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Trump vs. Clinton: WikiLeaks and Hillary


(Photo: iStockPhoto; Wikimedia Commons; Taylor Le/Pacific Standard)

A viewer in Virginia just asked Hillary Clinton whether it’s “OK for a politician to be two-faced.”

The question refers to Friday’s WikiLeaks dump of emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, which included excerpts from the speeches that Clinton delivered to closed-door audiences on Wall Street.

Whether you think Clinton is a conspiracist or merely a boring centrist, the excerpts probably confirmed your view.

  • From a May 16th, 2013, speech to a room of bankers: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
  • Speaking in 2013 at Goldman Sachs: “That was one of the reasons that I started traveling in February of ’09, so people could, you know, literally yell at me for the United States and our banking system causing this everywhere. Now, that’s an oversimplification we know, but it was the conventional wisdom. And I think that there’s a lot that could have been avoided in terms of both misunderstanding and really politicizing what happened with greater transparency, with greater openness on all sides, you know, what happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening? You guys help us figure it out and let’s make sure that we do it right this time.”

That’s a candidate who has no interest in blowing up the big banks; who triangulates carefully and filters her words in front of voters; who believes that capitalist economic development can elevate living standards in the Third World through open trade; who similarly believes in close relationships between business and government; and who would like to make possible freer movement for peoples across borders.

Those are all anathema to large swathes of American voters, on both the left and the right.

That none of them is surprising coming from Clinton will be of little comfort to protectionist supporters of Bernie Sanders, or nativist supporters of Donald Trump.

Clinton has pivoted to talking about the Russians, whom the United States formally accused last week of being behind these leaks: “We have never been in this situation before … where a foreign power is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election,” Clinton said. “And believe me, they’re not doing it to get me elected.”