So far in this election cycle, Wall Street has been like Hillary Clinton's crazy college ex-boyfriend. As much as she wants to bury their relationship publicly, everyone knows that they're still quite fond of each other.
And no one has been more unrelenting in tying Hillary to her ex than rabid Wall Street-hater Bernie Sanders. Everyone's favorite cuddly socialist has almost built an entire campaign around the theory that Wall Street is a fraudulent criminal scheme perpetuated simultaneously by various banks purposefully ripping off middle-class Americans to sate their greed and undermine the government.
Despite the whole tin foil hat aspect of that narrative, the Sanders campaign has been wildly successful in vilifying the financial industry and making Hillary's life way more difficult than she ever imagined it could be. It's also forced Hilary to try and pretend that she isn't close to Wall Street, that she didn't get to know bank CEOs while living in the White House for eight years, or create relationships with New York financial firms while serving as the Senator from New York State.
Instead of saying, "No one is giving Marco Rubio sh!t for being too close to the orange juice industry," Hillary has been stuck giving half-answers about "bad actors" and "shadow banking." But Hillary has now taken a commanding lead in the race for the nomination, and during last night's debate her self-control seemed to start fraying when Sanders once again went on the Wall Street attack.
When Sanders tried to tie her to the Too Big To Fail bailout, Hillary had the presence of mind to remember that she was literally standing in Michigan.
SANDERS: Your story is for — voting for every disastrous trade agreement, and voting for corporate America. Did I vote against the Wall Street bailout?
When billionaires on Wall Street destroyed this economy, they went to Congress and they said, “please, we’ll be good boys, bail us out.” You know what I said? I said, “let the billionaires themselves bail out Wall Street.” It shouldn’t be the middle class of this country.
CLINTON: Now let me get back to what happened in January of 2009. The Bush administration negotiated the deal. Were there things in it that I didn’t like? Would I have done it differently? Absolutely.
But was the auto bailout money in it — the $350 billion that was needed to begin the restructuring of the auto industry? Yes, it was. So when I talk about Senator Sanders being a one-issue candidate, I mean very clearly — you have to make hard choices when you’re in positions of responsibility. The two senators from Michigan stood on the floor and said, “we have to get this money released.” I went with them, and I went with Barack Obama. You did not. If everybody had voted the way he did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking four million jobs with it.
That felt like as close as we were going to get to hearing Hillary flat-out say "Money is complicated, you Pinko." But it turned out that she would get even closer.
When Bernie pivoted to another of his favorite topics: Hillary's Wall Street campaign funding/her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, Hillary showed her hand and it turned out that she had even fewer f@cks to give.
SANDERS: Let me just say this, while we are on Wall Street, one of us has a super PAC. One of us has raised $15 million from Wall Street for that super PAC. One of us has given speeches on Wall Street for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, I kind of think if you get paid a couple hundred thousand dollars for a speech, it must be a great speech. I think we should release it and let the American people see what that transcript was.
CLINTON: Well, let’s have some facts instead of some rhetoric for a change. I went to Wall Street when I was a United States senator. I told them they were wrecking the economy. I asked for a moratorium on foreclosures. I asked that we do more to try to prevent what I worried was going to happen. I also called for closing loopholes including the carried interest loophole. I also called for changes in CEO pay. I have a record. And you know what, if you were going to be in some way distrusted or dismissed about whether you can take on Wall Street if you ever took money, President Obama took more money from Wall Street in the 2008 campaign than anybody ever had.
And when it came time to stand up to Wall Street, he passed and signed the toughest regulation since the Great Depression with the Dodd-Frank regulations.
The whole debate felt at times like Hillary was telepathically telling the audience that she could not believe she was still having to deal with this guy and was instead just preparing to deal with Trump's bullsh!t.
And if that does end up being the general election, don't be surprised if Hillary shows up to a campaign event with Lloyd Blankfein on one arm and Jamie Dimon on the other, looking directly into an MSNBC camera and saying "Yeah, it's like THAT!"