The catalyst for this poster is Peter Schweizer’s new book Clinton Cash, which will go on sale May 5th. Several news agencies have licensed early excerpts from the book, though, including News Corp, which owns the Post. Yesterday’s revelations involved the connections between foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation and policy moves made by Hillary Clinton while Secretary of State. Today, though, it’s all about the Benjamins and how they found their way from some of the most oppressive regimes into Bill’s pockets:
Records show that Bill’s earnings from appearance fees — both foreign and domestic — spiked at $17 million in 2012, Hillary’s last year at State.
During Hillary’s four-year stint as secretary of state, the ex-president earned about $48 million of a $105 million speaking haul amassed between 2001 and 2013.
More than half of the $48 million was paid by companies in China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, among others.
The author writes that “of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state.”
That little factoid did get noted yesterday, but the scope of the earnings differential emerges today. Bill made $9.4 million in speaking fees his first year out of the White House, belying the Hillary claim of being “dead broke” on their exit. In the first eight years, Bill only had one year earning more than $10 million on the speaking circuit, in 2006. For the four years Hillary served as Secretary of State, only in the first did he earn under $10 million. His earnings hit a peak of $17 million in 2012, her last year in the position.
The Clintons, Schweizer notes, now have an estimated net worth between $100 million and $200 million — not far off from Mitt Romney, actually. But Hillary’s wealth makes her different from the 2012 Republican candidate castigated as a One Percenter out of touch with middle America. It turns out to be the other way around. The long-documented decline in small-business creation caught the coronation candidate by surprise this week:
Clinton noted that small business creation has “stalled out,” to her chagrin. “I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” she said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”
She’s just now hearing about this? Way to stay in touch with the little folks. Guess who got a head start on this problem?
The struggles of small businesses during President Obama’s administration are hardly a new subject on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney raised the issue throughout the 2012 presidential election.
“Small businesses lack the confidence they need to expand and hire new workers, and the President’s looming tax hikes are threatening to destroy another 700,000 jobs,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in September of 2012, for instance.
To be fair to Hillary, her small business flourished. Can’t everyone get appointed Secretary of State and have their spouse collect big speaking fees from people wanting to buy influence? Sheesh, people … get creative!
Meanwhile, my column today at The Week responds to Matthew Dowd’s suggestion that arguments over experience and qualifications are largely immaterial. Don’t be so quick to dispense with them, I argue in return:
Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election effort, agrees — at least to the extent that he thinks the qualifications debate is overblown. Americans don’t want to compare resumes, Dowd argues, but want a reason to believe. “Most Americans aren’t looking for a resume, or a job history, per se,” Dowd wrote this week for ABC News. They’re hungry for the kind of leadership that “speak to their hopes and dreams, who can lay out a forward-looking vision domestically and internationally, and who can define a strategy to get us there as a country together by bridging divides.” After that, voters just need to know that the candidate “has the authenticity, competence, and trustworthiness that actually prove out they can do this.” …
Democrats will surely argue that Hillary Clinton is that person — that her long resume and family history make her the most qualified candidate to lead the nation. Don’t buy it.
Clinton served eight years in the U.S. Senate, with no particular distinction or accomplishment. Following that was four years running the State Department in a period that produced a failed state in Libya through American action, a reset button with Russia that produced a depantsing of the U.S. in eastern Europe, and no balancing accomplishments in trade or the expansion of liberty. Clinton had ample time to project a vision and agenda and then take steps to turn them into reality — and in both roles, she failed.
Experience matters. Voters want a candidate who will put together the whole package: a vision and an agenda that excites and motivates them, and a proven track record of success in implementing both. In 2008 and 2012, neither party offered that to voters, and the results speak for themselves. With the plethora of talent in their ranks and the curious lack of ambition coming from similarly situated Democrats, Republicans and voters across the spectrum should demand a candidate who checks all the boxes.