Research

Clinton Stumbles Continue

Democrat Dismay Begins To Mount After Another Shaky Week For Clinton’s Would-Be Campaign

CLINTON’S “SERIES OF STUMBLES” CONTINUED AFTER ANOTHER OUT-OF-TOUCH COMMENT ABOUT HER WEALTH

In A Weekend Interview In The Guardian, Clinton Attempted To Contrast Her Fortune With Those “Who Are Truly Well Off.” “America’s glaring income inequality is certain to be a central bone of contention in the 2016 presidential election. But with her huge personal wealth, how could Clinton possibly hope to be credible on this issue when people see her as part of the problem, not its solution? ‘But they don’t see me as part of the problem,’ she protests, ‘because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work,’ she says, letting off another burst of laughter. If past form is any guide, she must be finding my question painful.” (Ed Pilkington, “Hillary Clinton Interview: Will She Or Won’t She Run For President In 2016?,” The Guardian, 6/21/14)

Clinton’s Comments Were The Latest In A “Series Of Stumbles In Discussing Her Finances.” “Clinton has underscored the contrast with a series of stumbles in discussing her finances – the latest in an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper published Sunday, in which she compared herself with other multimillionaires.” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

  • “Hillary Clinton Has A Money Problem. Twice In The Last Month, The Former Secretary Of State Has Been Tripped Up By Questions Related To Her Personal Wealth…” “Hillary Clinton has a money problem. Twice in the last month, the former secretary of state has been tripped up by questions related to her personal wealth, which is estimated to be as high as tens of millions of dollars. In an interview with The Guardian published Saturday, Clinton responded to a question about whether her impressive net worth would undermine her ability to critique income inequality.” (Benjy Sarlin, “Hillary Clinton Stumbles On Money Questions,” MSNBC, 6/22/14)
  • “Clinton – On A Whirlwind Tour Promoting Her Latest Book, Hard Choices – Has Stumbled In Recent Weeks When Talking About Money.” (Fredreka Schouten, “Hillary Clinton: Her Family Is Not Like The ‘Truly Well Off’,” USA Today, 6/22/14)

Clinton’s Decision To Also Highlight Her Taxes Is “Striking” Following Recent Reports About Her Tax Strategy That Helps “Shield Some Of Their Wealth.” “Still, mentioning that she pays taxes as a defense of her wealth is striking considering that Bloomberg News reported last week that the Clintons use ‘financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth’ to shield some of their wealth from standard estate taxes.” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

AND A TOP OBAMA ADVISER IS QUESTIONING A KEY TALE IN HER BOOK

“Rebutting A Claim” In Clinton’s Hard Choices, Obama’s 2008 Campaign Manager David Plouffe “Denied That He Or Others Directed” Clinton To Attack Sarah Palin. “President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager denied that he or others directed Hillary Clinton to pounce on Republican Sarah Palin as a vice presidential nominee designed purely to appeal to women, rebutting a claim in Clinton’s new memoir ‘Hard Choices.’” (Anne Linskey, “Clinton Wasn’t Told to Attack Palin, Obama’s Plouffe Says,” Bloomberg, 6/21/14)

  • Plouffe: “We Never Tried To Do That.” “‘We never tried to do that,’ said David Plouffe, appearing on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Political Capital with Al Hunt,’ airing this weekend. ‘We did want her to go out there and speak, but not about Sarah Palin’s gender.’” (Anne Linskey, “Clinton Wasn’t Told to Attack Palin, Obama’s Plouffe Says,” Bloomberg, 6/21/14)
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Obama Campaign Veterans Have “Quietly Pushed Back” On The Palin Claim That “They Considered Downright False.” “But one anecdote showed the strains just below the surface. Within hours of the release of Clinton’s book last week, some Obama campaign veterans quietly pushed back on a claim that they considered downright false: Clinton’s contention that the Obama team had wanted to attack vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin for, essentially, being a woman.” (Maggie Haberman and Carrie Budoff Brown, “Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton Alliance Under Strain,” Politico, 6/19/14)

In 2008, Even Clinton’s Own People Denied That The Obama Campaign Asked Her To Attack Sarah Palin. “Hillary Rodham Clinton has no intention of becoming a Sarah Palin attack dog – but has no qualms about going after John McCain, people close to the former first lady say. ‘She’s not the answer when it comes to winning conservative women – she never was – and we’re not going to be anybody’s attack dog against Sarah Palin,’ said a Clinton insider. ‘To be fair to Obama’s people, they haven’t asked us to do that.’” (Glenn Thrush, “Clinton Set To Strike McCain, Not Palin,” Politico, 9/5/08)

CLINTON’S TROUBLES ARE ELICITING “PANIC” AMONG DEMOCRATS LEADERS & ACTIVISTS

“Influential Democrats,” Including Former Obama Advisers, Have Said “They Fear That Clinton’s Personal Wealth” Could Undercut The Democrats In 2016. “Some influential Democrats – including former advisers to President Obama – said in interviews last week they fear that Clinton’s personal wealth and rarefied, cloistered lifestyle could jeopardize the Democratic Party’s historic edge with the middle class that powered Obama’s wins.” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

