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Honest Graft
How the Clintons Wield Power

The cover story of TAI’s previous issue was Walter Russell Mead’s essay on Bill and Hillary Clinton’s construction of “the first postmodern political machine”—an elaborate, well-funded apparatus, unprecedented in its sophistication and global reach, that allows the Clintons to bestride our political world like no other couple in modern memory. As the campaign to put the Clintons back in the White House marches forward despite being dogged by scandal and skepticism, other outlets are also addressing the remarkable power of the machine the Clintons have built. Here’s Simon Head in the New York Review of Books on what he calls the “Clinton System“:

Few have been as adept at exploiting this big-money politics as Bill and Hillary Clinton. In the 2016 campaign, as of October, Hillary Clinton had raised $20 million in “outside” money, on top of $77 million in direct campaign contributions—the highest in direct contributions of any candidate at the time. But she and her husband have other links to big donors, and they go back much further than the current election cycle. What stands out about what I will call the Clinton System is the scale and complexity of the connections involved, the length of time they have been in operation, the presence of former president Bill Clinton alongside Hillary as an equal partner in the enterprise, and the sheer magnitude of the funds involved.

Read Head’s whole essay, which is teeming with insights about the give-and-take involved in sustaining the Clinton network. And as WRM wrote, keep on eye out for other politicians, in the United States and abroad, to try to create postmodern political machines of their own.

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  • ValleyBargue

    Thanks for linking to that article. As much as I liked Mr. Mead’s article on the Clinton machine, I thought it was painfully short of details. Not only does this article give some great specifics, but it links to a bunch of other great articles as well.

    Clearly Berney Sanders could be ripping into Clinton much deeper than he currently is. And my impression is that unless it happens at something like a televised debate, no one is ever going to seriously discuss the problems with the Clinton machine, since the Clinton’s have so many lap dogs in the media. It’s not even overt corruption, it’s that some NY Times writer might see their pet cause being given some attention by the Clinton foundation, and as a result become a vocal supporter.

    It’s disgusting that her candidacy has such an air of inevitability to it, considering how little enthusiasm their is for her at the grassroots level.

    • JR

      Agree completely. I think the Machine underestimated just how bad of a candidate Hillary really is. Watching her constantly reinvent herself at every stage of the campaign is painful to watch.

      • Andrew Allison

        Nauseating is a better word to describe her and her candidacy.

    • Jim__L

      You know, if it looks like Bernie might be on the verge of dropping out, you could probably get some of the more fiery students who support him to do their homework about the Clinton machine.

  • Dale Fayda

    I can’t think of any other woman in the entire political history of the United States as enmeshed in mendacity, corruption and graft as Hillary. Her bitter ambition and naked greed are beaming out of her eyeballs like car headlights. Watching her on TV, I can almost smell her soul rotting.

  • Anthony

    Simon Head’s reporting is arresting, sobering, dispiriting, indicting (of character), and resonating greed at public expense – The Republic of Money.

    …an equal partner in the enterprise (a current candidate for presidency) that has earned them more than $125 million in the fifteen years since Bill Clinton left office in 2001 – and we’re not referencing “free enterprise” in the given sense of phrase.

  • Pete

    The Clintons are successful –as is that clown currently in the White house — ONLY becasue the media is in the tank for them.

    • Jim__L

      And how do they get there?

      The Clintons cover the high crimes of others, and in return those others cover the high crimes of the Clintons. This allows cronies who have woeful inadequacies to fill high offices.

      This has serious consequences — the fact that we failed to stop 9/11 was one of those consequences.

      For the sake of America, the Clinton machine must be dismantled. To do that, the omerta-like code of silence must be broken. I think that young and idealistic Bernie Sanders fans might be the best hope for that to happen.

      • Pete

        Look, one of the huge reason why the media covers and even serves as a propaganda machine for scum like the Clintons is becasue of …. now get this … ABORTION.

        That’s right. Abortion is the sacred issue for the liberals, and they will let nothing — not honesty, not national security, not jobs & the economy — get in the way of it.

  • MartyH

    My prediction-if Hillary is not elected President the Clinton foundation’s revenue drops by 50%. If the Republicans control all three elective branches it drop to a third or less of its current revenue. There’s no point in bribing those out of power….

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