NYT to Hillary: Release the transcripts

posted at 2:41 pm on February 26, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Ready for a little blue-on-blue action after a night of red-on-red? Hillary Clinton refuses to release the transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street, repeatedly claiming to be victimized by a double standard. She won’t release her remarks until everyone in both primaries do the same for all of their private speeches, she insisted in the most recent CNN candidate forum, as CBS News captures here. “Why is there one standard for me, and not for everybody else?” she demanded:

Well, the New York Times editorial board declares that they have eleven million reasons over the last two years to apply a tougher standard. In their lead editorial, the Gray Lady tells the former Secretary of State that the only double standard they see is the one Hillary is applying — claiming to be an authentic progressive while enriching herself on Wall Street:

Her conditioning her releases on what the Republicans might or might not do is mystifying. Republicans make no bones about their commitment to Wall Street deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Mrs. Clinton is laboring to convince struggling Americans that she will rein in big banks, despite taking their money.

Besides, Mrs. Clinton is not running against a Republican in the Democratic primaries. She is running against Bernie Sanders, a decades-long critic of Wall Street excess who is hardly a hot ticket on the industry speaking circuit. The Sanders campaign, asked if Mr. Sanders also received fees for closed-door speeches, came up with two from two decades ago that were not transcribed: one to a hospital trade association, and one to a college, each for less than $1,000. Royalties from a book called “The Speech,” Mr. Sanders’s eight-hour Senate floor diatribe against President Obama’s continuation of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, were donated to the nonprofit Addison County Parent/Child Center in Vermont.

The hazards of Mrs. Clinton, a presidential hopeful, earning more than $200,000 each for dozens of speeches to industry groups were clear from the start. Mrs. Clinton was making paid speeches when she hired consultants to vet her own background in preparation for a run. If they didn’t flag this, they weren’t doing their jobs.

Put aside the obligatory shot at Republicans, and it’s a pretty solid argument. In fact, the Times seems to argue here that Hillary’s decision to keep those transcripts buried hints that she may be a proto-Republican, which is a bit of a reach, but certainly will make Team Bernie happy. Their final paragraph, however, is just laughable:

Public interest in these speeches is legitimate, and it is the public — not the candidate — who decides how much disclosure is enough. By stonewalling on these transcripts Mrs. Clinton plays into the hands of those who say she’s not trustworthy and makes her own rules. Most important, she is damaging her credibility among Democrats who are begging her to show them that she’d run an accountable and transparent White House.

Those who say she’s not trustworthy and makes her own rules”? Please. We have a server full of classified information stored in her house that makes that not a claim but objective reality. On top of that, we have a former Secretary of State whose family got a $57.5 million windfall while she was supposedly serving the United States, much of it earned from speaking fees from entities that either had business at the State Department (Uranium One being the most egregious example) or from political cronies keeping her presidential hopes alive. Plus, we have all sorts of potential conflicts of interest between State and the Clinton Foundation, including but not limited to whether Huma Abedin and others were using public resources for the Clinton’s private political goals.

She hid all of that, while deleting over 30,000 e-mails from a four-year period for being “personal” in nature, and the NY Times wonders whether “she’d run an accountable and transparent White House”? If a Republican candidate had a tenth of those issues, the Paper of Record would scream about the Coming Nixonian Horrors. There’s a double standard, all right, and Hillary Clinton is its beneficiary rather than its victim.

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