Not that Hillary Clinton needs my help disemboweling Donald Joffrey, but at the town hall format, she may need some help with the John Q. Citizens they will dredge up.
So, here's my two cents:
Q: Ms. Clinton: How can you say you will put Main Street before Wall Street when you gave speeches to Goldman Sacks for $250,000 a pop and you still refuse to release the transcripts?
A: There's really two questions here: How could I be venal enough to give speeches for $250,000 a pop and why am I unwilling to release those transcripts?
The answer to the first is I needed the money. When we left the White House, we were broke. The way you cash in on fame is to give high priced speeches. That doesn't mean you have to get into bed with anyone, but if they want to pay you for showing up so they can get your photo for their brag wall and they want to pay you that much, who among you would not jump at the chance? Does it look like they were paying me for votes or for access? Well, for votes, no. Nobody in all of Mr. Trump's opposition research regiments has ever been able to find a case of me voting for Wall Street and against Main Street, because I never have and never will. Sure, I took their money, if they are that eager to give it.
As far as releasing the transcripts, sure it makes it look like I've got something to hide, and frankly, I'm afraid if you sent Mr. Trump's troops through those speeches they could do a snip and clip job, a sound bite which would sound bad, out of context, just the way Republicans have always done with selective editing.
When President Obama expressed sympathy for the sorry lot of people in the rust belt who had lost their jobs when American factory owners closed shop and moved overseas, leaving workers unemployed and communities collapsing he said, "What do they have left but their religion and their guns?" And that was made to sound like President Obama held them, their religion and their love of guns in contempt. But, of course, while he despaired about their love of guns, he was not contemptuous of their religion. But he was made to sound arrogant and condescending.
Well, I don't want that happening, in other ways, with my transcripts. Oh, what a feeding frenzy.
Q: Ms. Clinton: What about those emails. Why did you have your people destroy phones and computers with hammers?
A: Because I wanted those emails destroyed. Not because there was anything incriminating or embarrassing in them but because they had information about the thinking of people I worked with, and my thinking, I did not want to share with Vladimir Putin, among others, and as it turns out, maybe that was not a bad idea, given the Russian state sponsored hackers.
But let me ask you: What is the worst thing you can imagine might have been contained in those emails? What deep, dark secret could I possibly be trying to hide in those emails?
Q: You could have revealed state secrets, compromised our national security.
A: Well, that is within the realm of possibility; trouble is, there was no such security breach. The FBI looked for one, but none of those mundane, boring emails had anything juicy or important in them.
Q: Why, after 30 years in public life with you serving as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State is the country in such a terrible state? Why should we want more of the same?
A: You should want more progress, is what you should want. You should look at where we were when the Republicans left office in 2009, how we fell off the precipice which trickle down economics and T party politics brought us to, and how we have recovered, slowly, too slowly for sure, but steadily ever since. Crime rates are down. Gas prices are down. Al Qaeda is emasculated. True ISIS has sprung up, but we're on them now.
The sad truth is, we are never going to get manufacturing jobs back to Kodak, or the steel mills or some of the manufacturing plants. Those jobs were lost, not because of trade deals but because of robots and lots of other forces, including globalization and those particular jobs are never coming back. If you are making film when the world goes digital it's not the fault of government or the Secretary of State that your company goes belly up.
There will be new jobs, better jobs for more people. But we can't just wish this into being. We have to have government helping business.
The government created the internet, and it can build infrastructure if we give it half a chance. But the truth is no one government official whether she is a US Senator or a Secretary of State can single handedly govern. A Senator, a Secretary of State, even a President, has to work with other people. She can't just issue orders from on high the way a CEO of a drug company can do. She can't just haul in the Speaker of the House and say, "You're fired!"
I can't take sole credit for programs insuring kids, or for routing Bin Laden, but I was part of the effort.
And I paid my income taxes to the federal government because that, for me, was an act of patriotism.
Patriotism cannot be patriotism with sacrifice and risk. Singing the Star Spangle Banner at the ball game is fine fun, but it's not patriotism. Fighting for your country is patriotism. Paying your fair share of taxes is patriotism. Patriotism costs you. All the other stuff is just bluster.