Sunday, June 22, 2014


Is Hillary Clinton saying tone-deaf things about wealth that could cause her political problems? Yes.

Is the fact that she's well off a political problem for her? No.

Yes, this a gaffe:
Clinton responded to criticism of her wealth in an interview with the Guardian newspaper published Saturday night by suggesting Americans won't be concerned about the more than $100 million her family has reportedly earned in recent years because they're not "truly well off."

"They don't see me as part of the problem," Clinton said of Americans who are upset about income inequality, adding, "Because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we've done it through dint of hard work."
That's not politcally savvy, and it wasn't smart to say the Clintons were "dead broke" when Bill left office, even though the couple was in debt. (The debt was recouped quickly, thanks to book royalties and speaking fees.)

But if these remarks are jarring, this is utterly ridiculous:
Some influential Democrats -- including former advisers to President Obama -- said in interviews last week they fear that Clinton's personal wealth and rarefied, cloistered lifestyle could jeopardize the Democratic Party's historic edge with the middle class that powered Obama's wins.

"I don't know whether it's just that she's been 'Madam Secretary' for so long, but she's generating an imperial image," said Dick Harpootlian, who recently stepped down as Democratic Party chairman in South Carolina, which hosts an early presidential primary.

Harpootlian, who backed Obama over Clinton in 2008 and is a longtime ally of Vice President Biden, added: "She's been living 30, going on 40 years with somebody bringing your coffee to you every morning. Is it more 'Downton Abbey' than it is America?"
OK, stop. Who are the most beloved Democratic presidents? Let's look at Gallup's presidential popularity list from 2011:

Top Democrat on the list? Um ... Bill Clinton, who wasn't noticeably poorer in 2011 than he is now. Hillary, of course, was "Madam Secretary" then. She was accompanied by those coffee-fetchers -- and was extraordinarily popular.

Who are the next two Democrats on the list? Er ... JFK and FDR. As I recall, their wealth was a tad higher than the national median.

Look, if you're earning six figures -- as the wives of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were before they became president -- you're already out of most ordinary Americans' league. And most Americans don't let that bother them, much less the fact that most pols are truly wealthy. It's just the way things work.

If you want to run for president, you have to seem as if you understand what it's like to be an ordinary American -- but voters don't expect you to be an ordinary American.

Yes, Hillary has to stop talking like this. But she doesn't have to don sackcloth and ashes. Both her husband and President Obama have made a habit of saying taxes should be raised on wealthy people like themselves. Hillary should do the same -- and I suspect she will. Meanwhile, she needs to watch the gaffes.


Philo Vaihinger said...

She really doesn't get it.

And first you defend her lying to a court and now you defend her poor little rich girl act?

Jeez, find somebody else.

She's too far to the right, anyway, especially on war.

Victor said...

I'll leave your comment at this:

Steve M. said...

Show me a challenger who can win the nomination and the general election. I'm open to an alternative who can win.

Unknown said...

There was no "defending her lying to a court" or such lying to a court in the first place. You just do not understand either what a lawyer properly does on behalf of a client or the content of the piece you cite.

Rusthawk said...

She's unelectable.


Steve M. said...

Yeah, she's unelectable. Pay no attention every poll.

Rusthawk said...

Your link shows RCP poll results from March to June. If you look closely there's an alarming drop from the earliest to the most recent, a trend I predict will be exacerbated by the information currently surfacing (and no matter her spin-meister's efforts to poopoo her role in Benghazi).

Her numbers were tanking even before Klein's book release (which I predict will far outsell Hillary's self-aggrandizing could-be-mistaken-for-fiction novel). Add to the picture the fact that her book fell off the bestseller list after only a week. There's a solid reason for that.

People are tired of her and her entitlement attitude, they resent her wealth and pretense at po'-po'-me, they perceive her as a dyed-in-the-wool finger-in-the -wind Washington insider, and they intuitively understand she expects to ride Bill's coattails into the WH without any substantial accomplishments of her own on which to run.

Interesting also is the lack of Carson in that RCP line-up, and the most recent numbers on Cruz are on 4/10. Rubio? Huckabee? Christie? Yeah, these names alone I would expect to generate those numbers. Not a one do I think is a strong candidate.

There are zero viable alternatives for the Democrat party for 2016. Better to give a Republicans a shot to turn this disaster-ridden ship around than vote in a proven has-been touting the same-old same -old failed liberal policies.

No more dynasty. Time for new blood.

The writing's on the wall. And even Bill can't put this Humpty Dumpty back together.

Bulworth said...

A little alarmed St. Ronnie gets a higher rating than Abe L.

Steve M. said...

Rusthawk, you are the living embodiment of epistemic closure. Ben Carson? You seriously think a guy who compares Obamacare to slavery and doesn't believe in evolution could beat Hillary? Turn off the Fox News and talk radio once in a while. It will do you a world of good.

Rusthawk said...

Epistemic closure? Ad hominem all you got?

