For those of us who have been confused by Hillary Clinton’s apparent two-facedness about her position vis-à-vis the big banks comes a much-desired answer in today’s Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal. Although WSJ’s intention in printing it is probably to deter the business-inclined crowd from voting for her, read this extract from the article anyway. Any news of this sort is good news.
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, congratulates Hillary Clinton
. . . At a Goldman Sachs event in 2013, she said “there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives.” You know, like her.
In another speech at a Goldman event, she said, “you are the smartest people.” That must have made the masters of the universe feel better.
She also lamented the “politicizing” of the 2008 financial crisis, as if she has had nothing to do with that. And she told a Deutsche Bank audience that financial reform “really has to come from the industry itself.”
We’re willing to bet that Elizabeth Warren didn’t vet those remarks in advance.
Some voters may see these private remarks as a signal of what they hope will be her pragmatism, and had the transcripts appeared during the primaries they would have cost her progressive political support. But that doesn’t mean she believes what she told the bankers. Our guess is that Mrs. Clinton was conning the bankers whom she knew she would need for campaign checks in addition to those sweet $200,000 speaking fees.
These days public campaign positions are usually the truer expression of political intentions. Politicians certainly lie and flip-flop. But when a presidential candidate says in public that she wants to punish banks with more regulation but in private says she really likes them, believe the public comments. Those are the comments she will pay a political cost for repudiating. Private promises to banking crowds aren’t worth nearly as much as the gullible at Goldman paid for them.
Let’s hope WSJ is on the button.