Is Hillary Clinton crying poverty again?
In an otherwise softball book-tour interview with the left-leaning Guardian, the potential Democrat 2016 presidential contender fielded a question about how she could effectively run on a platform of addressing income inequality.
Bill and Hillary Clinton apparently have an estimated net worth in the range of $100 million to $200 million in part from collecting big-ticket speaking fees before corporate groups, including Wall Street firms.
Responded Mrs. Clinton to the Guardian reporter about how she believes she is perceived by American voters in the income-inequality context:
But they don't see me as part of the problem, because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we've done it through dint of hard work."Earlier in what has proved to be a contentious book tour to promote her Hard Choices memoir, Hillary Clinton claimed she and her husband were "dead broke" when they left the White House, even though among other things she had a $8 million book deal in her pocket for Living History.
In liberal and conservative precincts, Clinton was blasted for coming across like a bubble-dwelling, out-of-touch elitist for the dead-broke remark made during the Diane Sawyer interview.
Over in England, wealthy politicians of this ilk are often referred to as "champagne socialists." On this side of the Atlantic, the term "limousine liberals" tends to apply.
According to Business Insider, Hillary Clinton currently banks about $200,000 per speech. Given that high-profile politicians have ghostwriters, and much of the content is probably repurposed from speech to speech, does that sound like "hard work" to you?
Based on recently released financial documents, Bill and Hillary Clinton seized upon a legal loophole used by other one-percenters to minimize their estate tax payments, a.k.a. the death tax, even though the couple have long advocated raising the levy on inherited wealth.
It's also been recently reported that NBC News paid Chelsea Clinton $600,000 a year for what amounted to almost a no-show job.
The "not truly well off" claim attracted attention on social media across the political spectrum.
For example, Republican strategist Ana Navarro quipped on Twitter that "Hillary's so out of touch, she doesn't know she's out of touch. That she doesn't think she's 'really well off' is crazy."
Liberals weren't that convinced either:
How can this highly intelligent person with decades of media dealing be so tone-deaf talking about her money? http://t.co/gY7LHUGsHH
— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) June 22, 2014
Hillary Clinton says she is unlike other multimillionaires who are "truly well off.". http://t.co/b1UX2SjyQi She's as bad as Gwyneth!As a potential 2016 candidate trying to relate to ordinary voters, fellow Democrats should "panic" over Hillary Clinton's personal wealth and lavish lifestyle, according to an Obama advisor quoted in the Washington Post. Added the insider, "It's going to be a massive issue for her. When you're somebody like the secretary of state or president of the United States or first lady, you're totally cut off [from normal activity], so your perception of the middle-class reality gets frozen in a time warp."Do you think it's reasonable or delusional for Hillary Clinton seemingly to try to double down on minimizing her vast family fortune?
— Ted Rall (@TedRall) June 22, 2014