One of the greatest political mysteries of this campaign season — what Hillary Clinton told Wall Street types in speeches for which she was very well compensated — has been revealed. Too bad for Donald Trump it came on the same day an 11-year-old recording of him saying some crude and sexually-charged comments about women came to light.
If this were an election focused solely on policy, Friday's WikiLeaks release of transcript excerpts of some of those Clinton speeches along with a trove of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta could be a game changer. They reveal a candidate staking ground on some key issues that's different from what she's campaigning on today or they emphasize topics she'd rather not discuss anymore.
But, of course, this election isn't really about policy. It's about personality, a face-off between two polarizing figures, each with a passionate base (he far more than she) and a high percentage of unfavorable opinions of the candidates (again, he more so than she). And in that environment, not to mention our highly charged media culture, outrageous comments about sex — pardon the expression — trumps a serious focus on the issues.
That's unfortunate, since Clinton's speeches before Wall Street types accounted for nearly 19 percent of her $21.6 million in earnings derived from speeches given between 2013 and 2015, according to an Associated Press investigation from earlier this year. A different accounting cited by CBS News had Clinton pulling in $3 million in speeches to banks and financials firms with $675,000 alone coming from Goldman Sachs for three talks.
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