NYPost | "Follow the money.” That telling phrase, which has come to summarize the Watergate scandal, has been a part of the lexicon since 1976. It’s shorthand for political corruption: At what point do “contributions” become bribes, “constituent services” turn into quid pro quos and “charities” become slush funds?
Ronald Reagan was severely criticized in 1989 when, after he left office, he was paid $2 million for a couple of speeches in Japan. “The founding fathers would have been stunned that an occupant of the highest office in this land turned it into bucks,” sniffed a Columbia professor.
So what would Washington and Jefferson make of Hillary Rodham Clinton? Mandatory financial disclosures released this month show that, in just the two years from April 2013 to March 2015, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state collected $21,667,000 in “speaking fees,” not to mention the cool $5 mil she corralled as an advance for her 2014 flop book, “Hard Choices.”
Throw in the additional $26,630,000 her ex-president husband hoovered up in personal-appearance “honoraria,” and the nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the former first couple — who, according to Hillary, were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001 with some of the furniture in tow — can finally make ends meet.
No wonder Donald Trump calls her “crooked Hillary.”
A look at Mrs. Clinton’s speaking venues and the whopping sums she’s received since she left State gives us an indication who’s desperate for a place at the trough — and whom another Clinton administration might favor.
First off, there’s Wall Street and the financial-services industry. Democratic champions of the Little Guy are always in bed with the Street — they don’t call Barack Obama “President Goldman Sachs” for nothing, but Mrs. Clinton has room for Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice and their 10 best friends. Multiple trips to Goldman Sachs. Morgan Stanley. Deutsche Bank. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. UBS Wealth Management.
As the character of Che Guevara sings in “Evita”: “And the money kept rolling in.” And all at the bargain price of $225,000 a pop . . . to say what? We don’t know, because Hillary won’t release the transcripts.