Why the Kerfuffle Over Hillary’s Speeches is Mostly Fluff. Probably.

The media and the Bernie Sanders campaign are going bat-crap crazy because she won’t release transcripts of the 92 speeches she’s given since leaving her post as Secretary of State for which she bagged $21.7 million.

I think this is a non-issue. This despite the fact that I’m one of the majority of voters who don’t trust HRC any farther than I could throw a nunlearn missile.

First, all recent former Secretaries of State have almost certainly earned millions in speaking fees. It’s one of the perks of the position. Probably other former Cabinet-level officers have also become highly paid speakers after leaving office.

Second, the whole issue of the content of these talks is naive. Companies don’t hire Clinton — or any other name speaker at her level — for their special knowledge or for what advice they might offer. They do it for the prestige and sometimes for the “draw” value of their name. Let’s face it, Hillary is unlikely to have such deep, unique insights into a subject of business value that these same companies couldn’t hire in the form of multiple consultants with real cred.

In this case, the allegations seem to pertain to pay-for-access, but since she’d already left her post, it’s hard to imagine any intelligently run company would see a direct link between paying her for access she no longer officially had. Of course, she remains a colleague and, by some accounts, friend of the President. I suppose there might be some perceived tit-for-tat play there somewhere. But hundreds of thousands of dollars worth? Seems doubtful to me.

Finally, the fact is that her clients almost certainly demanded confidentiality and intellectual property rights to her speeches as a matter of ordinary course of business. This would give them the ability to share recordings and transcripts of her talks with other audiences within their circle for whatever value they might provide.

All this said, I still don’t trust the woman. If it turns out there is a scandal lurking here, I won’t be too astonished. On the face of it, though, I just don’t see this as a substantial issue.

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