On stage and in the arena much of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Convention was devoted to reassuring grieving Sanders fans that their cause is her cause, but behind closed doors it was business as usual between the Democratic Establishment and Wall Street.
“Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary,” Clinton said during her acceptance speech Thursday evening. “And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause.”
While Clinton wooed progressives with toothless rhetoric about Wall Street, her campaign continued to rake in the dough from the industry clearly “with her.”
But while Clinton and her allies were throwing rhetorical bones to Sanders supporters, representatives from Wall Street were close at hand, keeping an eye on their investment in Philadelphia.
Representatives from Goldman Sachs, one of Wall Street’s largest investment banks that has paid Clinton tens of thousands of dollars for speeches, attended the DNC in Philadelphia, along with officials from many other major financial firms including Avenue Capital, Boston Provident, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.
Blackstone Group, a massive private equity hedge fund, held a closed-door meet-and-greet at the convention on Thursday. It is unlikely Sanders, any his progressive colleagues like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, or any of the thousands of grassroots Democrats looking for Clinton to crack down on Wall Street were invited.
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Not surprisingly, the same cadre of representatives from the financial sector were notably absent from the Republican Convention the previous week in Cleveland.
Donors connected to Wall Street have contributed approximately $48.5 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign — compared with just $19,000 given to Trump.
“So much of what happened in the GOP primaries … had them thinking about whether to have a presence in Cleveland and deciding not to,” Kevin Madden, a top Mitt Romney aide in 2012 and a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, told Politico. “All these images created a great deal of uncertainty that they don’t have in Philly.”
So while Clinton wooed progressives with toothless rhetoric about Wall Street, her campaign continued to rake in the dough from the industry clearly “with her.”
As if the Wall Street dupe wasn’t a blatant enough sleight to the Sanders crowd, President Obama’s administration promptly dismissed any notion the grassroots opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership on display throughout the week in Philadelphia would in any way change their commitment to passing the massive trade pact.
“I’m happy to tell you that [within] the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced by far the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party,” Sanders told delegates during his robustly-received Monday speech at the DNC. “It … calls for strong opposition to job-killing trade agreements like the TPP … We have got to make sure that TPP does not get to the floor of the Congress in the lame-duck session.”
But Eric Schultz, the principal deputy White House press secretary, told Roll Call on Friday the president’s mind remains unchanged on TPP.
“So the president is acutely aware of the politics around this, but that’s not going to stop him from getting this done,” Schultz said. “Our focus has been on generating votes in the United States Congress, both in the House and in the Senate. The president absolutely believes this deal should pass this year.”