Point of order: One has to actually be capable of feeling shame in order to be shamed. Alisyn Camerota notes that the moment got a big round of applause from the audience, but Martin O’Malley says, “She had a lot of friends in the room …. like she does on Wall Street.” Instead, O’Malley twice calls it a “shameful moment,” and accuses Hillary Clinton of “wrapping herself in the tragedy of 9/11.”
Well, that would sting …. if the Tuzla Dash/thwarted Marine fabulist had any capacity for embarrassment:
“I thought that moment, frankly, was pretty shameful. I don’t believe that the people watching were applauding the notion that Secretary Clinton was pumping up the smoke screen and wrapping herself in the tragedy of 9/11,” O’Malley told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “I don’t think they saw that as something appropriate to do — to mask her coziness and her closeness to Wall Street and all of the architects of the crash of 2008.”
So …. does Hillary feel shame? Three guesses, and the first two don’t count:
“Well, I’m sorry that whoever tweeted that had that impression because I worked closely with New Yorkers after 9/11 for my entire first term to rebuild,” Clinton said. “So, yes, I did know people. I’ve had a lot of folks give me donations from all kinds of backgrounds say, ‘I don’t agree with you on everything, but I like what you do. I like how you stand up. I’m going to support you.’ And I think that is absolutely appropriate.”
A Clinton spokeswoman said after the debate, “Her point was she was proud to stand with this community that was so devastated to help industry recover.”
Nevertheless, Mark Halperin believes she may be forced to apologize, or at least walk back the comment, in part because the New York Times editorial board blasted her for the comments:
Since 2001, she and Bill Clinton have earned more than $125 million for speeches, many of the most lucrative made before financial groups. That does not account for the millions given directly to her campaign, and to political action committees backing her. Nearly 15 years after the 2001 attacks, Mrs. Clinton was earning more than $200,000 for a 20-minute speech. Most of those took place behind guarded doors. But one can guess that she and the financial executives were not still talking about 9/11.
Middle-class Americans associate Wall Street with the 2008 meltdown of the economy that cost so many their homes and savings. In the debate Mrs. Clinton repeatedly referred to her plan for reining in banks, but offered precious few specifics. This is what happens when Hillary Clinton the candidate gets complacent. The debate moderator, Mr. Dickerson, had even tipped her off before a commercial break that the next topic was Wall Street.
Her effort to tug on Americans’ heartstrings instead of explaining her Wall Street ties — on a day that the scars of 9/11 were exposed anew — was at best botched rhetoric. At worst it was the type of cynical move that Mrs. Clinton would have condemned in Republicans.
She should make a fast, thorough effort to explain herself by providing a detailed plan for how she would promote measures protecting middle-class Americans from another financial crisis.
Hillary may not feel shame, but she certainly knows that the Gray Lady sets the tone on the Left. Halperin may be right that Team Hillary will have a “clarification” coming within the next day or so. Even so, expect this moment to get replayed often as a glaring example of Hillary’s cynicism as well as her fabulism.