Spare me the sob stories

Jonathan Turley provides a good take-down of Hillary Clinton’s self-serving assertions in her new book, where she tries to minimize her culpability for endorsing the invasion of Iraq and tries to bond with economically struggling people by saying that she and her husband were ‘dead broke’ when they left the White House and had to struggle to pay their mortgage their daughter’s college tuition.

Apart from the fact that the presidency pays handsomely, beyond the wildest dreams of most people, she and her husband knew full well that they would cash in big on speaking fees after they left office. For these people ‘public service’ is what retail businesses call a ‘loss leader’, where you sell something cheaply or even below cost in order to get people into the store so that they will buy other things too.

So she can spare me the calls for sympathy. The Clintons are grifters through and through and it looks like we are never going to be rid of their toxic presence.


  1. says


    Wikipedia on Stanforg University tuition, where daughter went:

    “Full-time undergraduate tuition was $42,690 for 2013–2014.[114] Stanford’s admission process is need-blind for US citizens and permanent residents; while it is not need-blind for international students, 64% are on need-based aid, with an average aid package of $31,411.[114] In 2012/13, the university awarded $126 million in need-based financial aid to 3,485 students, with an average aid package of $40,460.[114] Eighty percent of students are on some form of financial aid.[114] Stanford’s no-loan policy waives tuition, room, and board for most families with incomes below $60,000, and most families with incomes below $100,000 are not required to pay tuition (those with incomes up to $150,000 may have tuition significantly reduced).[114][115] ”

    So, they made too much money to get free or reduced tuition, and no way was their daughter going to a regular-people school. Cry me a goddamned river.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    To be fair to the lying bastards -- the Clintons did run up huge personal legal bills to fend off the ’90’s version of the teabaggers hounding them for minor misbehavior.

    If only they had faced prosecution for their (well, basically his) actual crimes…

  3. colnago80 says

    The Clinton’s were broke and in debt after they left the White House for a very simple reason. They had magabucks of attorney’s fees courtesy of Special Prosecutor right wing Rethuglican thug Ken Starr. I daresay that almost anybody not worth millions would be in equally bad financial shape if they were pursued by a fanatical prosecutor like Starr. Don’t believe it, just look back to what happened to Clay Shaw who went bankrupt in lawyer’s fees defending himself against the Jolly Green Giant Jim Garrison and his absurd accusations of complicity in the Kennedy Assassination. Garrison tried to railroad Shaw but the jury acquitted him after less then an hour of deliberations. Look also what happened to the parents of the 3 lacrosse players at Duke University who spent over a million dollars in attorney’s fees defending their kids against crooked prosecutor Michael Nifong. It could happen to you professor.

  4. lorn says

    I think that Mano Singham’s views on the Clintons are far to emotion based and taken out of context to constitute a fair analysis. The history is far too complicated and fraught to draw easy conclusions. The Clintons were immersed in a corrosive atmosphere where every move, word, real or imagined, was milked for maximum, shame, humiliation, and political effect. There were literally hundreds of pieces written on Hillary’s clothing. Nothing was too insignificant to dwell and speculate on, and every speculation opened up another line of critique and inquiry.

    The Clintons were raked over the coals in the media, from the pulpits (Murder anyone), legally, and financially. The GOP made an art form of character assassination and applied everything they learned on them. No accusation was too foul and underhanded.

    I also think the characterization as “grifters” is out of line. Every politician has a product line to sell: themselves and their image. It is how you get the money to run for office and it is how you get elected. Marketing and money are big parts of the political system in the US.

    Yes, the Clintons are in the 1%, as is the low end of normal for most people with their level of educational attainment. By Washington standards for senators they are quite poor. They aren’t saffron robes and begging bowl poor but considering their positions as governor, senator, cabinet secretary, and president it is kind of surprising how poor they are. They clearly haven’t ‘gone-for-the-gold.

    For a comparison check out Newt Gingrich, what position he has held, and how much he is worth.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    I enjoyed/cringed at this LGM fantasy interview;

    Sawyer: Let’s talk about your family’s income after the two of you left the White House. Your husband has been paid more than $100 million to give speeches, and you’ve received two multimillion dollar book advances, as well as being paid $200,000 per speech. Does this seem . . . I’m searching for the right word here . . .

