The Politics of Personal Profit
Trump tones it down a bit
Donald Trump looked as presidential as ever last Wednesday when he read his speech slamming Hillary Clinton from a teleprompter. Avoiding his many times incomprehensible off-the-cuff remarks, Trump seemed to finally give what many supporters were hoping for, a somewhat “toned down” Donald.
Trump’s speech hit all the right notes. His “rigged system” rhetoric resonates with many Americans, especially Bernie Sanders supporters. Trump hit the nail on the head with one line, saying, “We will never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who rigged it in the first place.” This makes sense for voters on both sides of the aisle who are upset and underserved by self-serving politicians. One cannot fully realize how broken the system is if they are a part of that very system.
Reaching out to Sanders supporters directly, Trump said, “That’s why we’re asking Bernie Sanders’ voters to join our movement: so together we can fix the system for ALL Americans.” With Sanders finally saying that “It doesn’t appear” that he will be the Democratic nominee after all, perhaps some actually will vote for the billionaire over the crook come November.
Trump turned to his attention to his general election opponent, Mrs. Clinton, calling her “a world-class liar,” something usually framed in much softer language. However, this election has been anything but normal so far. With both Trump and Clinton already calling each other liars, unfit to be president, where do we go from there?
Getting back to the speech, likely Trump’s best so far, his attack on Clinton came direct and on message. One bombshell he dropped: “Hillary Clinton may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States.” This does not sugarcoat what the Donald thinks about his Democratic opponent. She has gotten very rich while supposedly performing “public service.” Her comingling of politics with profit is something that she and her husband have mastered:
“Hillary Clinton has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft… She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund – doing favors for oppressive regimes, and many others, in exchange for cash… Together, she and Bill made $153 million giving speeches to lobbyists, CEOs, and foreign governments in the years since 2001. They totally own her, and that will never change.”
This kind of tough talk is what many conservatives have been waiting for. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation surely does some charitable work, but it has also helped make the former presidential couple insanely rich. While Hillary was Secretary of State, her husband gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million, during which time his wife presided over America’s foreign policy. Keep in mind, many of these speeches were to foreign governments who had trade or defense agreements pending with the U.S., while others were to corporations that had business in front of the state department. The fact that this shady action was allowed to continue is a horrific reality that Bill and Hillary used to their advantage. Using her own email server, Mrs. Clinton was able to cloak the fact that she was using her prominent political position to pad her and her husband’s pockets.
For more on the Clinton political profit machine, read Peter Schweitzer’s 2015 book, It’s a solid read that points out way too many convenient coincidences. Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
Will Donald J. Trump be President of the United States in 2017?
Clinton can’t campaign, can’t connect
While Trump has been busy trying to revamp his image going into the mid-July Republican convention, speaking to reporters on a daily basis, Mrs. Clinton has been busy not talking to the press at all. Hillary Clinton went 200 days without holding a formal press conference in which members of the press can ask her questions.
She has done plenty of sit-down interviews with cozy members of the media and delivered multiple campaign speeches. Clinton has also taken the occasional question from reporters covering her second run at the White House. Perhaps she is finally realizing that her campaigning for president, is doing her more harm than good.
“One thing that has never happened as a result of a Hillary Clinton campaign” started Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC in February after the New Hampshire primary, “is her poll numbers going up, they have never gone up.” O’Donnell continued, “nothing she did in her 2008 campaign made her number go up, they know that in the Clinton campaign, a Hillary Clinton campaign has never increased its share of voters.” What does this say about a candidate that once she starts campaigning, her numbers go down? Good thing her numbers always start out so high!
Yet, Clinton continues with her same carefully orchestrated and choreographed interviews with friendly members of the entertainment world. As T. Beckett Adams pointed out in the Washington Examiner recently, “a taped interview with Ellen DeGeneres is not the same thing as facing a gaggle of reporters eager to make their mark by catching the candidate with an uncomfortable question.” Therefore, she has made sure to not put herself in too precarious a position, knowing very well that there is plenty out there for reporters to dig into.
The last time Clinton hosted a press conference was on December 4th, before a single vote was cast in the Democratic presidential primary, according to the Washington Post. It was also just before Donald Trump would become the presumed GOP nominee.
A Clinton administration would without a doubt be very secretive, but, it might not get there because Hillary is that out of touch with the rest of America.
In 2014, Mrs. Clinton said that she and her husband “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.” Apparently dead broke for the Clinton’s is a total income of $16.2 million. Today, the Clinton’s net worth is as much as $52.7 million, not counting their million dollar homes in Washington and New York.
