Hillary Clinton’s problem isn’t that she can’t fundraise but you might say she is doing it too well. She and her husband have all the fat cats riding around in their limousines donating large amounts of money to their foundation and also outrageous fees for speaking engagements.
The Clinton Foundation
The Foundation has done a lot of good by connecting various charities with donors. But the problems arises in that the foundation is accepting donations from foreign governments. That would generally not be a problem, but when you are running for President it can look like the foreign governments are trying to buy influence. Not where you want to be when running for President.
Failure to Think Ahead?
The foundation took foreign donations up until 2009 when she became Secretary of State. They stopped because it didn’t look good having foreign governments donating indirectly to a top administration official. But when she stepped down as Secretary of State, the foundation started taking foreign donations again. You would think that she and Bill had in mind her run for President. It seems like a poor choice to resume the practice given this and makes you question the ethics but also the surprising failure to see how it would be perceived.
Defending the Donations
The Clinton’s put out a statement defending the practice and pointing out that they are very transparent about who donates, and making available a donor list. But many of the people who are donating to her campaign fund are also making significant donations to the foundation as well. That just doesn’t look good. One can make the assumption that people are donating larger amounts to the foundation than they otherwise might because they were assuming she was running for President and now know she is.
Republican vs. Democrat Outlook
It is not unusual for politician’s to buddy up to wealthy people who can write big checks. But the Republicans have an advantage because they are generally seen as on the side of business vs. labor and they generally don’t see it as a problem to be cozying up to rich people. Rather, it is almost a badge of honor. But Hillary has been pulling in money from the wealthiest people in the world for the foundation and these people usually want something in return. Combine that with the fact that the Democrats draw a lot from labor and the middle to lower classes and it makes for a very difficult balancing act.
The problem can go both ways. Her poll numbers have been dropping which is not the direction she wants them to head. However, they have been receiving large donations which have been rapidly filling the campaign coffers which gives her power compared to most rivals.