Politics

This Photo of Hillary Clinton From 2005 Is Going Viral

February 4th 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

After Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stumbled in her response to a question about her Wall Street connections on Wednesday, a photo of the candidate from 2005 surfaced on Reddit and quickly went viral. It shows Clinton, shovel in hand, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the investment bank Goldman Sachs, along with CEO Henry Paulson and other elected officials.

Goldman Sachs

It should be noted that Clinton was a New York Senator at the time of the photo-op, participating in a groundbreaking event that was funded by more than $200 million in tax breaks and grants meant to keep businesses from leaving lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In other words, it makes sense that Clinton would be at the ceremony.

However, is not the kind of image that Clinton wants to be associated with in the minds of voters, especially at this point in her presidential campaign. Critics have attacked Clinton for her Wall Street ties in recent months, and her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), has been particularly vocal about the issue. He argues that Clinton's anti-Wall Street rhetoric is hypocritical, considering the fact that the financial sector contributes heavily to her campaign.

At CNN's Democratic town hall event on Wednesday, moderators asked Clinton whether the $675,000 she accepted for three paid speeches for Goldman Sachs was "a bad error in judgment." She gave a curt response: "I don't know. That's what they offered," she said.

Clinton

But what's prompted deeper scrutiny of Clinton was the misleading statement she made about the extent to which the financial sector is currently contributing to her presidential campaign. "They’re not giving me very much money now, I can tell you that much," Clinton said. "Fine with me."

However, The Washington Post's analysis of Clinton's Federal Election Commission filings found that Wall Street was pouring millions into her campaign and allied super PACs to the tune of $21.4 million in 2015 alone. Donors from hedge funds, banks, insurance companies, and other financial firms make up about one of every $10 she has received.

According to The Post's review of Clinton's finance records, Wall Street sources have donated about $4 million directly to Clinton's campaign, and $17.4 million to super PACs that support her.

Clinton Wall Street

"Clinton’s success at raising millions from major Wall Street players — even as she blasts some of their most lucrative practices — shows how she continues to benefit from relationships she and her husband forged over decades," The Post reported. "As Sanders has put her on the defensive about her Wall Street contributions, Clinton has responded that the campaign money does not influence her approach to regulating the financial industry."


Meanwhile, Sanders is touting the fact that Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein called his campaign's insurgence one of the "dangerous moments" of the 2016 election, "not just for Wall Street, but for anyone who is a little bit out of line." Sanders also emphasizes his lack of super PAC support and the fact that his average campaign donation is about $29.

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