April 18, 2019 | 60° F

EDITORIAL: Stars have aligned for Hillary Clinton

Democratic nominee is lucky Trump looks worse in comparison


Overshadowed by Donald Trump’s vile controversies, Hillary Clinton’s leaked excerpts from transcripts of paid speeches to Wall Street isn’t receiving equal attention. If parts of the transcripts came out a few months ago, it would’ve been a damaging and detrimental blow to her campaign. Yet the American presidential election has come to this strange point in time where as long as Clinton doesn’t associated herself with scandals that deviate from the typical criticisms she already receives, she’ll be able to clinch the presidency and can take a nice stroll to the Oval Office.

Excerpts of Clinton’s remarks during paid speeches to members of Goldman Sachs, Deutsch Bank and Morgan Stanley only reaffirm the publics concerns about Clinton’s values, consequently this so-called controversy barely made a ripple in the headlines and merely confirmed sentiments many already had. It was commonly known that Clinton earned more than $22 million during her paid speaking circuit on Wall Street, and it was widely inferred that she was getting chummy with the executives. Clinton earned at least $200,000 per speech. Regardless of whether she spoke for 30 minutes or 24 hours — an astounding amount of money ordinary citizens have to work one or several years to earn — you don’t offer someone a lavish pay for give a brief speech unless they’re telling you exactly what you want to hear. It’s beyond apparent that Clinton was telling corporations what they want to hear, but this time it doesn’t have the effect of being severely incriminating because everyone knows it.

There was nothing groundbreaking about what the excerpts released. They showed how Clinton says one thing to one audience and another thing to a different kind of audience, which presents her as an exemplar of a politician — with all of its good and bad connotations. She can deliver a public speech in March 2007, during the early weeks of the financial crisis, blaming the mortgage industry and recommending reforms. Then, years later in 2013, she can tell Goldman Sachs that blaming the banking industry is an oversimplification and both sides should be more transparent. After years of political experience, she knows what she wants and how to get what she wants, and constituents want that type of finesse in their politicians. But Clinton is so politically savvy that sometimes it’s hard to tell where her real values lie (i.e. she can be fake).

Moreover, comments released in the excerpts are likely to help her rather than harm her. For example, the transcripts show how she is an advocate of free trade, so she’ll probably acquire more moderate Republican voters, while still maintaining a good portion of the Bernie Sanders supporters that vowed to support her to ensure Donald Trump is not elected president.

People who to support Clinton will continue to support her because they’ve settled on their priorities: To prevent Trump, a man who has dictatorial-tendencies and disrespects almost all of the population from taking the most powerful position of the land. This election is prominently characterized by a constituent base that votes for a candidate out of repulsion from the other, and this transcript scandal barely made a budge on changing people’s minds on who they want to vote for.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani notes that if this controversy broke out during the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders would be the candidate running against Trump, not Clinton, and he’s right. If transcripts were released a few months ago, perhaps she wouldn’t have won the Democratic nomination. And also, if she was running against another Republican candidate — be it Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney or even Chris Christie — she would have little chance of winning. But right now, that’s not the way things are.

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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