Imagine if 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had spent almost all of his campaigning efforts hobnobbing with rich donors to the virtual exclusion of public appearances. The press would have mercilessly pounded him for fitting the “they only care about the one percent” GOP stereotype.
The New York Times has noticed that 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been doing exactly what would subject any Republican presidential candidate to withering criticism. Saturday evening, in a story which appeared in on the front page of Sunday’s print edition, reporters Amy Chozick and Jonathan Martin desperately tried damage control, while perhaps sending a warning to Team Clinton that, with the polls tightening, they need to get their candidate out more.
The reporters’ “best” argument in Paragraph 4 was one that readers might have expected to see attempted at The Onion (when it was the independent Onion): It’s okay that she hasn’t had press conferences or appeared much in public, because “she has fielded hundreds of questions from the ultrarich in places like the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, Beverly Hills and Silicon Valley.” But in Paragraph 23, they noted that “choosing private fund-raisers over town halls or other public events” enables Mrs. Clinton to “bask in an affectionate embrace as hosts try to limit confrontational engagements.” In other words, only softballs are allowed.
The pair also appear to be starstruck name-droppers who are impressed with how well Mrs. Clinton is received by high-society celebrities:
Where Has Hillary Clinton Been? Ask the Ultrarich
… At a private fund-raiser Tuesday night at a waterfront Hamptons estate, Hillary Clinton danced alongside Jimmy Buffett, Jon Bon Jovi and Paul McCartney, and joined in a singalong finale to “Hey Jude.”
“I stand between you and the apocalypse,” a confident Mrs. Clinton declared to laughs, exhibiting a flash of self-awareness and humor to a crowd that included Calvin Klein and Harvey Weinstein and for whom the prospect of a Donald J. Trump presidency is dire.
Mr. Trump has pointed to Mrs. Clinton’s noticeably scant schedule of campaign events this summer to suggest she has been hiding from the public. But Mrs. Clinton has been more than accessible to those who reside in some of the country’s most moneyed enclaves and are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to see her. In the last two weeks of August, Mrs. Clinton raked in roughly $50 million at 22 fund-raising events, averaging around $150,000 an hour, according to a New York Times tally.
And while Mrs. Clinton has faced criticism for her failure to hold a news conference for months, she has fielded hundreds of questions from the ultrarich in places like the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, Beverly Hills and Silicon Valley.
“It’s the old adage, you go to where the money is,” said Jay S. Jacobs, a prominent New York Democrat.
Imagine what the press would do with the quote in the last excerpted paragraph if the candidate involved was a conservative or Republican.
The excuse-making continued:
The public has gotten used to seeing Mrs. Clinton’s carefully choreographed appearances and her somewhat halting speeches and TV interviews over the course of the long — and sometimes seemingly joyless — campaign, but donors this summer have glimpsed an entirely different person.
It is clear from interviews with more than a dozen attendees of Mrs. Clinton’s finance events this summer and a handful of pictures and videos of her at the closed-press gatherings that Mrs. Clinton, often described as warm and personable in small settings, whoever the audience, can be especially relaxed, candid and even joyous in this company.
Translation: Mrs. Clinton can only be her true, relaxed “joyous” self when she’s with the rich and famous. As to her being “warm and personable in small settings,” that would appear to highly depend on the setting, and whether and how much those present in the setting have given to the Clinton Foundation.
One hopes that all of the people who still believe that Mrs. Clinton feels their pain are paying attention to what Chozick and Martin have written.
The same woman who promises America that she’ll create an economy that works for everyone is only comfortable when she’s with the glitterati.
Chozick and Martin also couldn’t resist getting in a gratuitous dig at alleged Republicans who are donating to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign in their piece’s concluding paragraphs, but quoted someone else to get the dirty work done:
Mr. Trump’s candidacy has allowed Mrs. Clinton to reach out to a new set of donors in the area who typically give to Republicans but dislike the current nominee. (Mr. Trump feels more at home at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., than in the Hamptons, where the exclusive Maidstone Club once denied him a full-time membership, according to The New York Post.)
“The Hamptons is full of powerful, wealthy people who are bored and go to constant social events to see who else got invited and to show your status,” said Ken Sunshine, a veteran Democratic activist and public relations executive with a home in Remsenburg, N.Y. “This year,” he added, “going to a Clinton event is at the very top of the list.”
Mr. Sunshine’s quote provide a revealing window into what fools these alleged Republicans really are for backing Mrs. Clinton.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.