The weekly column from Clark Judge:
Waiting For Hillary To Implode? by Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute
Last Saturday, the Washington Post (http://wapo.st/1ntGSZf) reported that California governor Jerry Brown is contemplating a White House run. What is going on here?
We have been hearing for months that former senator and secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a shoo-in for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. She has the resume. She has the money. And solidly behind her, she has the second biggest draw in the Democratic Party, her husband Bill.
So why are Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and now Governor Brown giving thought to jumping in? Others the Post says are testing the tides include senators Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), governors Andrew Cuomo (New York) and Martin O’Malley (Maryland) and, of course, Vice President Joe Biden.
Part of the answer, of course, is that the liberal wing of the party is not happy with Secretary Clinton. Among numerous complaints, they see her as too close to their nemesis, not the GOP but Wall Street. This is ironic, as, in 2008, at least, a big part of the financial community signed up with the left side of the party’s favorite of that election cycle, then senator, now president Barack Obama. But six years later things have changed. Left Democrats are in no mood for such an odd-fellows alliance.
Still, something more may be going on.
Perhaps you saw the recent report about Mrs. Clinton’s speaking fee at a university. It was $200,000. What school can afford to pay that kind of money to anyone for a solitary speech, particularly someone whose every utterance is all over the Internet? There is no way that students heard a single word at the presentation that they couldn’t have heard in some other, far less expensive way. But it turns out that a big time donor gave the school the amount involved on the condition that it be used to bring the former first lady to campus.
Call me suspicious, but that looks a lot like tax avoidance and money laundering. The effect of the transaction was to allow the donor to make a hands-off and tax deductible contribution to a major presidential candidate using the university as a pass through.
Again, call me suspicious, but that too-clever-by-half arrangement has got me wondering about the Clinton Foundation. No doubt it does good works. But with the enormous speaking fees that the Clintons (President and Secretary) are pulling down, to what degree is the foundation being used both as a tax-deductible receiver for essentially political donations and as a tax-free place to shelter the Clinton family fortune? To what degree are the lifestyles of Mrs. Clinton and her husband supported out of those tax free resources? To what extent is their foundation-funded travel being combined with essentially political travel? In other words, to what extent are the foundation’s good works being artfully combined with the Clintons’ self-interested — and otherwise taxable — activities?
It is not as though having questionable financial deals in their closet is anything new for the Clintons. We all remember how, during the couple’s Arkansas years, when Mr. Clinton was governor, Mrs. Clinton made a small fortune in, what was it, oh, yes… a single month of commodity trading. It turned out that her chance of having legitimately encountered the run of luck she claimed during that magic month was in the neighborhood of one trillion to one. What was more (the dog that didn’t bark, if you will), the incredible investment insight she discovered within herself in that month left her so confident of her investment acumen that, apparently, she has never since returned to managing the family’s money.
I am not making a partisan point here. I am trying to get into the heads of all those meditating opponents within Mrs. Clinton’s own party. It must look to them as though, sooner rather than later, she and her campaign will implode. Too much has looked too fishy for too long for them not to.
As of now, the race for the 2016 Republican nomination