Hillary Clinton took some flak for invoking 9/11 to explain her chumminess with Wall Street during the last Democratic primary debate. Oops, she did it again in this newly released CBS interview teaser:
Here’s the pertinent part of the interview, in case you can’t watch the video:
“I have stood for a lot of regulation on big banks and on the financial services sector. I also represented New York and represented everybody from the dairy farmers to the fishermen…And so, yes, do I know people? And did I help rebuild after 9/11? Yes, I did. But that has nothing to do with my positions. Anyone who thinks they can influence me on those grounds doesn’t know me.”
Gawker’s Alex Pareene, usually a sensible fellow, takes Great Umbrage:
It now seems unlikely that her original invocation of 9/11 was some sort of mistake or misguided extemporaneous remark. It seems more likely that it was, in fact, a rehearsed—and focus-grouped, probably—rhetorical maneuver. In this instance, this week, she’s not even bringing up 9/11 as any sort of explanation; she just drops it in, unbidden, to remind people that she held political office on That Fateful Day.
There are many far less reprehensible ways to spin your banker connections. Clinton and her campaign are smart enough to have thought of most of them. The fact that they’re sticking with this one is a pretty clear indication of the amount of respect they have for the Democratic electorate.
Meh. I think the criticism of her response in the debate last month was somewhat justified, if a bit overblown — she did seem to channel Giuliani for a few seconds then.
But a quick reference to her role in representing Wall Street as a constituency and working with the financial sector in the post-9/11 rebuilding when asked about her Wall Street relationships doesn’t seem particularly craven, intelligence-insulting or out of bounds to me.
And she addressed the nut of the issue, which was whether her relationships with the banksters would influence policy. (Whether you believe her or not is a separate issue.)
What do you think?