Hillary on speech transcripts: Show me yours and I’ll show you mine

posted at 12:41 pm on February 8, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

How can one tell when an issue has gotten under Hillary Clinton’s skin? She begins heaping scorn on those who question her on it. After trying for months to pose as more progressive on Wall Street than anyone else — and especially Bernie Sanders — she has had to defend the millions of dollars she and Bill received from Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions for a handful of paid speeches. When questioned about it during the most recent Democratic debate, Hillary claimed that they just wanted to hear her views on world affairs and promised that she talked tough on regulation. Chuck Todd said that Hillary had an easy way to prove it — just release the transcripts. Hillary tried wiggling out of the trap by saying she’d “look into it.”

By yesterday, Hillary had changed her tune. Now she wants a peek at everyone else’s before they get a peek at hers:

“Yes, you know, here’s another thing I want to say. Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them. We’ll all release them at the same time,” Clinton stated. “You know, I don’t mind being the subject in Republican debates, the subject in the Democratic primary. That kind of goes with the territory. I’ve been around long enough.”

“But at some point, you know, these rules need to apply to everybody,” she continued. “And there are a bunch of folks, including, you know, my opponent, who’s given speeches to groups, and people on the other side who’ve given speeches to groups. Let’s — if this is now going to be a new standard, then it should apply to everybody and then I’ll be happy to look into it further.”

Sure, why not? Has Bernie Sanders given speeches to Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions, getting $250,000 a speech or more from Wall Street giants per appearance? Let’s see the transcripts of those speeches, too. However, this answer leaves Hillary in a potentially very embarrassing position when it turns out that Sanders hasn’t given speeches to those institutions and hasn’t enriched himself on Wall Street largesse. And if that’s the case, doesn’t this “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” pledge force her to cough up the transcripts?

Let’s not forget why those transcripts exist in the first place. McClatchy reminds readers that Hillary demanded sponsors of these events provide a transcriber at their expense, and that the product would remain in her control:

Hillary Clinton, who faces mounting pressure to release transcripts of her paid speeches, routinely demanded that a stenographer be present at her events so she could maintain a record of what she said.

At least four of Clinton’s contracts include a clause stating a transcript would be produced for Clinton and that the former secretary of state would own them and control their release, according to contracts obtained by McClatchy.

“The sponsor will transcribe Speaker’s remarks as they are being delivered, which should be solely for the Speaker’s records,” according to her contract with the University of Buffalo, which paid her $275,000.

Identical words appear in contracts between the Harry Walker Agency, which represents Clinton, and the University of Connecticut, which paid her $250,000; the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, which paid her $225,000, and the University of California at Los Angeles, which paid her $300,000.

For ’tis the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petard. Why bother with transcripts at all? Strategically (but certainly not legally), this is reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s Oval Office tapes. Once they came to light, they’d have to be made public to corroborate the person’s public representations of events. Honestly, what possible value would these have had to Hillary at all that couldn’t have been accomplished by simply opening up the events to the press?

All of this defensiveness and evasiveness points to a strong desire to keep these remarks private. More than two years ago, Politico discovered why that might be:

But Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish. Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we’re all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn’t going to improve the economy—it needs to stop. And indeed Goldman’s Tim O’Neill, who heads the bank’s asset management business, introduced Clinton by saying how courageous she was for speaking at the bank. (Brave, perhaps, but also well-compensated: Clinton’s minimum fee for paid remarks is $200,000).

Certainly, Clinton offered the money men—and, yes, they are mostly men—at Goldman’s HQ a bit of a morale boost. “It was like, ‘Here’s someone who doesn’t want to vilify us but wants to get business back in the game,’” said an attendee. “Like, maybe here’s someone who can lead us out of the wilderness.”

Clinton’s remarks were hardly a sweeping absolution for the sins of Wall Street, whose leaders she courted assiduously for financial support over a decade, as a senator and a presidential candidate in 2008. But they did register as a repudiation of some of the angry anti-Wall Street rhetoric emanating from liberals rallying behind the likes of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). And perhaps even more than that, Clinton’s presence offered a glimpse to a future in which Wall Street might repair its frayed political relationships.