Former South Carolina Democrat Chair And Biden Supporter Dick Harpootlian: “She’s Been Living 30, Going On 40 Years With Somebody Bringing Your Coffee To You Every Morning. Is It More ‘Downton Abbey’ Than It Is America?” “Harpootlian, who backed Obama over Clinton in 2008 and is a longtime ally of Vice President Biden, added: ‘She’s been living 30, going on 40 years with somebody bringing your coffee to you every morning. Is it more ‘Downton Abbey’ than it is America?’” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

  • Harpootlian: Clinton Is “Generating An Imperial Image.” “‘I don’t know whether it’s just that she’s been ‘Madam Secretary’ for so long, but she’s generating an imperial image,’ said Dick Harpootlian, who recently stepped down as Democratic Party chairman in South Carolina, which hosts an early presidential primary.” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

When Asked About Clinton’s “Dead Broke” Comments, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Paused For A Full 19 Seconds” And Said She Was “Surprised.” “When I ask about what she made of Clinton’s book-tour comment about being “dead broke” on leaving the White House, Warren paused for a full 19 seconds. ‘Um, I was surprised,’ she finally said. ‘But, families across this country are working so hard to hold together,’ she added, veering into an unrelated disquisition about young people falling behind their parents and the false promise of trickle-down economics.” (Ruth Marcus, Op-Ed, “Elizabeth Warren’s Mission In Washington,” The Washington Post , 6/20/14)

“‘It’s Going To Be A Massive Issue For Her,’ One Obama Adviser Said.” “‘It’s going to be a massive issue for her,’ one Obama adviser said. ‘When you’re somebody like the secretary of state or president of the United States or first lady, you’re totally cut off [from normal activity], so your perception of the middle-class reality gets frozen in a time warp.’” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

  • “Asked What Democrats Should Do, The Adviser Said: ‘Panic.’” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

Another Obama Adviser Characterized Clinton As “Completely Out Of Touch And Elitist.” “Still, a second Obama adviser said Clinton is falling into the same traps as Romney. ‘She seems completely out of touch and elitist,’ the adviser said.” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

Former SEIU President Andy Stern: “We Used To Talk About The ‘Hang Test’ – Could You Hang Out In A Bar? At A County Fair? At A Union Hall? … I Think That Will Be A Challenge For Her.” (Philip Rucker, “Some Democrats Fear Clinton’s Wealth And ‘Imperial Image’ Could Be Damaging In 2016,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

Iowa Democrat Activist Sarah Stutler: “She’s Getting Shoved Down Our Throats … We’re Iowans, And We Don’t Like That.” “‘Stutler said she is ‘in a state of waiting’ for a candidate to support and is wary of Clinton, who has said she is not likely to announce whether she will run until 2015. ‘She’s getting shoved down our throats,’ Stutler said. ‘We’re Iowans, and we don’t like that.’” (John Wagner, “O’Malley’s Iowa Visit Sparks 2016 Rumors And Comparisons To Hillary Rodham Clinton,” The Washington Post , 6/22/14)

DEMOCRATS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES NOT SOLD: CLINTON’S BOOK SALES AREN’T LI
VING UP TO EXPECTATIONS

Clinton’s Hard Choices “Is Not Flying Off Bookshelves, Especially When Compared To Her Last Memoir.” “But the pro-Clinton praise of ‘Hard Choices’ don’t come without caveats because the numbers are indisputable: Clinton’s book is not flying off bookshelves, especially when compared to her last memoir.” (Dan Merica, “Clinton’s Memoir: A Bestseller, A Bomb Or Both?,” CNN, 6/19/14)

Clinton’s Book Sold 85,721 Copies In Its First Week. “The Bookscan service tracks approximately 85% of retail sales for physical books at the biggest booksellers, but does not account for e-books, made for tablets like Kindle. In addition to tracking Amazon and Barnes & Noble sales, BookScan tracks hundreds of independent bookstores and big-box retailers like Costco. The figures show Clinton sold 85,721 hardcover copies in its first week.” (Ruby Cramer, “Hillary Clinton’s Book Is The No. 2 Hardcover In First Week,” BuzzFeed, 6/18/14)

  • “The Memoir’s Sales Pale In Comparison To Clinton’s First Memoir, ‘Living History,’ Which Sold 438,000 Copies In Its First Week…” “If you ask Clinton’s critics, her book sales show people aren’t eager for more of the former secretary of state. The memoir’s sales pale in comparison to Clinton’s first memoir, ‘Living History,’ which sold 438,000 copies in its first week and Sarah Palin’s ‘Going Rogue,’ which sold just over 467,000 copies in its first week.” (Dan Merica, “Clinton’s Memoir: A Bestseller, A Bomb Or Both?,” CNN, 6/19/14)
  • In The Book’s First Week, Barnes & Noble Sold “Just Over Half” The Number Of Copies Of Hard Choices As Clinton’s Living History. “Hard Choices sold just over 24,000 copies through the retailer, debuting at No. 1 on the store’s hardcover sales list. But the book did not perform as well at the store as her first memoir, Living History, did in the summer of 2003. The week it was released, a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman said it sold more than 40,000 copies in 24 hours – breaking the record for the retailer’s release-day sales. Barnes & Noble, which represents an increasingly small share of the book market, sold just over half that amount in Hard Choices hardcovers this past week, according to the BookScan figures.” (Ruby Cramer, “Hillary Clinton’s Book Is The No. 2 Hardcover In First Week,” BuzzFeed, 6/18/14)