The Clintons can’t leave money on the table.
Hillary Clinton’s book tour was supposed to be her first step on the road to the White House. Instead her publisher is looking at a $10 million loss on her royalties alone as shelves at every big box book store groan under unsold copies of Hard Choices and instead of answering softball questions about empowering women, she was forced to discuss her defense of a twelve year old girl’s rapist.
And then there was the money question.
Like the rest of their political movement, the Clintons want to be poor in spirit and rich in mansions. They want to play the class warfare game from a private jet. Usually the media lets them get away with it. No one asks Elizabeth Warren how she combines class warfare and a small fortune. But the media hacks holding out for a Warren candidacy began hammering Hillary over her enormous wealth.
And Hillary Clinton responded with off-the-cuff lies. Her “dead broke” gaffe reminded everyone why her husband wasn’t even the embarrassing one in the bunch. At least he could lie convincingly.
Hillary’s problem is that she is the inevitable candidate that no one actually wants. Everyone agrees that she has a lock on the Democratic Party’s nomination and yet no one likes her.
The right hated her all along and the left has never forgiven her for fighting Obama. If radical Hillary supporters were a problem for Obama, radical Obama supporters are becoming a problem for Hillary. Her enemies in the White House, beginning with Valerie Jarrett, are just waiting for a chance to steal the nomination from her a second time.
Hillary couldn’t afford to show weakness at such an early stage, but her greed did her in.
The Clintons could never stop shoveling every cent into their pockets. They were physically incapable of leaving money on the table. A lot of Democrats haven’t forgotten Pardongate and the disgraceful way that the Clintons left the White House. They just pretended to forget during Hillary’s Senate race.
Many are nauseated by the scale of Clintonworld, the hundreds of millions of dollars that have poured into the Clinton Foundation, an organization whose fundraising is disproportionate to the scale of its accomplishments, and directly into the pockets of Bill, Hillary and even Chelsea.
Liberals like to pretend that they aren’t in it for themselves. The vulgarity of the Clinton greed shows them a reflection of their movement that they don’t want to see.
As Maureen Dowd in the New York Times put it, “The Clintons keep acting as though all they care about is selfless public service. So why does it keep coming back to gross money grabs?” The public service angle is as phony for Hillary as it is for Warren or Edwards, but liberals need to believe the lie to believe in themselves. The infamous Clinton greed kills the illusion and reminds them it’s all about the cash.
Hillary’s book tour featured badly timed six-figure speeches at colleges. Two colleges were run by members of her husband’s cabinet. The whole corrupt spectacle could have been avoided, but she couldn’t help herself and the debate over those speeches became part of the book tour narrative.
But Hillary Clinton’s greed had sabotaged her whole tour from the start.
Her first biography, Living History, had scored a record advance and record book sales. It was sheer hubris for her to extract an advance that was almost twice as big for a second biography that covered nothing that anyone was interested in.
And yet that’s what she did.
Living History’s sales were spurred by one woman and it wasn’t Hillary. Her name was Monica. Hard Choices was a futile effort at interesting people in her political career which consisted of a brief stint in the Senate, a failed presidential campaign and an even briefer and more disastrous stint as Secretary of State.
Hillary’s supporters have never been able to name a single one of her accomplishments. Neither could her ghostwriters.
But Hard Choices didn’t have to be a disaster. It sold reasonably well for a second biography. It wouldn’t have been seen as a disastrous failure if Hillary hadn’t extracted a $14 million advance from CBS. Making that advance back would have required her to sell 2 million copies of Hard Choices.
Almost twice as many copies as Living History.
Instead she managed to sell around 200,000 copies. If Hillary had accepted a modest advance with a sizable royalty, she could have still made out well if the book had done really well, without risking embarrassment if it didn’t.
The Clintons were rich enough not to need the advance. But they can’t leave any money on the table.
They couldn’t do it with Marc Rich. They couldn’t do it with Bill’s foreign speaking fees. They couldn’t do it with Chelsea’s NBC gig or Hillary’s college gigs.
And they couldn’t make the hard choice to forego the big Hard Choices payday.
Now Hard Choices is a bomb and its poor sales raise serious questions about Hillary Clinton’s popularity. CBS may have lost $10 million on Hillary, but the Clintons have lost even more because of their insatiable greed.
If Hillary’s shaky performance leads Elizabeth Warren to run, the Clintons will have to raise a lot of money to stop her. Hillary spent over $200 million to lose to Obama. $11 million of it came out of her own pocket. Hillary’s greed for a big book advance is money that she may end up spending to fight off a left-wing primary challenger emboldened by her implosion.
The Democrats want to run on empathy for the common man suffering under a bad economy, but their candidate is a living reminder of why he’s suffering. The Clintons are part of an elite that profits from direct political access to the upper tier of the political and financial infrastructure of the country. Their enormous wealth makes a mockery of public service and non-profits. Their power and privilege reminds everyone that liberalism is a much bigger welfare state for those on top than those on the bottom.
That’s the dirty secret that strikes at the heart of the liberal power structure. And the Clintons are parading it all over town.
The biggest problem with Hard Choices was always the title. The Clintons don’t make hard choices because they have no impulse control.
That’s what led Bill Clinton to harass every woman within a hundred mile radius and it’s also why Hillary Clinton allowed herself to be recorded laughing about the time she helped a rapist who beat a 12-year-old girl into a coma beat the rap. It’s why the greedy couple stole White House furniture, traded pardons for cash and grabbed every bit of loose change that they could get their sweaty hands on.
The Clintons have always been oblivious to their own vulgarity. They have never understood how they embarrassed their own political allies. Hillary’s gaffes about money, like Bill Clinton’s gaffes about sex, are symptoms of their obliviousness to their lack of self-control.
Bill Clinton’s lack of self-control destroyed his presidential legacy. Hillary Clinton’s lack of self-control may keep her out of the White House.
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