In a move presumably splintering the fragile coalition which Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton desperately needs to win the White House, Wikileaks released portions of the former Secretary of State’s now-notorious Wall Street speeches on Friday.
The revelations infuriated Senator Bernie Sanders’ champions, but have inspired the Vermont independent to encourage his followers to abide by the Democratic Party’s pledge to clamp down on the financial sector’s excesses.
Responding to the latest Wikileaks’ dump, Sanders, in a written statement, said:
“Whatever Secretary Clinton may or may not have said behind closed doors on Wall Street, I am determined to implement the agenda of the Democratic Party platform which was agreed upon by her campaign.
Among other things, that agenda calls for breaking up the largest financial institutions in this country, re-establishing Glass-Steagall and prosecuting those many Wall Street CEOs who engaged in illegal behavior.”
Although the speeches appear in fragments, the leaked emails reveal Clinton’s willingness to tilt politically and reflect her estrangement from lower-income earners. One leaked message reveals Clinton admitted she is “kind of far removed” from the trials of the middle class and, in a damaging passage disclosing her Washington insider position, admits her candidacy requires “both public and a private position” on issues.
During one 2013 speech to the National Multi-Housing Council, Clinton confesses her weather vane positions.
“Politics is like sausage being made,” she said. “It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, all of the back room discussions and the deals, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
Later, during one 2014 address to executives with Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, Clinton related:
“We had a solid middle class upbringing. . . . And now, obviously, I’m kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.”
In separate speeches, Clinton appeared to use language suggesting she favored the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and backed the Keystone XL pipeline, both of which she has recently stated she opposes.
The source of intense friction during the primaries, the Sanders had long demanded Clinton release the transcripts of her innumerable speeches to Wall Street executives, to which the former Secretary consistently refused.
The two traded barbs during appearances at debates with the Vermont senator repeatedly exposing Clinton’s superficial commitment to reforming Wall Street.
Already suffering a massive trust deficit with voters and viewed as manipulative and scheming, a position she has been unable to overcome, Clinton’s struggles only increased among Sanders’ bloc with the Wikileaks’ disclosures.
“That is a big concern and this certainly doesn’t help. It matters in terms of turnout, energy, volunteering, all those things,” said Larry Cohen, chairman of Our Revolution.
Facebook was no less forgiving to the Democratic nominee.
“Bernie was right about Hillary; she’s a tool for Wall Street,” wrote Grace Tilly on Facebook.
“Clinton is the politicians’ politician — exactly the Wall Street insider Bernie described,” wrote Facebook user Brian Leach.
If the Wikileaks dump of Clinton’s speech transcripts were meant to hurt the Democratic nominee’s election chances, the move was poorly timed. Late Friday morning, the Washington Post released a video recording of Donald Trump admitting to NBC’s Billy Bush that he tried to cheat on his wife with a married woman and “he can do anything” he wants to women, including what amounts to sexual assault.
[The Hill] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy iagreetosee.com]