"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.
Big Pharma and health-care companies also make the list; they want to keep on the good side of the woman who tried to force HillaryCare down our throats in 1993 and who’s sure to morph ObamaCare into the “single-payer” socialized-medicine model so beloved of “progressives.” So say hello to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores ($225,000) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society ($225,500).
The entertainment industry has an enormous effect on the popular culture, so no surprise seeing the A&E Networks on the list. American Jews donate lustily to the Democratic Party, so throw in the Beth El Synagogue in Minneapolis and the Jewish United Fund of Chicago.
The United Fresh Produce Association. The National Automobile Dealers Association ponied up $325,000. Even eBay forked over protection money, er, an honorarium. Because taking care of constituents is what the Clintons do — as long as the constituents take care of them.
As “Clinton Cash,” a new documentary based on Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book, shows in excruciating, irrefutable detail, it’s always “pay to play” with the Clintons, whether personally or via their family racket, the Clinton Foundation (which includes the Clinton Global Initiative). They’ve sucked up vast sums of “contributions” from some of the most unsavory folks on the planet, including Nigerian dictators and Kazakhstani despots.
But it’s their parlaying of “public service” by two career “civil servants” into personal enrichment that’s shameless.
Bill Clinton’s speaking fees skyrocketed just days after Hillary’s nomination as secretary of state in 2009. Corporations, such as TD Bank, that had never paid a dime to hear him speak suddenly bellied up to the bar, waving fistfuls of cash. Coincidentally, TD Bank was the largest investor in the Keystone XL pipeline, which needed approval from the new secretary of state. Hillary dodged and weaved and Obama later nixed it, — but the Clintons kept the cash. It makes sense to make friends with the woman who might just be the next president. But what does that say about what the office has become?
As Obama has shown, there’s now essentially no limit on the president’s power: He can dictate overtime wages (via executive decree), the forcible integration of the suburbs (via HUD) and even sexually integrate bathrooms (under Title IX). No wonder private companies want to cozy up to the White House. Your business is now the president’s business, if he or she wants it to be.
But, should Hillary attain the White House, you ain’t seen nothing yet. For the Clintons, who once rented out the Lincoln Bedroom, too much doesn’t even approach being enough.
Here's how much Hillary Clinton was paid for her 2013-2015 speeches:
4/18/2013, Morgan Stanley Washington, DC: $225,000
4/24/2013, Deutsche Bank Washington, DC: $225,000
4/24/2013, National Multi Housing Council Dallas, TX: $225,000
4/30/2013, Fidelity Investments Naples, FL: $225,000
5/8/2013, Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA: $225,000
5/14/2013, Apollo Management Holdings, LP New York, NY: $225,000
5/16/2013, Itau BBA USA Securities New York, NY: $225,000
5/21/2013, Vexizon Communications, Inc. Washington, DC: $225,000
5/29/2013, Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., LLC New York, NY: $225,000
6/4/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group Palmetto Bluffs, SC: $225,000
6/6/2013, Spencer Stuart New York, NY: $225,000
6/16/2013, Society for Human Resource Management Chicago, IL: $285,000
6/17/2013, Economic Club of Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, MI: $225,000
6/20/2013, Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Boston, MA: $225,000
6/20/2013, Let's Talk Entertainment, Inc. Toronto, Canada: $250,000
6/24/2013, American Jewish University Universal City, CA: $225,000
6/24/2013, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Company, LP Palos Verdes, CA: $225,000
7/11/2013, UBS Wealth Management New York, NY: $225,000
8/7/2013, Global Business Travel Association San Diego, CA: $225,000
8/12/2013, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Las Vegas, NV: $225,000
9/18/2013, American Society for Clinical Pathology Chicago, IL: $225,000
9/19/2013, American Society of Travel Agents, Inc. Miami, FL: $225,000
10/4/2013, Long Island Association Long Island, NY: $225,000
10/15/2013, National Association of Convenience Stores Atlanta, GA: $265,000
