Wikileaks calls their latest release the “holy grail,” but that appellation that might have expired at the same time as Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Their hack of John Podesta’s e-mail snagged three transcripts from Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs, which the Clinton campaign had steadfastly refused to release on its own. The speeches reveal Hillary’s primary-season pose as a champion of progressives against Wall Street to be a sham, but … does that matter now?
According to the transcripts, Clinton told bankers in October 2013 that she had “great relations” and worked closely with Wall Street during her time as New York’s senator. She added that the “conventional wisdom” of blaming Wall Street firms for the financial crash was an “oversimplification.”
“I think there’s a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened with greater transparency, with greater openness on all sides,” Clinton said, according to the transcripts. “What happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening? You guys help us figure it out and let’s make sure that we do it right this time.”
She also said that the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms, passed by the Obama administration in the wake of the crisis, was passed for “political reasons” by lawmakers panicked by angry constituents.
This portion of one speech would really have triggered the need for Bernie Bros to find some safe spaces:
At that same event, Clinton at one point launched into an extended monologue on her view of American society, sketching out a philosophy that sounded like it just as easily have been voiced by a conservative intellectual.
She described society as a “three-legged stool,” with one leg being the free market, another being a government that balanced oversight [with] liberty, and the third “an active civil society. Because there’s so much about America that is volunteerism and religious faith and family and community activities.”
She had been reading the French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville, she explained, whose book Democracy in America, written after an early 1800s trip to the U.S., has frequently been cited by conservatives. The book explains, she said, what is unique about the U.S.: “rugged individualism with a sense of, you know, community well being.”
Frankly, Team Hillary might have done itself some good by leaking that themselves. It makes Hillary sound more conservative than the current Republican nominee, and more libertarian than the Gary Johnson/Bill Weld ticket. No one would buy it, of course, not even if Hillary delivered this as her opening remarks at the final debate on Thursday evening, because Hillary has proven over and over again that she will say anything to get elected — or to collect a $200,000+ speaking fee. One has to wonder whether the audiences at Goldman Sachs listened to Hillary’s proletarian-hero posturing in the primary with bemusement or amusement.
Of course, progressives have little choice but to fall in line behind Hillary now, but this could open up some fault lines in the Democratic Party long after the last ballot gets counted in this election. Still, the window for this to impact Hillary has closed, even if Chuck Todd tells Today’s Matt Lauer that this could have been a game-changer six months ago. Now? More of a game revealer. It might not be a “holy grail,” but it does bring back a certain nostalgia for having strange women lying in ponds distributing swords as a basis for a system of government.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 17, 2016