The media seems to salivate every time the Clinton finances are attacked. The most recent tidbit reveals how much money the Clinton’s earned from speaking engagements between January and May (25 million dollars). They act like Bill and Hillary are con artists forcing people to turn out their pockets just to listen to charismatic charlatans for forty-five minutes to an hour.
I would think that perhaps people are willing to pay such large amounts as $250,000 per speech because they want to contribute to the good work being done by The Clinton Foundation and The Clinton Global Initiative. And there is the political celebrity status conferred on these two by holding top posts in our government like President and First Lady and Secretary of State.
Lots of politicians (mostly Republicans) and media people are offering up a silent and not so silent delight that we will soon be able to prove that the Clintons are guilty of that powerful leveler of political careers, “corruption”. The rest of us “everyday” folks out here think that it is almost impossible to participate in politics today without being corrupt. We will only be impressed with corruption on a very grand scale. We expect that our politicians will find ways to make public service pay. We don’t love the idea, but we feel helpless to change this dynamic.
People understand that there could be a conflict of interest here: it is possible that large donations given by foreign governments and by media figures like George Stephanopoulos could lead the donors to believe that favors might be forthcoming if we elect Hillary as our President in 2016. However giving to a charity that tries to mitigate misery around the globe does not seem like the usual road to a quid pro quo.
Hillary and the media have a sort of come here – go away kind of relationship. The press likes to expose the soft underbelly of candidates for public office, Hillary included. However, once you show emotion (fear, resentment) some in the press “smell blood” and like to go in for the kill. Hillary feels that she must exercise caution when reporters are present. We also accept that since she is running for President she cannot avoid the media. News people complain that she seems overly formal and gives off an edgy, annoyed air when confronted with questions which seems accusatory.
While it is true that the press is intrusive and operates without filters, we are all hoping that Hillary gets a bit more comfortable around the media and that she is able to hide the defensiveness she currently reveals. I do not mind if she avoids situations which inspire a feeding frenzy in the media. As for the press they could stop being so thrilled by the shots candidates lob at each other, especially when they are aware that what they are repeating are rumors that have not been and never may be proven to be facts.
We have never before had a Presidential candidate with a partner who is an ex-President and who heads a charitable foundation. Unless this charity is simply a way to bilk donors of their money so it can fatten the personal bank accounts of the Clintons, it would seem that we need to cut them a little slack here.
I believe there is evidence that this foundation takes on real projects both at home and abroad to lift up people in need. I also tend to doubt that there is any criminal activity here worthy of Republican glee. All these allegations will do is force Bill Clinton to stop doing good things out in the world if he wants his wife to win the Presidency. And that will be a true loss for all who currently benefit from The Clinton Foundation and its programs.
Note: Isn’t the phrase “everyday people” from a song by Sly and the Family Stone?
This is the view from the cheap seats.
By Nancy Brisson