It seems to me that everyone who has commented on Hillary Clinton’s remark to Wall Streeters about the need for private versus public positions has missed the point. She was being paid over $200,000 a speech; what value did she provide in return? Yes, some of the money can be regarded as an investment in “goodwill”, although the evidence suggests that Clinton-era policies that favored finance preceded these investments. Isn’t it obvious, however, that what they were paying for was precisely the private Hillary positions that the public doesn’t have access to? I can guarantee it wasn’t for her prowess at entertainment.
In effect, by consciously differentiating her public and private political intentions, Clinton has created a valuable commodity that can be sold at a price the market will bear—and not just once, but over and over, as each group of buyers receives a slightly different or updated version. And this is why Bernie Sanders, to mention just one political alternative, can’t cash in on the same circuit. It isn’t because he’s hostile to finance, but because, by not differentiating and withholding his private views, he has nothing to sell.