“Stop beating up Wall Street” is hardly Bernie Sanders-style progressivism. If Hillary actually did take that position in public, it would be “courageous,” as the Goldman exec told Politico in December 2013. The fact that she’s only saying it behind closed doors when getting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the so-called “fat cats” Hillary derides in public speaks to the very opposites of courage: moral cowardice and cynical corruption. Maybe it wasn’t particularly wise to keep transcripts of those qualities when on display, even in private.


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Comments

Ewww…

Meremortal on February 8, 2016 at 12:43 PM

we all know she’ll win with this argument. sadly, when republicans are asked loaded questions like this, they cave and do what the media tells them to do.

as much as i despise the clintons, she knows how the system works. she knows the media will forget and move on to something else and she knows dems will forgive her. its about time republicans learned this!

jetch on February 8, 2016 at 12:48 PM

Ewww…

Meremortal on February 8, 2016 at 12:43 PM

Exactly. Ed, titles like that must be accompanied by a link selling mental bleach.

Rix on February 8, 2016 at 12:48 PM

Worst. Candidate. Ever.

John the Libertarian on February 8, 2016 at 12:48 PM

Show me yours and I’ll show you mine

So she has a P*nis??

ToddPA on February 8, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Will all future photos and media presentations by Hillary Clinton feature soft-focus video?

onlineanalyst on February 8, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Bernie…you keep getting opportunities to bury Hillary….

albill on February 8, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Honestly, what possible value would these have had to Hillary at all that couldn’t have been accomplished by simply opening up the events to the press?

She probably wanted a hard copy in case anyone came out publicly to say that “Hillary said XYZ at the speech” in a way that was politically damaging for her. She could then release the transcript and spin it a different way, if necessary.

Not a great idea, actually.

Revenant on February 8, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Hillary demanded sponsors of these events provide a transcriber at their expense, and that the product would remain in her control:

Hillary-control has been her MO from time immemorial. Thus, she created a secret server to bypass government-security supervision.

onlineanalyst on February 8, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Thanks for that headline, Ed. Yuk.

“(I)f this is now going to be a new standard, then it should apply to everybody and then I’ll be happy to look into it further.”

Yes, she’ll be happy to look into it further. Committing to nothing, of course.

Marcola on February 8, 2016 at 12:55 PM

I’m pretty sure Sanders has no problem with that. Neither would plenty of candidates in the GOP field(especially since they don’t rail on Wall Street 24/7). Careful what you wish for, Hillary.

Doughboy on February 8, 2016 at 12:55 PM

“Let all the little children in the world clap their hands simultaneously, and I’ll gladly release my transcripts.
“Because honesty and openness.”

—Queen Cankles Ist

Things like this make me understand why a flaky extremist fossil like Bernie is running neck and neck
(turkey neck & turkey neck?) with her.

orangemtl on February 8, 2016 at 12:55 PM

She needs time to change the transcripts.

Flange on February 8, 2016 at 12:56 PM

Will all future photos and media presentations by Hillary Clinton feature soft-focus video?
onlineanalyst on February 8, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Eventually, it’ll get so soft you won’t be able to tell the difference between Hillary and a 3-month-old fetus.

Marcola on February 8, 2016 at 12:57 PM

she should release the transcript from when Jeb gave her that damn award & talked about what a great person she is. No wait, she’s holding that for her first campaign ad in the general…
Remember when the WS guys said there was no difference in the 2 of them? Go away Yeb!

crowmangler on February 8, 2016 at 12:59 PM

I’m remembering a comment from a private speech, secretly taped and touted by Democrats, that was probably instrumental in losing Romney an election.

Revealing private speeches to the public seemed like a good idea to Democrats at the time.

TB on February 8, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Having told Sachs, et al, what they wanted to hear, and knowing none of those present would narc on her, she assured that she would control the narrative by contracting her transcripts to herself, alone. Mrs Machiavellian Villain.

vnvet on February 8, 2016 at 1:06 PM

Reminds me of the Peanuts and Lucy at the beach cartoon

Peanuts pulls his bathing suit down and tells Lucy: “Look what I got. I’ll bet you don’t got one of these.” To which Lucy pulled her suit down and said: “No, but with one of these, I can get a lot of those.”

timberline on February 8, 2016 at 1:07 PM

Do not be afraid Republicans or conservatives. Release the transcripts and flush her out. Hillary already has them and she will release those that will help her. It is called opposition research. The problem is that her transcripts will all be redacted or erased on that server.

