A day after suffering a 22 point defeat in the New Hampshire Primary to upstart Socialist Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has to be hitting the panic button.
Her campaign has another major ticking time bomb: the content of the speeches that she gave at Goldman Sachs, and other big banks.
Back in 2012, Mitt Romney gave a private speech to a room full of donors in South Florida. During the speech, he was secretly video-taped saying that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay any federal income taxes, and would therefore never vote for him.
It piled on to a narrative that Romney was a corporate baron who dismissed poor people.
It was devastating for his campaign.
This all brings us to the content of Hillary Clinton’s speeches she was paid to give at Goldman Sachs in 2013. She has ducked the question on whether the content would be released by saying that “she would look into it.”
She has stated that a lot of the speeches were about leadership, tough decisions, and her experience as secretary of state. I have no doubt those things were covered, as would be expected at a paid speech by a former senior member of the government.
If that were all that was said, then releasing the transcripts would be a no-brainer, but Politico.com has reported that is not the case. Audience members of the speech are saying that she spoke glowingly about Goldman Sachs as a job-creating business.
One witness said it sounded like she was a managing director at Goldman.
This is crushing to a campaign that has struggled to catch up to the messaging battle they are losing to Bernie Sanders.
The Democratic Party has been moving more and more to the left which is why Sanders’ message has caught fire. He is consistent in his approach that big business and Wall Street in particular have been ripping off the public.
He has gone as far to say that the Wall Street business model is fraud. Sanders feels that they should be taxed more to provide single-payer healthcare, expanded Social Security, and free public college for all.
Clinton’s campaign has responded with a flat-footed “if you liked what he said, then I will do that, and I can actually get it done . . . ”
Clinton’s campaign has lacked a cohesive message. With Sanders resonating with the base of the party, she has had to tact far to the left. It looks like she is just chasing Sanders.
In response, she claims a record of being hard on the financial industry via her votes for financial regulation, etc. It is now being revealed that she was speaking enthusiastically about the poster child for Wall Street excess while being paid $225,000 per speech.
If the full transcripts are released, and they confirmed Hillary delivered a joyful tone about Goldman’s business, this could be the 47 percent moment of Hillary ’16. The campaign has scrambled to dismiss requests for the transcripts which will only lead to greater scrutiny.
There were enough attendees at those speeches that the transcripts may not even be necessary to inflict serious damage to a campaign that has steadily bled off support since it was launched.
With the FBI investigating the email scandal, this may be too much deceit for primary voters. At a certain point, even her most ardent supporters have to think twice about her when she has just not been straight with them.
With a Super PAC that has $15 million of Wall Street funding, it is difficult for Hillary to run as a sheriff of Wall Street.
She could probably overcome the optics of financial support of Wall Street, but if she was speaking to them like they are saving the world, that may be unforgivable to those Democrats who remain undecided.
Hillary Clinton looks weak, like last week. She has run a traditional campaign with a vague message, while her opponent has been an unabashedly populist liberal.
After narrowly escaping Iowa with a razor-thin win, only to get crushed in New Hampshire, the trend for her candidacy is not going up.
Her campaign has been behind the curve for a year, and this is yet another hurdle that she may not be able to clear.
Kevin Broderick serves as a consultant for a Fortune 500 Insurer in the Employee Benefits marketplace for large employers. He received a finance degree from Providence College. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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