Where else, after all, can “emerging and seasoned entrepreneurs from a diverse set of industries” hear the story of how a Yale law student turned an investment of time and energy into a marriage to a serial philanderer, a successful career in politics, and a fortune estimated above $100 million? For lessons in how to succeed in business by really trying, in how to manipulate the levers of government, finance, and philanthropy for massive personal gain, there is no better teacher than Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times reports that Clinton brings in around $200,000 per speech, so in the space of a single week she made enough money to put her in the much-derided top 1 percent of U.S. taxpayers. But in this case I am less interested in her earnings than in the institution that booked her. There was a time, oh about a year ago, when a political figure would not have been able to associate with a symbol of rapacious capitalism such as Goldman Sachs without paying a price. And there was a time, oh about a year ago, when Wall Street had had just about enough of the Democratic Party and the redistributive egalitarianism it represents.
But those days clearly are over. Preparations are well underway for Clinton’s inevitable presidential candidacy: George Soros, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Rahm Emanuel are all on board; David Brock is at his battle-station; a well-placed leak reveals that Senate Democratic women have pledged their allegiance to the former secretary of state. One of Clinton’s few remaining tasks is to win over Wall Street, and out-raise and intimidate potential opponents.
It won’t be much trouble. Never have the Clintons allowed their liberalism to interfere with the ability of the connected to make a buck. This is especially the case when the well-connected individual in question carries the surname “Clinton” or “Rodham.” From cow futures to land deals, the Lincoln bedroom, presidential pardons, Teneo, and Greentech automotive, the Clintons and their acolytes understand that all markets are political markets, that all business is transacted within a context of laws and regulations and networks that can be studied, designed, and altered. They don’t demean wealth. They just want to spread it around.