Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street

While the news about Donald Trump’s assaults of women were bad enough, what makes it worse (for Trump) is that the release by WikiLeaks of what are allegedly excerpts of speeches by Hillary Clinton to big Wall Street firms also emerged yesterday, but that news was buried by his own scandal, preventing his campaign from taking advantage of them. The excerpts, if true, confirm the view that she was paid huge fees not because she gave them valuable advice but for demonstrating her eagerness for them to see her as their friend, to praise the wealthy banking industry, suggesting that they may be the best at regulating themselves (!), holding some views on trade and immigration that are contrary to those she has adopted during her campaign, and even supporting people who have advocated for cutting Social Security. She also said that she has ‘private’ and public’ positions on issues, the kind of duplicity of politicians that should come as no surprise to anyone.

But there are signs in the emails released by WikiLeaks that she also took a fairly progressive stance on certain topics, including health care reform.

During a talk in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2013, Clinton praised the single-payer model for health care reform. “If you look at the single-payer systems, like Scandinavia, Canada, and elsewhere, they can get costs down because, you know, although their care, according to statistics, overall is as good or better on primary care,” she said, adding that there were some drawbacks. “They do impose things like waiting times, you know.”

But during the campaign this year, she dismissed the idea, declaring that single payer will “never, ever” happen in the U.S. Audio obtained by The Intercept last week showed Clinton dismissing the concept of free health care during another private event with donors.

As an aside, earlier in the week, the rightwing fever swamps were thrilled at a suggestion from WikiLeaks that on Tuesday WikiLeaks would release such damaging information on Clinton that her campaign would be over and that she would be immediately hauled off to prison. The anticipation was so intense that Alex Jones of InfoWars and other alt-right media outlets were on the air early at 4:00am Central Time to broadcast live a press conference by Julian Assange that would reveal the sensational news.

But it turned out that Assange, taking a leaf from Trump’s big birther announcement, had trolled them. For over two hours Assange used the event to celebrate WikiLeaks’s 10th anniversary and plug the organization. Watch the first three minutes of this video and then jump to the 20-minute mark again for a few more minutes to get the flavor of what happened.

The arch-conspiracist Jones is usually hyperventilating but this time he was so apoplectic that you feared he would burst a blood vessel.

Good times.


  1. Bakunin says

    As much as Clinton offends my socialist tendencies with her support of Wall Street, nothing I saw in the speeches was any shock. Clinton wants financier input on any regulations that affect them, admits she is distant from the middle class at this point in her life, and supports free trade. Hardly a surprise for anyone who has ever listened to her.

    With the alternative being an outright fascist, I’ll check the box and go back to worrying about local stuff. Angsting over a half-pointless presidential race is going to accomplish less for me than working towards local goals.

  2. KG says

    If Wikileaks had released these transcripts during the primary, they might have had an impact: they would have focused debate on exactly the points where Sanders was attacking Clinton. Maybe they didn’t ye have them. Or maybe Assange, who’s a “libertarian”, did not want to risk the self-defined socialist Sanders winning the nomination, and possibly the presidency.

  3. Blood Knight in Sour Armor says

    I didn’t see anything particularly damning in there. All it indicates is that M.Secretary practices realpolitik… not necessarily a bad thing.

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