Hillary Clinton on her Wall Street speech transcripts: Just trust me

Whenever I, or any Bernie-supporting Democrat I know, posts on Facebook or tweets that Hillary Clinton should release her Wall Street speech transcripts tout de suite, we’re met with a barrage of accusations by her supporters that we’re doing the Republicans’ dirty work, or being traitorous to the Democratic cause, or, even, that our call on Clinton to do all she can to earn the trust of the voting public is no better than the “birther” movement launched by the right against President Obama.

What utter nonsense.

We’re not questioning Clinton’s legitimacy to run as president – we’re questioning her legitimacy to run as the progressive tough on Wall Street president she claims she’ll be.  Her defenses on her refusal to release the speech transcripts have, well, evolved since she was first asked about it:  She went from laughing gaily, to saying starkly that she took the money that was offered, to saying she’d release them when all the other candidates released their paid speeches.  Her only opponent today, Bernie Sanders, took her up on the challenge, and agreed to release all his Wall Street speeches – which total zero.  Clinton then moved on to demand that all the presidential candidates release their speeches.  Only then, she said, would she release hers.  She’s also defensively pointed to the fact that President Obama took Wall Street money as well.  But here’s the thing, the only thing, that really matters.  Most candidates on both sides of the aisle, including, yes, President Obama, are offered money from Wall Street.  Most take it.  Bernie Sanders is a notable exception, because he’s a guy who’s built his reputation for decades on his integrity as an anti-champion of these mega-institutions.  Republicans run on no such platform, so nobody would be shocked if they were paid for stroking Wall Street.  Hillary Clinton is a different kettle of fish altogether.  She was not only politically, but personally, enriched by the speeches she gave to Wall Street.  Not only has Wall Street dumped big dough into her campaign and Super PACs, they dumped big dough into her wallet, too.  And as Bernie Sanders has pointed out time and again, they don’t do that for nothing.

This is a game she’s not playing very well at all.  Through drip drip drip comments from some who attended the speeches, we’re learning more and more about what she said to Goldman Sachs, and it isn’t favorable to her current political position as the president who would unravel Wall Street’s unhealthy power and have the big bankers quaking in their wingtips.  Human nature hates a vacuum, so we fill it with what seems most likely.  Such is the case with her speeches.  The reality is that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and, based on what we know, Clinton clearly didn’t chomp hard on the outstretched Wall Street hand.  If she were running on a platform of protecting big banks, or being a friend to Wall Street, nobody would need to know what her speeches were all about.  But she’s promising voters that she’ll deliver on her tough-on-Wall-Street agenda, and she’s saying, “Just trust me.”

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Well, we can’t just trust her on this.  All the facts we know surrounding the content of those very highly-paid speeches run contrary to what she’s telling us today.  If the speeches were truly benign, she’d have released them the minute Bernie started hammering her on them.  If they were truly benign, she would be at least summarizing what she said.  But this is one issue she really can’t dance around, because there’s always the possibility that someone out there has copies of those transcripts and will leak them at an inopportune moment.  That still could happen, which is why she has to stay mum.  Being busted running a classic Clinton’esque dodge is one thing; being busted for an outright lie, in this political climate, would trigger a campaign on life support.

Thanks to the theglobalist.com for this commentary:

The Goldman Sachs matter is really a bridge too far. The mere existence of the speeches demonstrates a serious inability on Hillary Clinton’s part to understand where the political landscape was headed. It also underscores the inability of her staff to slam on the brakes for the sake of her political future.

The Goldman matter, entirely self-inflicted, demonstrates that the Clintons have really never learned the scandal management skills they claim to have picked up from endless experience.

There is no legal reason, contractually, against releasing the speeches. There is only fear, bad strategy advice or both.

This is the true Nixon moment of the 2016 Clinton campaign. It represents a nuclear risk for the Democratic Party.

We ask Clinton to release the transcripts to prove the transparency she’s promising, to prove she’s a friend to us and not to the financial super-predators who demolished the economy and annihilated the lives of so many.  In reality, we know the answer, and it’s not pretty.  We’d just like, for once, to hear it from her.