Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Doubles Down on Goldman Sachs

The Clinton campaign has been using former Goldman Sachs advisor Gene Sperling to criticize Donald Trump.


US Consulate Chennai/Flickr

Hillary Clinton is heading into the general election with a strong signal that she won't be put off by Sen. Bernie Sanders' attacks on her hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for secret speeches to Goldman Sachs. She's upping the ante by deploying, as her top economic spokesman, Gene Sperling, a man who was reportedly paid $887,727 by Goldman Sachs in 2008, purportedly for advising on the firm's charitable giving.

Clinton's campaign has issued no less than five press releases or advisories this month giving headline treatment to Sperling. The campaign identified him as a former top economic aide in the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, but it made no mention of his Goldman Sachs connection.

The Clinton campaign has been using Sperling as a critic of the likely Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. "Statement from Gene Sperling on Donald Trump's Risky Suggestion He Would Consider Defaulting on the National Debt as President," was the headline on one Hillary Clinton press release.

The higher profile for Sperling came alongside a New York Times report about losses at a hedge fund operated by Clinton's son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky. The Times reported that "some of the firm's earliest investors were Goldman partners, including Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman's chief executive officer, who let Eaglevale use his name in marketing the flagship fund."

At a moment when the press is agitating for the release of Donald Trump's tax returns, there seems to be far less pressure, aside from the Sanders campaign, for the release of tapes or transcripts of Clinton's closed-door, highly paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Nor does there seem to be much pressure for disclosure of how much money Blankfein put into Mezvinsky's hedge fund, how the investment has performed, and how much in fees the investment has generated for Mezvinsky.

The Washington Free Beacon points out that the ties don't stop there; Goldman Sachs is a donor to the Clinton Foundation, and the CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative, Robert Harrison, is a former Goldman Sachs partner. 

Clinton's readiness to place Sperling front and center might have seemed unremarkable a decade ago, when former Goldman Sachs executives such as Jon Corzine and Robert Rubin were vocal and prominent participants in economic policy debates. But after the 2008 financial crisis, the firm's reputation—and that of Wall Street in general—took a turn for the toxic. It got to the point where, in early 2015, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) successfully blocked President Obama's nomination of a Lazard banker, Antonio Weiss, to a post at the Treasury Department.

Though tying Hillary Clinton to Goldman Sachs doesn't yet seem to have been sufficient to win Sen. Sanders the Democratic presidential nomination, I doubt we've seen the last of the issue. Trump can use it to deflect any attempts by Clinton or her allies to depict him as a billionaire plutocrat who is out of touch with the realities of working Americans. Oh yeah? The Clintons and their pals earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from Goldman Sachs for part time work.

The situation is also likely to stoke cynicism, as Clinton campaigns promising to "rein in Wall Street" while she and her team have collected so much money from Goldman.

To those of us who believe in free enterprise and who don't believe that all banks and bankers are bad guys, the Clinton-Goldman connection might be imagined, at best, to be somewhat reassuring, like her ties to Walmart. At least Clinton thinks of Blankfein and his colleagues as real people rather than as demonic caricatures.

If Clinton does manage to get herself elected president and Sperling winds up back in some senior administration position, Blankfein and Goldman's lobbyists may be all that protects Wall Street or American capital markets from an Elizabeth Warren-style or Bernie Sanders-style assault. At least Clinton may admire the self-interest and survival instinct of the firm and its executives. Those, after all, are two traits where the former first lady turned senator and secretary of state is no slouch herself.

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  1. At least Clinton thinks of Blankfein and his colleagues as real people rather than as demonic caricatures.

    False. Clinton doesn’t think of ANYONE not herself as a real person.

    1. Even if she did, I don’t see how her current opinions of Blankfein and Goldman Sachs are even remotely reassuring. If she thinks of them as ‘real people’; then their money has now bought them a whole bunch of access and they will use it to harm everyone else who isn’t in the room.

    1. When it’s Hillary vs. Jeb in the general election, you’re gonna have a pretty tough decision, huh?

    2. Thanks for keeping this thoroughly damning scandal at the front of everyone’s minds. I’m glad you’re around to remind us of yet another reason why a Hillary Clinton presidency would be disastrous.

