The Clin­ton money-mar­ket ac­count

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY WES­LEY PRUDEN

If we can be­lieve Hil­lary Clin­ton (and there’s no rea­son why any­one should), she and Bubba have gone from “dead broke” when they left the White House to ac­cu­mu­lat­ing riches that beg­gar Croe­sus, the an­cient king of Ly­dia, and Mi­das, who was rich even be­fore he started sell­ing muf­flers for Pon­ti­acs and Chevys. Nev­er­the­less, Hil­lary and Bubba are lining up now for sec­onds.

Bubba was al­ways un­touch­able, hav­ing es­tab­lished that he was a sin­ner from Hot Springs, where they knew about sin­ning, a good ol’ boy who just couldn’t help him­self. The ladies were suck­ers for a wink and a smile, and the men en­vied his gift for get­ting away with what needed get­ting away with. He once even re­cruited a panel of preach­ers to ex­am­ine his ethics, but he never sub­mit­ted a promised copy of the di­ag­no­sis.

But that was then, and this is now, and the present day is a dif­fer­ent day. Hil­lary has none of the Clin­ton charm. Un­fair as it may be, and life as JFK re­minded us is of­ten un­fair, ladies can some­times get by with gifts of looks and grace, but rarely with a ras­cal’s de­ceit and charm.

The big me­dia that gave Bubba all the breaks he needed and Hil­lary all the sym­pa­thy that a wronged wife is en­ti­tled to, seem to be in no mood this time to over­look the high crimes and mis­de­meanors that would have dis­patched an­other pres­i­dent to obliv­ion long ago, rel­e­gated to speak­ing to Ro­tary Clubs and Ladies Aid So­ci­eties for noth­ing more than Cer­tifi­cates of Ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

Some pres­i­dents have left of­fice with a nest egg. Oth­ers leave of­fice with a goose egg. Harry Tru­man drove home with Bess in a bat­tered old Ply­mouth, and when some­one asked him later what he did when he got back to the house in In­de­pen­dence, the new ex-pres­i­dent replied: “I took the suit­cases up to the at­tic.” Then he went to work on his mem­oirs and his li­brary. He set an ex­am­ple other pres­i­dents could fol­low.

Hil­lary might get by with her neg­li­gence over Benghazi, even her at­tempt to cover up cold and brazen in­dif­fer­ence to ex­pla­na­tions now — “what dif­fer­ence, at this point, does it make?” Most Amer­i­cans might be will­ing to give her a pass be­cause for­eign af­fairs are alien, so to speak, to most Amer­i­cans. But every­body rec­og­nizes money and un­der­stands greed and avarice, which the Clin­tons have demon­strated in such abun­dance. The big me­dia that slept through the cor­rup­tion of the early Clin­ton years seems to be wak­ing up.

The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ports that Bubba has col­lected $26 mil­lion in speaker’s fees from gov­ern­ments, in­sti­tu­tions and in­di­vid­u­als that do­nated as well to the Clin­ton Global Ini­tia­tive, an arm of the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion. A Rus­sian in­vest­ment bank paid him a not-so­cool half-mil­lion dol­lars to make a sin­gle speech in Moscow. That’s what any­one would call ini­tia­tive. The New York Times re­ports that the State Depart­ment, un­der the guiding hand of Hil­lary, ap­proved the sale of ura­nium mines to a Rus­sian com­pany that had do­nated $2.3 mil­lion to the Clin­ton Global Ini­tia­tive.

There’s more. Reuters, the Bri­tish news agency, re­ports that five of the Clin­ton fam­ily’s char­i­ties — new groups sprout from the Clin­ton amal­ga­ma­tion like mush­rooms af­ter a spring rain — are fil­ing amended tax re­turns af­ter Reuters found “er­rors” about how they re­ported dona­tions from for­eign gov­ern­ments in the orig­i­nal re­turns. Co­in­ci­dences fol­low the Clin­tons like a dog fol­low­ing a meat wagon.

The co­in­ci­dences ac­cel­er­ated af­ter Barack Obama went to the White House. Bubba rec­og­nized profit in an as­so­ci­a­tion with a man whom he didn’t like very much, and who re­turned the sen­ti­ment. He showed Mr. Obama how Hil­lary as sec­re­tary of state could help him, one hand wash­ing the other, or in this case one hand wash­ing and the other grab­bing. “Bill Clin­ton’s been able to con­tinue to be the Bill Clin­ton we know in large part be­cause of his re­la­tion­ship with the White House and be­cause his wife is the sec­re­tary of State,” a Clin­ton as­so­ciate tells Ryan Lizza of New Yorker mag­a­zine. “It worked out very well for him. That may be a very cyn­i­cal way to look at it, but that’s a fact. A lot of the stuff he’s do­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally is aided by his level of ac­cess.”

Maybe th­ese gen­er­ous for­eign donors don’t ex­pect to get any­thing for their mil­lions. Maybe they’re just in­ter­ested in good gov­ern­ment. Maybe they just want to be en­ter­tained. More likely, they’re smart in­vestors look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties. If Hil­lary gets back to the White House, we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. A pres­i­dent trumps a sec­re­tary of State. Ka-ching, ka-ching. Wes­ley Pruden is edi­tor emer­i­tus of The Wash­ing­ton Times.

Harry S Tru­man

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