    Clinton: Wrong?

    Sawyer: Well not wrong, exactly, and of course certainly not illegal, but some might say it’s unseemly for public officials to profit from their time in office in this way.

    Clinton: No, I’m pretty much going to go with wrong. It’s wrong, first, because it’s completely obscene that we have an economic system in which some people “earn” one thousand or ten thousand times as much income as other people. Second, while this would be wrong under any circumstances, it’s especially wrong because the people who earn $12,000 per year are usually doing something that has obvious social value, like taking care of children, or cooking food, or cleaning things that need cleaning, while the people making $12,000,000 or $120,000,000,000 per year are usually doing things like speculating in the financial markets, or giving banal speeches to people who speculate in financial markets — two activities that have no apparent social value whatsoever.

    Or, to choose another example at random, perhaps they’re doing interviews like this one, in which a celebrity journalist who is paid $12,000,000 per year asks a celebrity politician questions written by someone else about the celebrity politician’s basically fake “book” — also written by someone else, needless to say.

  6. Mano Singham says

    The Clintons have been raking in the money right after leaving office. She is now worth an estimated $21.5 million. Her husband is worth an estimated $80 million. She gives talks to some of the worst elements in the financial world at $200,000 per speech. I am not sure I understand how lorn can speak of them as poor.

    One thing for certain is that they are not are fools. They may have spent a lot on lawyers while in office but they knew they would recoup far more than that once they left office and they did.

  7. colnago80 says

    I seem to recall that Ronnie the rat was paid some 2 million US dollars for a speech in Japan after he left office. Kind of makes ole Bill look like a piker. The Clintons were fortunate that they had the opportunity to make money to pay off their lawyers after they left office. Clay Shaw and the parents of the lacrosse players who were victimized by corrupt prosecutors were not so lucky.

  8. Nick Gotts says

    The mystery is why Hillary Clinton wants to be President -- if indeed she does: it’s just occurred to me that she may just be keeping up her market value as a speaker and name-on-the-book-cover as long as possible. But clearly, neither of them need ever work again, so she doesn’t even need to do that, and she’s 66. Why not a comfortable retirement? Does she really feel she can do something for America or the world that no-one else can? Is it pure ego, the desire to stay in the public eye and be the first woman President?

  9. colnago80 says

    Re Nick Gotts @ #10

    It’s very simple. She wants to be the first woman president of the US. Period, end of story. It has nothing to do with money. Mitt Rmoney had a hell of a lot more money then the Clintons and was nearly Clinton’s age. He had no need to work either.

  10. Mano Singham says

    @Nick #10,

    I would like tho think that this is just a marketing ploy as you suggest and that she will fade away later but this review says that the nature of this book suggests that she is going to run.

    Without the reality of a coming candidacy, the rest of the book just doesn’t make any sense. This is a campaign book, written by a candidate (via her speechwriters), processed through a political machine, and delivered to the public with the contradictory goals of depicting the author as a decisive leader and not betraying any evidence of leadership that would turn a voter off.

    Real people who aren’t running for office do not write like this. They do not think like this. They do not try to string together feel-good words in decisive ways that pretend at taking bold stands on the future without actually taking any stand. There are no clear-thinking Americans who do not want “inclusive politics” or “common purpose.” There is no one in public or private life in this country who does not want to “unleash the creativity, potential and opportunity” of the nation. So why write it? Because it is campaign mumbo-jumbo, and campaign mumbo-jumbo works if you want to win elections.

  11. colnago80 says

    Re Mano Singham @ #12

    It’s all very well to decry Ms. Clinton but the fact is that are any of the other potential candidates any better? Maybe Elizabeth Warren, possibly Martin O’Malley. Andrew Cuomo is probably worse, Kirsten Gillibrand is a former blue dog Democrat who moved left after going to the Senate. Mark Warner is a centrist Democrat, although you can’t run as Elizabeth Warren statewide in a purple state like Virginia (it should be pointed out that Jim Moran initially ran as a centrist Democrat but moved left as the 8th congressional district became more blue over time). Maybe the good professor has someone else in mind.

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