Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton, Democratic front-runner for President (PHOTO: official, office of Secretary of State)
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Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton, Democratic front-runner for President (PHOTO: official, office of Secretary of State)

The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton’s financial dealings with Wall Street banks and other financial services firms — $3 million in paid speeches and $17 million in campaign contributions over the years — have become a major source of vulnerability in states with early nomination contests.

Some party officials who remain undecided in the 2016 presidential race see her as a little too cozy with big banks and other special interests.

At a time when liberals are ascendant in the party, many Democrats believe her merely having “represented Wall Street as a senator from New York,” as Mrs. Clinton reminded viewers in an October debate, is bad enough. It is an image problem that she cannot seem to shake.

Though she criticizes the American economy as being “rigged” for the rich, Mrs. Clinton has lost some support recently from party members who think she would go easy on Wall Street excess if elected.  Even as she promises greater regulation of hedge funds and private equity firms, liberals deride her for refusing to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, a law that separated commercial and investment banks until its repeal under President Bill Clinton. (Bernie Sanders favors its restoration.)

And for many Democrats, her strong support from wealthy donors and a big-money “super PAC” undercuts her increasingly progressive rhetoric on free trade and other economic issues.