Hillary Clinton did herself no favors on Saturday night by essentially butt-fumbling an opportunity to clarify her position as a recipient of Wall Street money who has said that she wants to reign in Wall Street.
Invoking 9-11 just threw lighter fluid on the eternal flame that is Hillary's complicated relationship with the financial sector. It gave her enemies on the right a chance to paint her - once again - as a cold and Machiavellian political opportunist while simultaneously confusing a Democratic base that wants to trust her, but just can't.
But the group that is most pained by Hillary's inability to really distance herself from close relationships with the big banks are ultra-liberal Warrenistas on the leftist fringes of Hillary's own party who want to see her grab a sledge hammer and run in the front door of 200 West Street. Sitting in their patchouli-scented studies and reading Piketty, these voters know they can't really vote for Bernie Sanders but don't trust Hillary as far as they can throw their own Birkenstocks.
So it makes sense that a member of this group, former Sandinista and current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, would take it upon himself to tell everyone exactly what they want to hear about Hillary.
De Blasio, who recently endorsed Clinton for president and served as her Senate campaign manager in 2000, said he believed his former boss did not allow her donors to influence her positions.
“I say, whoever you take donations from, you can’t let it influence your thinking,” de Blasio said. “I can certainly say there’s a lot of folks on Wall Street who don’t agree with her platform and her agenda, but she has stuck to it."
“She clearly strongly defended Dodd-Frank throughout," de Blasio continued. "She has spoken very powerfully about reining in executive compensation, about cracking down on shadow banking — she’s been strong on desire for closing the carried interest loophole. I think there are plenty of powerful folks on Wall Street who fundamentally hope that what she’s trying to achieve won’t happen. So I think she has clearly maintained the independence of her positions."
That will be music to the ears of big bank-hating liberals, but it's not entirely true.
Hillary has already changed her position on the TPP and the Keystone XL pipeline, while ramping up her "Liz Warren Lite" act after being criticized for being much too close easy on Wall Street. That criticism came from people like... Bill de Blasio.
Despite hugging Hillary moments after he was sworn in as mayor, de Blasio had been coquettishly holding back his endorsement of her campaign for months. When pressed, he would give obtuse responses about Hillary needing to "flesh out" parts of her platform. Many took that to be an implicit criticism of her closeness to Wall Street.
But now de Blasio is firmly in Camp Clinton, telling everyone that Wall Street is afraid of it's frenemy HRC.
Unfortunately, just because he says it doesn't make it true. Hillary is far and away the Democrat most closely aligned with Wall Street interests, and that's why she's walking away with the nomination. De Blasio has proven time and again that he believes very deeply in the idea of visualizing something that isn't there and making it manifest, but his tire fire mayoralty has also proven that it doesn't work.
While the mayor of New York City consoles voters by promising that his chosen presidential nominee will certainly make life harder for the business sector that drives the economic engine of the city he governs, Hillary Clinton grows nostalgic for the days when she didn't have to worry about the headaches that inevitably come with Bill de Blasio's "support."