CNN began reporting on Friday night, February 5, that the Clintons have taken an appalling $156 million as speaking fees since 2001. CNN further noted: "The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks." index.html
By Saturday night CNN was further reporting that the White House is stunned by Hillary Clinton's bad judgment in taking all this money from banks and then shrugging it off by saying "It's what they were offering." The White House is now reportedly "terrified" Hillary will lose the November election, thus handing over all of President's Obama's hard-won gains for the American people into the hands of the GOP to demolish.
And can you guess who was on CNN disclosing the White House's terror? None other than Carl Bernstein, one of the pair of Washington Post reporters who discovered and reported the Watergate scandal that drove President Nixon from office. In going to the White House to get this follow-up story of a new scandal, Bernstein showed the old-time initiative too often missing in today's reporting. Given his unforgettable association with the coverage of Watergate, just his appearance at the White House front door might have sent some shivers through the president's staff. After all, who better knows a scandal when he sees one than Carl Bernstein?
But I'm sure the White House was already scared before Bernstein got there. That's why they let him in and confided their fears to him. Perhaps they had even summoned him. Make no mistake: the message of White House terror was not accidentally or inadvertently slipped to Bernstein. A message this big was deliberately released. It's a message to the entire Democratic party and to Hillary Clinton, more powerful for having been delivered through such as Carl Bernstein. What the message seems to be saying is, "We have a big scandal on our hands, as big as Watergate in its potential damage. Prepare to abandon ship." And the ship is.....? Of course! It's Hillary Clinton.
Now things get really hairy!
Will Obama endorse Bernie Sanders? I doubt it. I think he'll continue to withhold any public endorsement of either.
Will he take Hillary to the woodshed, i.e. call her in for a frank scolding and lots of coaching? That doesn't seem likely. By letting Carl Bernstein publicize the White House's terror, Obama has as good as said that Hillary is hopeless. If he'd thought he could straighten her out, he would have done so quietly with no prior fuss. But everyone knows what a stubborn and uncoachable person Hillary Clinton is.
Will the White House lean on Hillary to get out of the nomination race and make way for Joe Biden? I would suspect the White House is seriously considering this option. Obama genuinely likes Joe Biden and respects him. After all, he chose Biden's unhawkish advice in foreign affairs as against the hawkishness of Secretary of State Clinton. And maybe—just maybe–Joe Biden would change his mind about running. After all, he's Irish. To an Irishman, something that comes around for a third time does so for a reason. (Wait! you say. Surely that's not the way political people make big decisions! They sure do, especially if they are Irish.)
Maybe Obama will do a different kind of instinctive approach. He's a cautious man, and maybe his cautious nature is saying, "Let it play its own way out. Don't try to second-guess the way of things."
But that isn't really caution, is it?
At risk in November are all the monumental things Obama has worked for and achieved. The list of what's at risks is stunning:
- A Republican president will reverse the Iran nuclear ban agreement.
- He will immediately put our boots on the ground in the Syrian war.
- He will abrogate the climate protection treaty with China and the big international one this past fall in Paris.
- He will reverse the federal orders mandating better car and truck mileage and tightening emission standards.
- He will also lift the new federal restrictions on coal-fired electric plants.
- He will gladly sign a bill ending Obamacare and reverse the increased coverage of Medicare.
- He will also loosen the protections Obama has placed on federal lands.
- Of great importance to me and my good friends in the Native American community, he will quietly undo the justice that Obama—first of all our presidents—has extended to them, including the long overdue payment of billions in contracted royalties for the timber, grazing, mining and water extracted by American businesses from Native American lands.
- And what of the Dream Kids, the mainly "illegal" Latinos whom Obama ordered not deported so that they could finish their educations and military service and be on a path to citizenship? Do you think a GOP president will continue that program?
- And what of the federal tax policies and other rulings that have been changed by Obama on behalf of gay rights?
CNN speaks of the White House being terrified as to what will happen to "Obama's legacy" if Hillary loses in November. But it's not Obama's legacy, is it?
It's OUR legacy! It's even the legacy of the world's entire population.
Let's be real here. Without Obama's steps to save this planet from global warming, the planet is doomed. His "legacy" regarding carbon reduction is the last best hope of the world's human population and the possibility of saving most of the world's plant and animal species.
We cannot and must not have a Republican succeed him in the presidency. If Hillary getting out of the race is a necessary step to stop a GOP victory in November, then that's what must happen.
Let us hope the Democratic and independent voters deny her the nomination. If not, then Obama must do all he can. Maybe he should even act now.
This is indeed a wild year!
Footnote: Boast and brag time. I've said all along that Hillary Clinton is a terrible candidate with terrible baggage. See my blog posting: Hillary? They Call Her the Wagon Lady. It's from back in July. So I get to say "I told you so."