      (some parts of this were sarcastic, others were not)

    3. What’s bloop? Is that the sound your asshole makes when it’s expressing approval?

      1. Shreek be all like BLOOP BLOOP BLOOP


          1. BLOOP!

    4. Your all caps button is stuck. You can fix it by taking a rare either magnet over the keyboard, then over your hard drive to double check.

      1. I heard that if you then swallow the magnet and jog through a hardware store, it also helps.

    5. Is Bloop the name of the email server she had wiped clean, with a cloth? I believe even Hillary pays her debts, unlike you.

  2. Gene Sperling?a man who was reportedly paid $887,727 by Goldman Sachs in 2008, purportedly for advising on the firm’s charitable giving.

    WTF? *I* could have done it for *half* that!

    1. I have that thought almost every time I see a job like that.

    2. her top economic spokesman, Gene Sperling

      Do you have any idea how much he made from starting the Hair Club for Men?

      The man is an economic genius!

  3. One day our political campaigns will focus on issues rather than controversies!

    1. Why aren’t we discussing the real issue? Do we feed them in feet-first or head-first? You feed them head-first and you get a much more efficient job with less kicking and squirming, but with feet-first you get to watch the expression on their faces. So where do we make the trade-off between efficiency and entertainment value? I think this is an important discussion we should be having.

      1. There is only one correct way – feet-first, just as the only correct way to hang toilet paper is the over the top.

  4. Shorter Stoll: Clap Your Hands if You Believe!!!!!

  5. So as far as I can tell Reason will be filled with arguments as to whether which lying cronyist crook is more likely to be a secret libertarian. Lovely.

    1. Can ‘The Libertarian Case for Hillary Clinton’ be far behind?

      1. Well yes and the Libertarian Case for Trump. They have done articles for both parties for the last few election cycles….

        1. They both sound like cases of shitty beer; that I’ll use to drink myself into oblivion.

        2. Or they could keep it simple and do one piece, “The Libertarian Case for Authoritarianism!”

      2. Can ‘The Libertarian Case for Hillary Clinton’ be far behind?

        Shrill’s apparently declassifying Area 51 docs or something if elected. So LP’s tin-foil wing is covered right there.

  6. Trump hired a former Goldman Sachs partner as his campaign finance chair. Advantage – Trump.

    (Yeah, in the universe I used to inhabit before I somehow got sucked into this bizarro parallel one, I might suggest that Hillary knows Trump can’t very well criticize her Goldman Sachs connections when he’s got his. But Trump will criticize her for it and people will applaud him scoring points with that jab, and then he’ll turn right around and boast of how he got the better of Hillary by hiring a Goldman Sachs partner and people will applaud him for scoring points on Hillary for that, too.)

    1. Wait a minute. Wait a GODDANG minute. Are you suggesting that principals will wind up mattering more than principles?

      1. Say, that’s a catchy line. You coined it, right?

        1. Sure!

    2. Considering most of the arguments on this site pro/con Hillary/Trump are about how they are a lying crooked crony so therefore they are going to be a secret libertarian are you really surprised?

      1. I somehow missed out on the origins of the “Winston is an incredible whiner” meme, but damn if you haven’t been really selling it today.

      2. You know, you don’t have to visit the site, much less take the time to comment on it, if you hate it so much.

  7. “‘When she throws you under the bus, you will understand that deep down, she cares”

  8. That Sachs.


  9. RE: “Hillary Clinton is heading into the general election with a strong signal that she won’t be put off by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ attacks on her hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for secret speeches to Goldman Sachs. She’s upping the ante by deploying, as her top economic spokesman, Gene Sperling, a man who was reportedly paid $887,727 by Goldman Sachs in 2008, purportedly for advising on the firm’s charitable giving.”

    Isn’t it interesting a die hard socialist slaver is using a successful capitalist to help her get elected President-for-Life.

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  12. If Sanders put a stick to Wall Street Jews he’d be worth voting for.

    1. OK, First choice is to not have those thoughts, but if you must have them please keep them inside your head.

      1. “…please keep them inside your head.”

        Or your ass, which is where thoughts like that generally originate.

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