As Bernie Sanders made the least amount of money of any Senator currently holding office, Mrs. Clinton collected six figure speaking fees, traveling around in ultimate luxury. In 2014, Clinton was paid $225,000 to speak at UNLV, but that wasn’t enough. She also needed: a private jet, first class airfare for one of her aides, business-class airfare for two of her aides, and a presidential hotel suite for her at the five-star Bellagio, plus “up to three adjoining rooms for her travel aides and up to two additional single rooms for the advance staff,” according to the leaked advance documents.
In April, Mrs. Clinton wore a $12,495 Armani jacket during a speech about income inequality. The former first lady is so out of touch, she has actually hired a team of image experts, tasked with “shaping her style and making her more relatable,” according to the New York Post.
Luckily for Hillary Clinton, a crucial story about her email investigation was released on Friday. Lost in the mountain of news following the historical ‘Brexit’ vote, The Wall Street Journal broke a story on how former the former secretary of state did not turn over a key email in which she expressed concern about her correspondence being accessible by the public. Great timing on the State Department’s half, now no one will hear about this.
“Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in response to a suggestion that she obtain a government email account. This email exchange reveals Clinton’s desire to keep some things from the public.
This exchange was uncovered as part of a State Department Inspector General investigation into the use of email by Mrs. Clinton, however, it was not included in the emails already turned over to the State Department, raising questions about the thoroughness of her disclosures and record-keeping practices as secretary of state.
Can Clinton close? Or will Trump tumble?
While Donald Trump is far from perfect, he is at least not using his seat in government to enrich himself. Sure, he supports eminent domain, a form of government abuse, but, that is nowhere near the level of greed that the former secretary of state has exhibited.
Mark Davis, Dallas-based radio talk show host, said that questions over Trump’s conservatism should not drive Republicans into the arms of Hillary Clinton. He believes many are far too worried of the long-lasting damage Trump will bring on the Republican party, even conservatism itself.
“The GOP is at any moment a portrait of its presidential candidates,” Davis wrote in the Dallas Morning News. “Even a high-Richter-scale phenomenon like Trump will affect the party for as long as voters wish it to, and not one moment longer.” The Trump phenomenon is worth asking questions about, but if Republicans think Trump is the end of conservatism, they are out of step with reality. How was John McCain (supporter of amnesty for illegal immigrants) or Mitt Romney (architect of Obamacare in Massachusetts) the perfect conservative standard bearer?
Neither of the main political parties in America stand for true conservative values anymore. Liberty and limited government have given way to security and big government.
Davis thinks if “we can get all hands on deck focused on the necessity of defeating Hillary, it could be a considerable force.” Still, many in the Republican party are looking to push Trump off the throne.
Conservative writer, George Will, has had enough of the Republican party. “This is not my party,” Will said during a speech at an event. Switching to unaffiliated, the columnist has gone so far as to urge conservatives to not support Trump.
Will is accepting defeat for the GOP in 2016, acknowledging that it is a “little too late” for the party to find a replacement for Trump. But, the Washington Post opinion writer goes one step further, saying, “Make sure he loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House.” So, not only does Will think the party is doomed, but, he also wants the rest of the party to wait four more years for the presidency, rather than support someone like Mr. Trump. Will’s departure from the GOP, however, plays right into the billionaire real estate developer’s hands.
Columnists like Will have been presenting the same arguments and supporting the same politicians for some time, and what has that gotten us? Preferring the same status quo politician is not what the country needs now, so goes Trump’s argument. Therefore, we need someone new who will shake up the system, returning power to the people, something Mr. Will, and the media elite clustered around NYC and DC will never understand.
If Trump can tone it down and keep it tight, he very well could defeat Clinton in the fall. If new campaign manager Paul Manafort can keep the Trump train on the tracks, as opposed to derailing itself with talks of a Muslim ban and attacking a judge for his heritage, then we could have a President Trump in 2017.
Trump needs to keep his message on jobs and the economy. If he can set up the dichotomy between Clinton, the lifelong politician, and himself, the entrepreneur and job creator, then more Americans will come to support him over Hillary. Clinton cannot connect to the millions of struggling Americans across the country, Trump, with his direct way of speaking, somehow, can.
We cannot keep sending the same old politicians to Washington. Hillary Clinton is the epitome of the political establishment. Trump, for all his flaws, would be a breath of fresh air that could be the beginning of a much needed political revolution in this country.
Does Trump have the ability to do what he has to do to win? Is that even possible?
Many thought Britain leaving the European Union was impossible.