At the rate we’re going, the second Clinton administration will feel like the longest one of our natural lives. That prediction is based on the longstanding history of the media collectively dissecting every facet of Hillary Clinton (pictured) no matter how minuscule. The fact that presidential campaigns now begin almost four year’s in advance only magnifies an already maddening problem. Hillary is painfully aware of this, which is why she’s tipped on the tightrope with respect to her massive media campaign to promote her new book, “Hard Choices.” Yet, this also dually serves as a shadow test run for 2016, so if there’s anyone who ought to know what not to say to fuel an unnecessary media storm, it’s Hillary Rodham Clinton. To that end, Hillary, why won’t you just own the reality that you are wealthy and end this non-story already?
In her now-infamous interview with ABC News, Hillary explained to Diane Sawyer that when she and former President Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, they were “dead broke.” However, as since highlighted over and over and over again, the couple still managed to buy nice homes in exclusive neighborhoods in the real estate crapshoots known as Washington D.C. and New York City, respectively, and go on to earn millions upon millions of dollars in speaking fees and lucrative book deals.
Since then, Hillary has gone on to note that her comments were “inartful,” telling PBS’ Gwen Ifill, “Well, I shouldn’t have said the five or so words that I said, but my inartful use of those few words doesn’t change who I am, what I’ve stood for my entire life, what I stand for today.”
Fair enough, but she’s since told The Guardian that there is a difference between people like her who “pay ordinary income tax” and those who “are truly well off” who don’t.
It’s not hard for me to decipher the crux of Clinton’s comments about her financial state. Her definition of wealth is different from those who have never taken a tour of Scrooge McDuck’s bank of gold — a.k.a. the super wealthy people who can afford Hillary Clinton’s hefty speaking fees. It’s akin to some people thinking that anyone who makes more than $100,000 can vacation with Beyoncé and Jay Z, but in reality, are making meatless Mondays a thing mostly to keep their cable on so they can watch VH1 on Monday.
Most folks don’t get into specifics, though. They merely hear millions are made and make assumptions. They’re not completely off base, but they’re also not in to hearing someone in designer pantsuits complain about being “dead broke” while their rich friends sign mortgages on their behalf knowing full well that his political homies are about to make it rain in a few months’ time.
So again, Hillary, just be rich already.
Fortunately for her, because this is happening in 2014 — again, why are we talking presidential politics this early — it will be much ado about nothing in a year’s time.
Well, if she learns from this mistake anyway.
Commentators like Bill Kristol may find Hillary Clinton to be a “weak candidate,” but as someone still championing war in Iraq, it’s clear he doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s talking about.
Oh, the joys of privilege.
In any event, she’s not Mitt Romney in a bra.
And for the record, Mitt Romney’s wealth wasn’t the issue; his aloofness was. People in media can pretend all they like, but wealth and all those who obtain it are an obsession in this country.
This is why I rolled my eyes at this dissection of Hillary’s comments (via Politico):
“Her responses so far have come off as somewhat disingenuous, probably because she has a lot of ambivalence about her own wealth,” said Jamie Traeger-Muney, a psychologist whose Wealth Legacy Group focuses on counseling the affluent, an especially busy business in the current era of hostility to the 1 percent. “It feels like there is a lot of shame in there, and that is very common for wealth holders, especially in today’s climate.”
There is indeed a populist movement rising, but the Supreme Court is too busy giving the 1 percent a hand job to do any significant damage at present moment. In the meantime, Hillary is free to be as rich as she wants. People prefer you own who you are. The issue is whether or not who you are, or at least, have become, blinds you to the realities of those not as fortunate.
So long as Hillary can convince the masses of that, she’ll enjoy four to eight years of people misreading her about totally different topics. She ought to know better given she’s married to Bill Clinton, a southern guy of modest means who did this 20-plus years ago. Let’s move on, okay?
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