owned by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Mr. Adelson and his wife, two of the biggest contributors to Republicans last year, were listed as co-hosts and each gave Mr. Christie the maximum contribution of $3,800....
Oh, and speaking of "maximum contributions," the Supreme Court, which already overturned limits on contributions to independent groups in presidential elections a while back, is about to overturn limits on contributions to the candidates themselves, in McCutcheon v. FEC, which the Court agreed to hear this past February.
Ahh, but it's the Clintons who might "put the 'For Rent' sign back on the Lincoln Bedroom," because they're somehow uniquely corrupt, according to Dowd. "If Americans are worried about money in politics," writes Dowd, "there is no larger concern than the Clintons."
No larger concern? Seriously, MoDo? Yes, I suppose there are dubious doings in Clinton Land, but the Clintons damn well haven't cornered the market on this sort of thing.
And maybe we're not supposed to worry about spending on the GOP side because the Citizens United cash was poorly spent in 2012 -- but are we just supposed to assume that right-wingers with enough low cunning to become billionaires have no learning curve? Especially when their spending will be effectively without legal limits three years from now?
The White House will be for sale in 2016 no matter what. I just want Sheldon Adelson and a bunch of Bush Pioneers not to be among the principal buyers.