New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd ponders all the right aspects of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s pathetic traveling talk show tour of the U.S. and Canada. But she misses the mark with her conclusion as to the true motivation driving the two aging political figures to take to the road.
“I’m looking around Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s a depressing sight,” Dowd writes. “It’s two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales.”
What’s It About?
Dowd wonders why Bill and Hillary would subject themselves to the public humiliation of presenting themselves as the political version of aging rock and rollers playing the county fair. .
..a trip to Sugar Land to cull $11 off a fawning local.
“It can’t be the money at this point. Have they even spent all the Goldman gold yet? Do they want to swim in their cash like Scrooge McDuck?” Dowd asks.
She observes that the pair has made about $240 million since leaving the White House. So why then are they charging folks in Sugar Land, TX, $11 a ticket to see them “hash over their well-worn tale of falling in love at Yale Law School”?
“It’s not for charity. They’re not raising awareness about a cause,” Dowd writes.
For Dowd, the sorry spectacle is evidence of a “pathological need to be relevant.”
Their Kind of High
Well, the word pathological is certainly correct. But there is much more at work here than mere concern for relevancy.
The Clintons are habitual and lifelong con artists. They are grifters who live for the scam. Whether looting an entire country, as their bogus charitable foundation did in Haiti, or pilfering the furniture while exiting the White House, Bill and Hillary need to swindle like the rest of us need oxygen.
For years, the Clinton Foundation was the vehicle for these two charlatans to rake in the dough. But Hillary’s painful loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race has made Democrats eager to put the stale couple in their rearview mirror for good. Well-heeled donors, no longer seeing any advantage in currying favor with has-beens, have cut off the money flow and the fraudulent foundation spigot has dried up.
But scammers are addicted to the con not for the size of the return itself but for the sheer pleasure derived from the acts of deception that they perform. A posting at FraudAid.com, a fraud victim advocacy group, states that “[s]windlers are irresistibly drawn to scam. It gives them an adrenaline rush when you are so enthralled with their made-up persona that you quite literally shove your money into their hands. The scam itself is an ego trip.”
Now that explains a trip to Sugar Land to cull $11 off a fawning local. Bill and Hillary are finding they can no longer so easily cultivate rich marks eager to bribe them for access to power so they are now lifting wallets on the subway. Like a one-time world-class bank robber reduced to shoplifting, they do it because thievery is in their blood. Putting on the act and getting paid form the rhythm of their lives.
We all know either of them would give a speech to three Eskimos at the Arctic Circle were a bundle of cash in the offing. What we didn’t know before this soggy tour is that they’ll do it for sofa-cushion money, too. But we should have known. No, it’s not about relevance for Bill and Hillary. It’s about feeding the rubes a line and walking away with the cash. That is what the Clintons have always been, and that is what they will always be.