Hillary may regret the debate challenge she offered Sanders over ‘artful smear’
Hillary Clinton made headlines by getting indignant at Bernie Sanders when he raised the issue of her accepting large sums of money from Wall Street financial interests in the Durham, N.H. Democrat presidential debate (transcript).
… time and time again, by innuendo, by insinuation, there is this attack that he is putting forth, which really comes down to -- you know, anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought.
And I just absolutely reject that, Senator. And I really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you. And enough is enough. If you've got something to say, say it directly.
Note that she is implicitly challenging Sanders’s manhood here. As if it is cowardly to talk about her on the campaign trail when she is not present. As if a presidential campaign is junior high school.
Then she delivered her implicit challenge:
But you will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation that I ever received.
She should have been more careful. Someone actually did find strong evidence that she changed a vote. And as it turns out, it was the worst possible person. Paul Mirengoff of Powerline cites something that America Rising (an oppo research nonprofit focused on Democrats) managed to recall. It was none other than Elizabeth Warren who raised the question in 2004 about Hillary switching positions on a bankruptcy bill that (in oversimplified terms) made it easier for credit card companies to collect debts owed to them by people who got in over their heads. Speaking with Bill Moyers, she cited Hillary’s opposition to it as first lady and subsequent vote for it as senator:
WARREN: One of the first bills that came up after she was Senator Clinton, was the bankruptcy bill. This is a bill that’s like a vampire, it will not die right, there’s a lot of money behind it.
MOYERS: Bill her husband had vetoed [it].
WARREN: Her husband had vetoed it very much at her urging.
WARREN: She voted in favor of it.
WARREN: As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different. It’s a well-financed industry. You know a lot of people don’t realize that the industry that gave the most money to Washington over the past few years was not the oil industry, was not pharmaceuticals, it was consumer credit products. Those are the people, the credit card companies have been giving money and they have influence.
MOYERS: And Mrs. Clinton was one of them as senator.
WARREN: She has taken money from the groups and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.
What makes this most awkward is that one possibility for Hillary to repair her relations with the ultra-left faction of the part supporting Sanders would be to offer the veep nomination to Warren, who is a smarter and more presentable lefty than an outright socialist like Sanders, with plenty of commie baggage. Warren, it should be noted, made big money as a lawyer representing insurance companies, which are also financial firms. Sanders is more of a true believer.
But for Warren to be on record (and on video) pointing out an instance in which Hillary screwed the little guy (the indebted consumer who wants bankruptcy protection) to protect the money of usurious credit card moneyed interests who donated money to her campaign kind of makes her a poor choice for veep.