Get used to hearing this “defense”…
Former Newsweek and New York Times writer Matt Bai has a column at Yahoo spinning furiously against anyone suggesting the Clintons are too wealthy to be in touch with those “everyday Americans.” His headline was frank: “Hillary Clinton’s not like the rest of us? Good!” Bai hotly disputed Sen. Bernie Sanders for attacking Hillary from the populist left:
In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood this week, Sanders assailed the party’s presumed nominee, Hillary Clinton, for having accumulated the kind of wealth that can “isolate you from the reality of the world.”…you get the point: Clinton is out of touch with regular Americans because she doesn’t buy used cars or stockpile CVS coupons or save up for Disneyland like the rest of us do.
To which I would only ask: why on God’s earth would we want a president like us?
Bai wrote the out-of-touch theme has gotten more pronounced as the amount of money in politics has grown. He listed the other multi-millionaires in the race, and then whacked Marco Rubio for not being able to manage his finances without raiding his retirement accounts. (He suggested that made him unworthy of the White House.) Like a disappointed Gore/Kerry voter, he protested:
This is why we have this irritating cliché about the candidate with whom you’d most like to have a beer. It’s why pollsters routinely ask the question about whether their candidate understands “people like me,” then force their clients to go eat at Chipotle or wear a flannel shirt.
The thing is, 20th-century history tells a very different story about what constitutes compassion and what qualifies a president to lead.