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The Speeches: Russia's Latest Wikileaks Hack

The media is posting excerpts from Clinton's speeches to various organizations, courtesy of illegal hacking from Russia. Once you cut through the faked entries, the rest are good.

I hesitated to discuss the Wikileaks publication of emails from John Podesta's account. I don't believe in rewarding a foreign government's attempt to subvert our political process. We also don't know, exactly, which excerpt is genuine, and which has been modified by the Wikileaks people.

However, the excerpts that do seem genuine actually compliment Clinton rather than condemn her.

The Hemispheric Common Market

As an example of a positive excerpt is the widely quoted one from the speech that Clinton gave to Banco Itau, a Brazilian bank. From CNN:

But in a 2013 speech, Clinton told an audience that her "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."

I want this future. It's a future without borders, where the people see themselves as citizens of the planet. And as citizens of the planet, we are aware that we have a responsibility, as a whole, to the planet. That includes using green, sustainable energy, as well as ensuring each individual has the opportunity to achieve their truest potential.

How on earth could anyone, anyone, see this as bad?

Whatever our feelings about NAFTA and TPP, we're part of a global whole. We can no more close our borders to all trade than we can deny access for those fleeing oppression, and death.

Far Removed

Another excerpt, from Politico:

“My father loved to complain about big business and big government, but we had a solid middle class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care. We had our little, you know, one-family house that, you know, he saved up his money, didn't believe in mortgages. So I lived that,” she said in the speech. “And now, obviously, I'm kind of far removed because the life I've lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven't forgotten it.

The Clintons don't pretend they're part of the middle-class. They are acutely aware that they're now in the upper 5%, if not 1%. But they weren't born rich, and they and their parents had to make tough economic choices in the past to pay the bills and put food on the table. They have not forgotten.

Would you rather Clinton talk about how she got a start from her father with a small loan of only 14 million dollars?

You may want a Presidential candidate who is poor as a church mouse. I don't. What I want from a President is awareness. Awareness that, though they may be able to live in luxury, many of us don't. Many of us barely make it month-to-month.

I want someone who has been where most of us are and remembers what it was like.

The Public-Private Thing

A last excerpt I'll look at is the whole public-private thing. From Slate:

During a talk before the National Multi-Housing Council in 2013, she talked about the need to keep political negotiations secret, for instance, citing the example of Abraham Lincoln's wheeling and dealing to get the 13th amendment passed. "I mean, politics is like sausage being made," she said. "It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position."

You say backroom deal, I say compromise among parties representing different interests. Do people really think that there's not a lot of give-and-take behind the scenes when it comes to getting legislation passed? Or is it a case that people want Congress to be less effective than it already is?

We may each think our side is the winning side, and what we want should be what every American wants. But we're an odd mix of non-overlapping parts. Sometimes to get something we really want, we may have to give up something we don't consider as important. This isn't cheating, selling out, or betraying our ideals. This is just the reality of a free and open political system.

Much Ado

There's nothing in the excerpts that doesn't make sense or isn't an example of a political campaign covering all the bases. There's certainly nothing in the excerpts to equal a man bragging about his celebrity-enabled sexual assaults.

If you read Politico or Slate or even CNN, though, you'd think that Clinton has made babies into a stew, and their kittens into dessert. But this isn't Clinton's problem, this is a problem with Politico and Slate and CNN.

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