Hillary Clinton, Queen of Profit
(Cattle Futures Aside)

by Jay Nordlinger

A reader has sent in a letter, making a point that I think should be aired here on the Corner. It has to do with the media and double standards. I know I’ve never addressed this before. (By the way, “the media” can be a shorthand for “the powers-that-be in America.”)

In Impromptus today, I say something about public figures and “cashing in.” Hillary Clinton is getting $200K per speech. I think that qualifies as “cashing in.” I also think it qualifies as “trading on one’s public office.”

I have used some pretty old-fashioned phrases here. We heard them in 1989, when Ronald Reagan went to Japan for a week and came back with $2 million. (An old Reagan hand described this as “the Reagans’ retirement fund.”) There was a storm of condemnation.

Has there been any storm over Hillary Clinton? Over Bill Clinton, and Al Gore? Haven’t they made tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars? I haven’t noticed any storm. Maybe some raindrops here and there.

Well, our aforementioned reader writes in to say this: When a Republican is caught in some kind of moral failure, he is hit hard. He gets a double portion of shame, because he’s not upholding “conservative values.” He is a stinking hypocrite.

How about when Bill Clinton used an intern for sex in the Oval Office? Well, he never claimed to be any better, did he? And then there’s the sainted JFK — who said to his own intern, “Mr. Powers looks a little tense.” (Dave Powers was his longtime aide and fixer.) “Would you take care of it?” She did, of course.

And JFK is still a national god.

Our reader goes on to say, “The Democrats are supposed to be against ‘greed’ and ‘profit-seeking.’” So when they cash in big, shouldn’t they get a double portion of shame? “Shouldn’t they be making appearances for free, out of the goodness of their hearts, because they’re not greedy like us Republicans?”

To a large extent, being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry.

P.S. The heading of this post leads me to quiz you: Quick, name a Reagan movie with the words “queen” and “cattle” in the title. You’re right: Cattle Queen of Montana, starring Barbara Stanwyck.