Hillary Clinton Goldman Sachs speeches should be released now because of history
Hillary Clinton told Chuck Todd that she would ‘look into’ releasing her paid speech transcripts at the Democratic Debate. Her response has now changed.
Hillary Clinton gave three speeches to Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs. She ‘earned’ about $675,000 for those three speeches, $675,000 for less than 3 hour of ‘work’ is a hell of a deal. To be clear, many retired politicians are paid exorbitant fees by the titans of finance, the oligarchy, and the wealthy to curry favor. They expect these ex-politicians to be well connected lobbyist that can help ensure they get the policies beneficial to them, policies that are not in the best interest of the poor or middle-class.
The preemptive curry of favor to a politician that will hold the most powerful political job in the world gives and must give everyone pause. The following exchange occurred between Hillary Clinton and Chuck Todd at the Democratic Debate.
Chuck Todd: Secretary Clinton, it’s addressed to you, and it’s about this issue of the speeches, particularly to Goldman Sachs. This is what the questioner wrote verbatim. “I am concerned with the abuses of Wall Street has taken with the American taxpayers money,” and then she asks whether you would release the transcripts of your Goldman Sachs speeches, and then added, “Don’t you think the voting public has a right to know what was said?” But, let’s make that bigger. Are you willing to release the transcripts of all your paid speeches? We do know through reporting that there were transcription services for all of those paid speeches. In full disclosure, would you release all of them?
Hillary Clinton: I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.
Recently Hillary Clinton appeared on ThisWeek with George Stephanopoulos. She went into an interesting monologue of evasion when she was asked about her intent to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches.
George Stephanopoulos: In the debate the other night, you said you’d look into whether or not to release the transcripts of your speeches to financial groups. Have you made up your mind?
Hillary Clinton: 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. 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. And there are a bunch of folks, including, you know, my opponent, who’s given, you know, speeches to groups and people on the other side who’ve given speeches to groups. Let — if this is now going to be a new standard so then it should apply to everybody and then I’ll be happy to look into it further.
The issue is not a tit for tat problem. Bernie Sanders said recently that The business model of Wall Street is fraud. That is a clear and provable statement. One must ask why Goldman Sachs paid that much money for a speech if they did not expect returns on that investment.
The following snippet from the Politico article titled “Lament of the Plutocrats” is probative.
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.”
There are many reasons why Americans should see the transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street speeches. Her current middle-class populist rhetoric seems quite different from what was leaked about the substance of her speeches to Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs.