Hillary Clinton’s Pay-for-Play Reality

Whatever one thinks about Hillary Clinton’s sincerity when she professes progressive values, the undeniable reality is that she has immersed herself for decades in the corrupting sludge of Official Washington and its sleazy pay-for-play schemes with Wall Street and other power centers, as JP Sottile explains.

By JP Sottile

It was supposed to be a feel-good moment. The Chairman and CEO of the world’s most powerful financial institution dropped by CNBC’s Squawk Box to crow a bit about his recovery from cancer. But it didn’t quite go the way Lloyd Blankfein — or Hillary Clinton — might’ve wanted.

First, the recently-minted billionaire boss of Goldman Sachs compared his 600 hours of chemotherapy to dropping “napalm” on the Islamic State (“You get ISIS, but you also get some of the Kurds and Iraqis and everybody else”). Lloyd went on to tell Andrew Ross Sorkin that unlike another notable, newly-minted billionaire — fellow cancer survivor and comparably-connected JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon — his brush with mortality didn’t really inspire circumspection about his life or about his crucial role in the profitable business of giving other people the business (“I must be so thick, I missed that whole thing”).

Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. (Photo credit: Goldman Sachs)

Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. (Photo credit: Goldman Sachs)

And then Lloyd revealed that Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one “feeling the Bern.” The remarkably unreflective Blankfein said the anti-Wall Street sentiment fueling Sen. Bernie Sanders’s insurgent campaign represented a “dangerous moment” for Wall Street and, by extension, for America. In that revealing moment of truth, Blankfein’s blurb not only encapsulated Wall Street’s growing discomfort with the surging candidacy of, as Blankfein put it, “another kid from Brooklyn,” but it also exposed Wall Street’s lingering detachment from the costly outcomes of its free-wheeling actions.

And it didn’t do Hillary any favors — which is something new for Goldman Sachs. Lloyd unintentionally poured gasoline into an already white-hot news cycle that’s raced out of Hillary’s control. And it further…

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