- - Thursday, October 13, 2016

Two breaking news events occurred last Friday that have the chance to dramatically impact the race for the presidency. The first – the release of an 11-year-old videotape that confirms suspicions that Donald Trump can be exceedingly vulgar – for some reason stood the political world on its head, as if it were actually breaking news that Trump is no saint. The second – the release of hacked emails from the account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta which revealed some of what Hillary said in secret speeches behind closed doors to rich international bankers – got swallowed up in the immediate firestorm over the Trump tape, but could end up doing more damage.

That’s because the Trump Tape doesn’t really add anything new to the campaign discussion (that is, everyone knew Trump was a cad before their release), while the Clinton revelations provide direct evidence that controverts her public positions.

Further, the Trump Tape merely offers a deeper window into private behavior (and we, as a nation, determined that crude private behavior is no bar to holding the Oval Office twenty years ago, didn’t we?), while the Clinton revelations affect public policy.

At issue in particular are two excerpts from paid speeches Hillary gave – the first, to Goldman Sachs, and the second, to the Brazilian Banco Itau, both given during the interregnum between her departure as Secretary of State and the official launch of her candidacy for president – in other words, during her cashing-in time.

In the speech to Goldman Sachs bankers in April 2013, Clinton said, “If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the backroom discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So you need both a public and a private position.”

News flash – it isn’t really news to learn that a politician is two-faced, saying one thing publicly and another privately. What’s news here is that Clinton 1) is willing to acknowledge it 2) to people whose campaign contributions she knows she’ll need as she prepared to run for president 3) who happen to be people her fellow Democrats hold in particularly low regard.

And remember, at the time – the spring of 2013 – no one was worried about a challenge from Bernie Sanders. No, in the spring of 2013, it was the anti-Wall Street Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Occupy) who was considered the strongest potential challenger to a Clinton coronation.

One month later, speaking to Latin American bankers at the Brazilian Banco Itau, Clinton went even further, and unloaded this doozy:

“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that’s as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

“Open trade and open borders?” In her own words?

Can you imagine the impact of those words would have had on the Democratic nominating contest, if Bernie Sanders had but had them to use against her?

These revelations, sadly, fit a career-long pattern of lying – not just about private sexual matters, but about big public policy issues that have the ability to affect Americans of all walks of life. Saying one thing in private and another thing in public leads to a deepened split between the governing class and the governed. And open trade and open borders would hasten the destruction of our manufacturing base and move us even further in the direction of an all-service economy, even as we give up, once and for all, our national sovereignty and, more importantly, our ability to determine who may and who may not enter our nation, thereby raising threats of terrorism to new heights.

Is it any wonder her campaign refused to release transcripts of her well-paid speeches to Wall Street groups?

The question now is, will the Trump campaign be able to capitalize on these revelations?



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