Release Those Tax Returns and Donor Lists

02/12/2008 12:43 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I don't know how to raise this unpleasant matter except to say it straight: The greatest single risk that Republicans will retain the White House is that Senator Clinton will win the nomination, only to be brought down by some financial embarrassment involving herself or her husband.

I don't write this out of spite. I will certainly vote for her if she is the nominee. Almost every Democrat I know, even those of us who now oppose her, greatly respect Senator Clinton's intellect and experience. I support most of her policy proposals, which are often similar to those advanced by Senator Obama. I admire the Clinton Foundation's AIDS work. Many in the public health world believe--I certainly do--that Bill Clinton has done more to fight AIDS as an ex-president than he was able to accomplish in his term of office.

Everyone also knows that the Clintons have made a lot of money over the same period, and that their complicated financial life is their key vulnerability. They have raised $165 million for the Clinton Library, additional monies for the Foundation, for their legal defense, and now for the campaign. Republican operatives are scrutinizing every speech President Clinton has given, every trip he has taken, every donation his library and his foundation have received. Of course, the same need for transparency applies to Senator Obama, about Mr. Rezko or whatever else might be pertinent.

If anything embarrassing is there, we need to vet it now. Senator Clinton, we've got to see those tax returns, those donor lists, and whatever else could spell trouble. This election is just too important to lose over some contribution or personal financial matter.