Connecticut on February 8, 2016 at 1:08 PM

Silver platter set out before you, Bernie ol’ boy, are you smart enough to pick it up?

Bishop on February 8, 2016 at 1:10 PM

I totally agree with her on one point. She has been around long enough.

3.14159 on February 8, 2016 at 1:10 PM

She’ll get the same team that “turned over” her email right on it! What’s the odds they accidentally wiped the transcripts off the server — like, with a cloth?

jdpaz on February 8, 2016 at 1:10 PM

Didn’t any of those oh so smart execs who heard the speech think to sneak in a small recorder?

hip shot on February 8, 2016 at 1:18 PM

I would imagine that Billy Bob has already told her to BURN THEM!

GarandFan on February 8, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Didn’t any of those oh so smart execs who heard the speech think to sneak in a small recorder?

hip shot on February 8, 2016 at 1:18 PM

Past the cavity search?

SDN on February 8, 2016 at 1:31 PM

EYE BLEACH! EYE BLEACH!

ConstantineXI on February 8, 2016 at 1:32 PM

…she calls hers……..a ‘transcript’?

JugEarsButtHurt on February 8, 2016 at 1:32 PM

“But at some point, you know, these rules need to apply to everybody,”

It would be real nice if we ever reach the point where the Clintons and Dems in general have the rules applied to them.

antipc on February 8, 2016 at 1:33 PM

if video gets out of her supporting wall street, she’ll lose the primary

burserker on February 8, 2016 at 1:34 PM

Didn’t any of those oh so smart execs who heard the speech think to sneak in a small recorder?

hip shot on February 8, 2016 at 1:18 PM

Past the cavity search?

SDN on February 8, 2016 at 1:31 PM

As a former First Lady, Hillario! still has Secret Service protection. And she did so when she was a Senator from New York voting for Bush’s War, and when she was making these speeches on Wall Street.

Strange thing is that the lifetime protection for former Presidents and First Ladies was voted out of existence in 1996. But it exempted the Clintons.

Dear Leader reinstated the lifetime SS protection for all in 2013. And added Presidential kids up to the age of 16.

Del Dolemonte on February 8, 2016 at 1:40 PM

….show me your highly classified emails and I’ll show you mine ya Skank…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 8, 2016 at 1:52 PM

Clinton’s minimum fee for paid remarks is $200,000

I guess a classy broad like Hillary don’t come cheap. Wall St. walker. Must be the wrong end of the street.

justltl on February 8, 2016 at 1:53 PM

I guess Hill isn’t going to continue that part of O’s legacy about being the “most transparent administration in history”.

Meremortal on February 8, 2016 at 1:54 PM

Strange thing is that the lifetime protection for former Presidents and First Ladies was voted out of existence in 1996. But it exempted the Clintons.

Dear Leader reinstated the lifetime SS protection for all in 2013. And added Presidential kids up to the age of 16.

Del Dolemonte on February 8, 2016 at 1:40 PM

So basically, every president except W?

Or was he grandfathered back in?

The Schaef on February 8, 2016 at 2:46 PM

Hey. Thats the same thing she said to vince foster…

Indiana Jim on February 8, 2016 at 3:17 PM

I really don’t see what the problem is? I’m sure she’ll release the transcripts as soon as Obama releases his college records, or John Kerry his military ones. How is this any different to the MFM?

LouisianaLightning on February 8, 2016 at 4:22 PM

I thought that was the Horn Toads line.

kemojr on February 8, 2016 at 9:35 PM

Those “speeches” are likely notable for their mind-numbing mixture of routine talking points and vacuity. In addition, their brevity will be another indication that something more than words were exchanged in these landmark conferences.

There were plenty of witnesses so we don’t need the transcripts do we? Why can’t the journalists find out what went on?

virgo on February 9, 2016 at 1:01 AM