10/23/2013, SAP Global Marketing, Inc. New York, NY: $225,000
10/24/2013, Accenture New York, NY: $225,000
10/24/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group New York, NY: $225,000
10/27/2013, Beth El Synagogue Minneapolis, AIN: $225,000
10/28/2013, Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Chicago, IL: $400,000
10/29/2013, The Goldman Sachs Group Tuscon, AZ: $225,000
11/4/2013, Mase Productions, Inc. Orlando, FL: $225,000
11/4/2013, London Drugs, Ltd. Mississauga, ON: $225,000
11/6/2013, Beaumont Health System Troy, 111: $305,000
11/7/2013, Golden Tree Asset Management New York, NY: $275,000
11/9/2013, National Association of Realtors San Francisco, CA: $225,000
11/13/2013, Mediacorp Canada, Inc. Toronto, Canada: $225,000
11/13/2013, Bank of America Bluffton, SC: $225,000
11/14/2013, CB Richard Ellis, Inc. New York, NY: $250,000
11/18/2013, CIIE Group Naples, FL: $225,000
11/18/2013, Press Ganey Orlando, FL: $225,000
11/21/2013, U.S. Green Building Council Philadelphia, PA: $225,000
01/06/2014, GE Boca Raton, Fl.: $225,500
01/27/2014, National Automobile Dealers Association New Orleans, La.: $325,500
01/27/2014, Premier Health Alliance Miami, Fl.: $225,500
02/06/2014, Salesforce.com Las Vegas, Nv.: $225,500
02/17/2014, Novo Nordisk A/S Mexico City, Mexico: $125,000
02/26/2014, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Orlando, Fl.: $225,500
02/27/2014, A&E Television Networks New York, N.Y.: $280,000
03/04/2014, Association of Corporate Counsel - Southern California Los Angeles, Ca.: $225,500
03/05/2014, The Vancouver Board of Trade Vancouver, Canada: $275,500
03/06/2014, tinePublic Inc. Calgary, Canada: $225,500
03/13/2014, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association Orlando, Fl.: $225,500
03/13/2014, Drug Chemical and Associated Technologies New York, N.Y.: $250,000
03/18/2014, Xerox Corporation New York, N.Y.: $225,000
03/18/2014, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal Montreal, Canada: $275,000
03/24/2014, Academic Partnerships Dallas, Tx.: $225,500
04/08/2014, Market° Inc. San Francisco, Ca.: $225,500
04/08/2014, World Affairs Council Portland, Or.: $250,500
04/10/2014, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. Las Vegas, Nv.: $225,500
04/10/2014, Lees Talk Entertainment San Jose, Ca.: $265,000
04/11/2014, California Medical Association (via satellite) San Diego, Ca.: $100,000
05/06/2014, National Council for Behavioral Healthcare Washington D.C.: $225,500
06/02/2014, International Deli-Dairy-Bakery Association Denver, Co.: $225,500
06/02/2014, Lees Talk Entertainment Denver, Co.: $265,000
06/10/2014, United Fresh Produce Association Chicago, II.: $225,000
06/16/2014, tinePublic Inc. Toronto, Canada: $150,000
06/18/2014, tinePublic Inc. Edmonton, Canada: $100,000
06/20/2014, Innovation Arts and Entertainment Austin, Tx.: $150,000
06/25/2014, Biotechnology Industry Organization San Diego, Ca.: $335,000
06/25/2014, Innovation Arts and Entertainment San Francisco, Ca.: $150,000
06/26/2014, GTCR Chicago, II.: $280,000
07/22/2014, Knewton, Inc. San Francisco, Ca.: $225,500
07/26/2014, Ameriprise Boston, Ma.: $225,500
07/29/2014, Coming, Inc. Coming, N.Y.: $225,500
08/28/2014, Nexenta Systems, Inc. San Francisco, Ca.: $300,000
08/28/2014, Cisco Las Vegas, Nv.: $325,000
09/04/2014, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP San Diego, Ca.: $225,500
09/15/2014, Caridovascular Research Foundation Washington D.C.: $275,000
10/02/2014, Commercial Real Estate Women Network Miami Beach, Fl.: $225,500
10/06/2014, Canada 2020 Ottawa, Canada: $215,500
10/07/2014, Deutsche Bank AG New York, N.Y.: $280,000
10/08/2014, Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) Chicago, II.: $265,000
10/13/2014, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers Colorado Springs, Co.: $225,500
10/14/2014, Salesforce.com San Francisco, Ca.: $225,500
10/14/2014, Qualcomm Incorporated San Diego, Ca.: $335,000
12/04/2014, Massachusetts Conference for Women Boston, Ma.: $205,500
01/21/2015, tinePublic Inc. Winnipeg, Canada: $262,000
01/21/2015, tinePublic Inc. Saskatoon, Canada: $262,500
01/22/2015, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Whistler, Canada: $150,000
02/24/2015, Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women Santa Clara, Ca.: $225,500
03/11/2015, eBay Inc. San Jose, Ca.: $315,000
03/19/2015, American Camping Association Atlantic City, NJ.: $260,000
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