Hillary Clinton is great at sounding like a populist. Yet she's not very convincing. If Clinton really wanted to curtail the influence of the powerful, she might start with the advisers to her own campaign, who represent some of the weightiest interests in corporate America.
Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, not only polls for America's biggest companies but also runs one of the world's premier PR agencies. A bevy of current and former Hillary advisers are linked to a prominent lobbying and PR firm--the Glover Park Group--that has cozied up to the pharmaceutical industry and Rupert Murdoch. Her fundraiser in chief, Terry McAuliffe, has the priciest Rolodex in Washington, luring high-rolling contributors to Clinton's campaign. Her husband, since leaving the presidency, has made millions giving speeches and counsel to investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, who house the Clintons' closest economic advisers.
Not only is Hillary more reliant on large donations and corporate money than her Democratic rivals, but advisers in her inner circle are closely affiliated with unionbusters, GOP operatives, conservative media and other Democratic Party antagonists. It's not exactly an advertisement for the working-class hero, or a picture her campaign freely displays. Her ties to corporate America say a lot about what she values and cast doubt on her ability and willingness to fight for the progressive policies she claims to champion.
For the full story, read my new Nation magazine article "Hillary Inc.."