June 24, 2014

PHILIP KLEIN: The story isn’t that Hillary Clinton is rich, it’s that she’s an overrated politician.

Because the Clintons are often viewed in tandem, a lot of people have mistakenly transposed Bill’s political acumen onto Hillary. But in reality, her political career has involved winning a Senate seat in New York over a weak Republican opponent in a year that Al Gore carried the state by 25 points — and squandering a massive lead against candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic nomination battle. . . .

There’s no doubt that if Hillary doesn’t find a better way to answer it, questions surrounding her wealth could become an issue. Liberals have been arguing that it won’t be, because unlike Mitt Romney (whose wealth was damaging) she’d be supporting policies to provide more benefits to lower income Americans. But that isn’t necessarily going to save her from attacks on her hypocrisy. Just consider how much the story of John Edwards’ $400 haircuts damaged his whole “son of a mill worker” poverty-fighting persona.

Related: Millionaire Chelsea Clinton can’t bring herself to care about money. Well, not caring about money is one of the main perquisites of wealth. I remember one of my friends at Skadden saying “I don’t like this job because of the money. I like this job because I never have to think about money.”

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