Maureen Dowd: Isn’t It Rich? | NYTimes

Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd

WASHINGTON — CHELSEA CLINTON never acted out during the eight years she came of age as America’s first daughter.

No ditching of her Secret Service detail. No fake IDs for underage tippling. No drug scandal. No court appearance in tank top and toe ring. Not even any dirty dancing.

With her 1 percenter mother under fire for disingenuously calling herself “dead broke” when she left the White House, why would Chelsea want to open herself up to criticism that she is gobbling whopping paychecks not commensurate with her skills, experience or role in life?

As the 34-year-old tries to wean some of the cronies from the Clinton Foundation — which is, like the Clintons themselves, well-intended, wasteful and disorganized — Chelsea is making speeches that go into foundation coffers. She is commanding, as The Times’s Amy Chozick reported, up to $75,000 per appearance.

There’s something unseemly about it, making one wonder: Why on earth is she worth that much money? Why, given her dabbling in management consulting, hedge-funding and coattail-riding, is an hour of her time valued at an amount that most Americans her age don’t make in a year? (Median household income in the United States is $53,046.)

If she really wants to be altruistic, let her contribute the money to some independent charity not designed to burnish the Clinton name as her mother ramps up to return to the White House and as she herself drops a handkerchief about getting into politics.

 To read Maureen Dowd’s full op-ed, click here.

Rima NYT Comment Small

Disclaimer: I am no fan of Hillary and I am far from being ready for her any time soon.

With that out of the way… I am also no fan of beating up on the kids of political figures, unless and until they enter politics. That anyone is dumb enough to give Chelsea Clinton jobs for which she isn’t really qualified or to give speeches that many others could deliver better is their own business. I couldn’t care less.

Yes, the Clintons have made a lot of money. They’ve also had to spend an awful lot of it doing what no recent president has had to do: pay huge legal fees. Otherwise, they’ve raked in the dough just like Ronnie, G,H.W. and G.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter have, though of all of them, Jimmy’s the one who seems to have put in the most public service.

Wanna beat up on Hillary? Go right ahead. There’s plenty of policy issues on which to ask serious questions. To wit:

– Her relationships with big Wall Street money and how many former Clinton I and II administration alums she plans on putting into cabinet and White House positions.
– How far is she willing to go to reform Wall Street?
– Is she willing to steward getting the money out of politics?
– Will she champion the cause of restoring Civil Rights for African Americans, LGBT and others that were lost in the last two Supreme Court sessions?
– Will she champion the cause of the unemployed?
– Will she demand and see through more stimulus and a jobs bill?
– Will she demand tighter regulations over food and drugs?

[second comment]

_ Will President Hillary be willing to oversee the dismantlement of the police surveillance state*?
– Would a President Hillary Clinton insist on a complete reform of the education system and a cessation of its parceling off to private industry?
– Would she be in favor of sweeping education finance reform, including the forgiveness of some debt?

As you can see, there is plenty to write and ask about. Back in May, Michael Barbaro wrote a piece about Hillary and her work for the Walton family that raises a whole lot of questions. I, for one, would be fascinated to hear her answers.

These are all valid and substantive issues. Going after her daughter is just a cheap shot.………

To read both of my comments on the New York Times site, click here and here.

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2 thoughts on “Maureen Dowd: Isn’t It Rich? | NYTimes”

  1. Dear Rima,
    When I happened to see your name on my twitter-feed, I recognized it as one I had encountered many times while reading and writing my own comments on Memorable because we very much agreed on issues, and I liked the way you expressed your point of view.
    Reading your blog for the first time, your questions to ask Hillary Clinton are, with hardly an exception–hello!–questions to ask President Obama!
    Your implication is that Clinton is singularly guilty in the areas you touch on. The largest disappointment I have in Pres. Obama is that during his term, and often with his assistance, the takeover of corporatism in all walks of life has increased at an unheard of pace. Education, on all levels, is a prime example.
    If anything, I think if Clinton has her ear to the ground–which she must–she would contribute less to that dangerous slide than what we have been used to since 2009.
    I am curious to see who Hillary Clinton is now, 6 years later. Does she still stand for basic Democratic goals, those which brought her primary victories in industrial areas? She is savvy enough to accomplish much.
    It’s not helpful to stereotype her at this stage. Nor is it helpful to idealize the President, by contrast.

    1. Jane,

      Thanks for writing.

      We are getting a fairly good idea of Clinton’s views through her book, interviews in the US and UK press. I’ve reblogged several and encourage you to read them. She doesn’t seem to have budged at all. You can access them using her name as your search term on the site.

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