- - Sunday, February 7, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Willie Sutton, the famous bank robber of a bygone age, and Hillary Clinton are two of a kind. Someone, probably a psychology major working on a term paper, once asked Willie why he robbed banks. He answered simply, “because that’s where the money is.”

Last week a CNN interlocutor at a town hall in New Hampshire asked Hillary why she took $675,000 for three speeches to the powerful Wall Street investment house Goldman Sachs. She gave the interlocutor the kind of look that Willie Sutton gave his questioner, and replied: “Well, I dunno, that’s what they offered. You know, every secretary of state that I know had done that.”

Then she told a little harmless fib, harmless because no one in the audience, or indeed in America, would believe it. She might have been held to a higher standard than previous secretaries because everyone knew of the ambition she shared with the man she married to be elected president of the United States. Wouldn’t taking all the money from Wall Street be, as the League of Women Voters might put it, a bit “unseemly?”

“To be honest, I wasn’t committed to running. [Goldman Sachs] is not giving me very much money now, I can tell you that much.”

The woman they called the Lady Macbeth of Little Rock never seems to waste an opportunity to demonstrate her tin ear, which is why she’s about to be ‘berned’ again in New Hampshire. She not only took the money, but expects everyone to believe that Goldman Sachs was paying only for her eloquence, her insights, her wit if not humor, her gifts of oratory, her skill as a great entertainer.

She even demonstrated curious ingratitude, complaining that Goldman Sachs “is not giving me very much money now, I can tell you that much.” If Bubba had an incurable case of zipper disease, Hillary’s tin-ear disease is equally incurable. The lady just can’t help herself. Her fibs, stretchers, falsifications, deceptions and gifts of mendacity will be her legacy, as a presidential legacy looks ever more unlikely.

Only a fortnight or so ago the Democrats were ready to break out the champagne to celebrate the rifts and crevices in the Republican Party, set to the music of a rowdy campaign of a half-dozen surviving candidates banging noisily on each other. Hillary would take the Democrats on a placid cruise to the White House, her thoughts troubled only about where to hold the inaugural balls.

But now they’re worried about fears of their own Democratic crack-up. Some of them are even willing to go on the record about the terrors that keep them awake in sweaty nightshirts.

The noisy Socialist from Vermont haunts all their dreams. Rep. Gerry Connolly, of Virginia, a faithful Hillary liege, says Bernie Sanders could not only lead the party to lose the White House, but drag down congressional candidates like himself. “I believe it could have real serious down-ballot consequences.” Rep. Scott Peters of California is fretting about what the Democratic crack-up would do, too. A liberal is bad enough, even a liberal calling himself a progressive, but a Socialist is too bad by far. There would be grief enough for everyone. The Democratic crack-up might even force Hillary to make cheaper speeches.

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