My points are valid. Care to rebut any of them, or does demeaning me satisfy your ego and/or cognitive needs?

What? No room for Koch Brothers in your response?

Yes. If Carson runs he would make a formidable opponent to Hillary, evolution et al. notwithstanding.

Liberals fail every time to realize that the whole world doesn't live in their elitist bubble of faux enlightenment. Real people want a real candidate, not some slickly packaged and marketed empty (pant)suit. We've had our fill.

tgchicago said...

[Hillary] expects to ride Bill's coattails into the WH without any substantial accomplishments of her own on which to run.

Yes, because every recent president or party nominee has had vast substantial accomplishments.

Like Obama, who had less than a full term as a Senator. Or GW Bush who was for 6 years governor of a state with a weak governorship. Or Romney who had just 4 years of serving as a governor.

Compared to those massive accomplishments, Clinton merely has 8 years of being Senator, 4 years of being Secretary of State, and 8 years as a high-level White House advisor (during a popular and successful presidency).

Back in 2000, this "Hillary has no accomplishments of her own" deal might have worked. Nowadays, she has a better resume than most of the recent presidents and nominees.

I'm not a fan of Hillary, and I agree with some of your other criticisms of her. But this one is way off base.

(and BTW, Carson will -- at best -- be one of this year's "flavor of the month" candidates like Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Newt, and Santorum were last time around. He'll get some excitement from the base for a little while, then he'll do something that will demonstrate even to the rabid right wing that he's not presidential material.)

Victor said...

Ben Carson?


Sure, if my kid had some brain disease, I'd call him.

But, as a political entity, the man IS a brain disease...

Rusthawk said...


Unlike Obama, Hillary doesn't enjoy a dark skin color that can propel her into the WH as it did Obama. (His accomplishments certainly didn't. Whatever could have led voters to believe that being a community organizer qualified anyone for the office of President of the most powerful country in the world. History will not be kind to him.) Her "first woman" card is played out and even if it wasn't it's not enough to get her over the top.

Running a state is actual hands-on experience at governance and executive management, like it or not. You can minimize Romney's or GW's gubernatorial leadership but bottom line is no matter how you paint it, it is experience (key word here) that neither Obama or Hillary has.

(Your glaring omission of Bill's two terms as governor of Arkansas in your derisive and dismissive tone regarding governors is noted. Could it be, perhaps, that his experience as governor had something to do with his success as President?)

Does a Senator lead? Govern? Acquire management bonafides? No. A senator VOTES. Or not, as in Hillary's case, where she couldn't be bothered to show up for 249 roll-call votes during her eight year Senate tenure.

Seems to me that with all of the massive experience of Hillary's you cite above, there must be *something* she's actually DONE you can point to, no? Don't feel bad, I can find nothing either.

All you really need to know about her ineptness you can find in the fires burning in the Middle East, Boko Harem in Nigeria, Benghazi, the entire Russian geopolitical landscape. I could go on but you get my point.

Hillary Clinton does not have a leadership bone in her body. Same can be said for Obama.

As for Carson being another flavor of the month could be right. Time will tell on that one.

Rusthawk said...


That's like saying:

If I had a community that needed organizing I'd call Obama but as Presidential material, he's the one who needs organizing!

See how stupid that sounds?

The qualities needed to perform surgery on the brains of children are qualities - in toto - I have yet to see in Obama. Perhaps if he had one or two ...humility, intellect, discernment, conscientiousness, adaptability or flexibility ...we wouldn't be in the shape we're in now.

No matter. You keep on laughing.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Lawyers are despicable. And proud of it.

JoyousMN said...

Yes, I'm sure Ben Carson is the man to beat Hillary Clinton! Please, Pleeeease, PLEASE nominate him.

He can win it for the Republicans. I just KNOW he can.

tgchicago said...

Rusthawk: Unlike Obama, Hillary doesn't enjoy a dark skin color that can propel her into the WH as it did Obama.

So you think it's an advantage to be black in the US? How do you explain the fact that black people are overrepresented in poverty?

Eh, nevermind. If you actually care about the facts, look here:

"I estimate that the salience of race for some whites may have cost Obama as much as 3% of the white vote. Thus, this paper indicates that even in Obama's historic 2008 campaign, African American candidates continue to face barriers to winning white support."

My "glaring omission" of Bill Clinton was just because I stayed within this century. But it goes to underscore my point.

92 election: the guy with more experience was clearly Bush, but he lost

96: Clinton now had 4 years experience as president, but Dole had decades of experience in DC. Still Clinton won.

2000: Clearly 8 years as VP and years as a senator before that made Gore the more experienced candidate. Yet Bush was the one sworn in.

2004: Similar to 96.

2008: McCain was obviously more experienced, and he lost handily.

My point is that recent history does not suggest that "experience" is terribly important to the electorate in presidential elections.

Why did Obama win in 08? Not because of his race. He won the nomination largely because he was against Iraq from the beginning, and he won the election because voters were very sour on Republicans after the GWB era. Pretty simple.