Hillary Clinton Coming Under Increasing Fire as ‘The Goldman Sachs Candidate for President’
The American middle class has been suffering for several years in the wake of the financial crisis that began at the end of President Bush’s second term, stretched into President Obama’s presidency, and involved the government bailout of big banks. So it’s an awkward time to be the candidate bankrolled — literally — by Goldman Sachs, or what the Democratic base derisively refers to as “Gold Sacks.”
Hillary Clinton is facing more and more heat for accepting $675,000 to give just three speeches to Goldman Sachs employees. What exactly is that hefty fee buying? Critics contend there is a “revolving door between Wall Street and Washington,” where Wall Street execs shuffle back and forth from the financial sector to key jobs working for their friends in Washington, where they are able to influence financial laws and regulations. Yet despite all the heavy criticism Wall Street has taken in recent years, Clinton still chose to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from PACs, employees, directors and their families associated with the biggest banks.
At last week’s Democratic presidential primary debate in New Hampshire, CNN’s Anderson Cooper grilled her about why she accepted the staggering amount from Goldman Sachs, and she responded, “Well, I don’t know. That’s what they offered. Every secretary of state has done that.”
Actually, previous secretaries of state haven’t received anywhere near the amount Clinton received. The Washington Free Beacon looked into it and found that Condoleezza “Rice is the only former secretary of state that has come close to making as much as Clinton for speeches. She once received $150,000 for a speech at the University of Minnesota.” However, Rice’s speech to a university does not carry the accompanying concern that Wall Street is trying to buy a future president, since Rice had no plans to run for office again when she gave that speech. In contrast, it has been no secret that Clinton was planning to run for president, as she did in 2008.
Clinton is trying to dismiss her Wall Street ties, but the left-leaning Huffington Post called her out on receiving the most donations of all the presidential candidates from Wall Street. She “leads all candidates, with $432,610 from big banks’ executives, employees and their spouses,” HuffPo Money in Politics reporter Paul Blumenthal wrote on July 23. “This includes banks like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, UBS, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.”
Apparently not even President Obama received this level of contributions in his race against Hillary. “A majority of the big bank donors — 136 out of 227 — giving to Clinton’s campaign did not give to either of Obama’s campaigns,” The Huffington Post reported.
The highest contributor to Clinton’s campaign is a bank, Citigroup, Inc., with $824,402 (from its PAC, employees, directors and their families), followed by Goldman Sachs. In contrast, Ted Cruz, whose wife actually works for Goldman Sachs, has only received $43,575.
In a column for The New York Times in December, Clinton wrote, “No bank or financial firm should be too big to manage. … No one should be too big to jail.” But her ties to Goldman Sachs are now so strong many doubt she would dare to treat the bank unfavorably. It may be difficult for her to shake the new nickname that has recently cropped up on the campaign trail: “The Goldman Sachs candidate for president.”