Hillary Clinton Is as Good at Courting Wall Street as Mitt Romney


Although Hillary Clinton's recent comments about her wealth don't quite put her in the same presidential candidate club as Mitt Romney, there is one area where the two seem to have something in common: a knack for fundraising out of Wall Street.

According to a Wall Street Journal look at Bill and Hillary Clinton's political and foundation fundraising over the last two decades, about 12 percent of the total amount raised by the Clintons over those years has come from the financial sector. To put that in perspective, Obama's 2012 campaign raised 6 percent of its total from the industry, while Mitt Romney took in 13 percent of his total from Wall Street, according to the Journal. 

The Journal's report — which estimates that the Clintons have raised over $1 billion in total corporate and industry donations — looked at a variety of fundraising outlets for the pair: Bill's two presidential campaigns, the DNC during the Clinton presidency, Hillary Clinton's senate campaigns, and the the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Although the numbers are approximate (the Foundation, for instance, gives donation ranges instead of exact figures) the report estimates that the pair have raised between $2 and $3 billion total.

The Clintons' good relationship with Wall Street is hardly unknown. But if you're not familiar, the Journal has some context: 

Business has long hedged its bets in politics, supporting candidates of both parties. Mr. Clinton won industry support during eight years in the White House by helping balance the budget and steering the U.S. to a period of economic growth. For Wall Street, Mr. Clinton enacted several legislative priorities, including the elimination of barriers between commercial and investment banking in 1999.

After the Clintons left the White House in 2001, Mrs. Clinton became the junior senator from New York state, the heart of finance in the U.S. When she ran for re-election in 2006, Mrs. Clinton raked in $5.7 million from financial services firms, which was more than all but one other member of Congress that year, according to the CRP.

And that relationship has continued: since leaving office, Bill Clinton has earned 1.35 million in speaking fees for Goldman Sachs alone, and about $23 million overall in fees from the financial sector for the same period. The Washington Post recently published a more in-depth look at Bill Clinton's speaking fees earnings, in case you're interested. 

As the National Journal pointed out earlier this week, this sort of information is exactly the sort of thing Republicans already campaigning against Hillary hope to keep in the public sphere for years, until the 2016 elections (or alternatively, until Clinton decides not to run). Questions about her wealth certainly didn't help Clinton's unsuccessful bid for the nomination in 2008 against Obama. It looks like Team Clinton is hoping that airing all this laundry now will help to dissipate similar questions by the time primaries actually begin.  

(Image via JStone / Shutterstock.com)

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