Sunday

February 26th, 2017

Insight

Simple tastes for a president

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published Feb. 27, 2015

Simple tastes for a president
For all the tales you've heard about Hillary and Bubba, they're actually simple folks with simple tastes. All they want is money.

Bubba likes the ladies, too, though he never pays much attention to them with their clothes on. The years cool ardor and blight opportunity, and even if good ol' boy charm and boudoir magic have survived he may not be up for another championship season. But money, unlike sex, knows no season.

If the past is prologue, we shouldn't be surprised by the revelations emerging in the newspapers. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Clinton Foundation has dropped its ban, self-imposed, on collecting money from foreign governments and is taking on boodle at an accelerating pace. The Journal says this raises "ethical questions" for skeptical folk as Hillary gets seriously to work assembling a presidential campaign.

Back home in Little Rock, where he was governor for almost forever (only Orval Faubus occupied the office longer), there were few of the usual gubernatorial scandals. He rarely pursued the petty temptations a governor is heir to, at least not with the passion of some predecessors. Mike Huckabee once described Arkansas as "a banana republic." One former governor had a little insurance business and wrote fire and theft policies, with handsome premiums, on every concrete and steel bridge in the highway system.

But Hillary loves money just for being there. "She was the usual yankee wife," remembers someone who knew them in the Arkansas years. "She thrived on collecting dimes and nickels." Her taste for dollars, first in the thousands and then the millions and now the billions, waxed with the passage of the years and the size of the opportunities.

Some of the stories in Little Rock that became famous and then infamous grew with the years, too, but the basic facts were consistent in the telling. Like the $3 income-tax deductions for Bubba's old underwear, taken for gifts to a Salvation Army thrift store. Bubba's skivvies never got much wear, so $3 for a pair of his briefs was a bargain. They may be worth a lot more now as collector's items, like a vial of Elvis Presley's bath water that a collector could have bought in Memphis for five bucks in the '50s and now might be appraised on Antiques Road Show for a thousand.

With nothing much to occupy her time when the Clintons moved into the Governor's Mansion (since, by her telling of it, she was not about to bake any cookies), she started playing the cattle futures market. With the friendly help of a country broker named 'Red' Bone (like everything from the Bonnie and Clod years, the names of the characters seemed out of a movie) she parlayed $100 into $100,000 in the space of a few weeks. She once collected $40,000 in a single afternoon.

The brokerage, by custom, assigned winners and losers among its futures customers at the end of the trading day, and Hillary had extraordinary beginner's luck. Two professors with high math skills calculated that the odds against anyone repeating her run was 3 trillion to 1. There was gold in them Arkansas hills.

Once they crossed the Potomac, luck improved. Bubba cruised through eight prosperous years with no foreign crises to distract him from his endless search for oral sex (or should that be "oral gender?"). Curators at his presidential library in Little Rock were stumped for something exciting to curate, since Bubba's search for oral gender officially never happened. They left the White House "dead broke," if you believe Hillary (and who wouldn't?) but it was the kind of "broke" nearly everybody this side of the Waltons, George Soros and Bill Gates could envy.

Both Bonnie and Clod started making speeches, telling tall tales at $250,000 a pop, and once they organized a foundation where they could stash the loot the contributions from the rich, the very rich and then from the exceedingly rich, arrived. The magic couple struck it rich in a way that was beyond the dreams of avarice for anyone who was not Hillary. But that distant noise is the sound of alarm bells.

The big corporations she worked for so aggressively as secretary of state, the likes of General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and Boeing, have contributed almost $26 million to the family foundation. If she is ever president, some of her corporate friends may think they were buying future access.

Or she could take the money she's collecting now and run, not for president but for the hills, or the mountains or the south of France. She could count her boodle in peace.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles