Hillary Clinton is running for president, but she keeps pushing back the formal announcement of her campaign in order to avoid the public spotlight and earn as much easy money as she possibly can on the corporate speaking circuit. When she decides to stop kneeling the ball three times and then punting, and finally gets into the fray, here are some questions (and follow-ups) we’d like to ask her.
1. Why are you running for president?
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- Can you answer this question without mentioning your grandchild?
- What does it say about you as candidate that your own aides believe you are "better off as a non-candidate," and should delay having to confront actual voters for as long as possible?
- What makes your "rationale" for running any different from that of Mitt Romney?
- Both of you lost to Barack Obama in rather humiliating fashion. Remember that?
- He has 23 times the number of grandchildren you do, so doesn’t that mean he thinks about the future that much harder?
- You’re both excessively rich, right?
- No? Please explain.
2. How would you explain to a normal American why you insist on charging a public university $300,000 to hear you speak?
- If your first instinct is to point out that $300,000 is a "special university rate," do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?
- You’ve been in politics long enough to know how poor these optics are, how potentially damaging it could be to one’s political ambitions, so why run that risk for an extra $300,000?
- That may be about six times the U.S. median income, but it’s not a life-changing amount for a someone like you, is it?
- President Obama, who you have praised for his approach to helping the middle class, has said: "At a certain point, you’ve made enough money." Do you agree or disagree? How would you define "enough" money? Is it more or less than your current net worth?
- What is the point of demanding $300,000 from a taxpayer-funded university? Why not do it for free, when it’s so easy to make that money elsewhere, by giving a one-hour speech to a group of Goldman Sachs executives, for example, and when doing so would make you look good politically? Is there something about your current financial situation that we don’t know that would explain your voracious quest for cash?
- Will you be able to maintain your current lifestyle requirements on a presidential salary of only $400,000 a year?
3. Can you remember that last time you did each of the following things:
- Drove a car?
- Pumped gas?
- Cooked your own food?
- Paid for something in cash?
- Used a broom or vacuum cleaner?
- Flew on a commercial airplane?
- No, first class doesn’t count. When was the last time you sat in coach?
- Helped a poor person?
- No, not "poor people" or the "the poor" in the generic sense. I know that’s what you were thinking. Attending a fundraising gala with other rich people, sitting on the board of a charitable foundation, voting for Obama (assuming you did), posing for a State Department photo op, or "supporting policies designed to help the least among us," doesn’t count.
- When was the last time you physically interacted with a poor person and made his or her life a little bit better than it was prior to the interaction?
- Just to be clear, the word "poor" in this context means poor in the way that most normal Americans would define it—as in, literally below the poverty line poor. Not "dead broke" in the way a powerful, well-connected multimillionaire might describe her "struggle" to finance the purchase of two mansions while paying off legal debts related to an intern sex scandal.
- If the first person that comes to mind is an individual under your direct or indirect employment, can you explain why you refuse to pay them a living wage?
4. Would you have any hesitation about voting for a candidate whose top donors over the course of his or her political career are Wall Street investment firms, and who has been paid large sums of money to speak at conferences of top Wall Street executives?
- Doesn't Wall Street actively harm the interests of ordinary working class Americans?
- Would you think twice about supporting a candidate who hired a Morgan Stanley executive for a top role in his or her campaign? Didn't Morgan Stanley help cause the 2008 financial crisis?
- Would you have any reservations about a candidate who pals around and takes money from a Wall Street billionaire being sued by the federal government for defrauding investors?
- If you were to ever meet, or become close personal friends with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, what would you say to him?
5. Will you commit to running the most inclusive campaign in history?
- Will you promise to reject the myth of "political correctness" and loudly condemn the problematic and dangerously privileged assumptions of neoliberal oppressors like Jonathan Chait?
- Will you stop lying to your supporters about your quest to become the first "woman" elected president of the United States? Will you acknowledge that many find this suggestion offensive?
- In the interest of accuracy and intersectional inclusion, will you finally come to terms with your own extraordinary privilege as you seek to become the first cisgendered female-identifying hetero-binary WWC to become leader of the "free" world?
- Wouldn't the Democratic Party send a stronger message, and strike a greater blow for equality, by nominating a WOC, such as Elizabeth Warren?
- Will your campaign merchandise reject exclusionary labels such as "Men's" and "Women's," or even "Infant," which may alienate Americans who identify as adult babies? Furthermore, will you shun labels like "Dog" and "Cat," which are likely to offend members of various fetish communities for whom the use of Hillary 2016 collars, leashes, and pet dishes will be a source of empowerment in their daily lives?
- Also, why were pretty much all of your initial campaign hires non-women without color (NWWC)? Isn't that problematic?