Clinton Renews Claim Of Being “Dead Broke” And Insists The Couple Had “To Work Unbelievably Hard” To Make The Mortgage

225px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop220px-Labor-Pearce-Highsmith-detail-1We have been following the bizarre struggle of Hillary Clinton to claim that she and Bill were “dead broke” after leaving the White House. Independent reviewers like Politifact have shredded the claim and the Clintons have become the fodder for commentators and comedians over the controversy. The Clintons made over $12 million in the first year after leaving the White House and they have made over $100 million from speaking fees and different events. CNN documented that Clinton earned $106 million by making speeches from the end of his presidency through January 2013. Hillary Clinton has pulled in $200,000 a speech and was criticized for receiving $500,000 in one week from Goldman Sachs . Yet, the Clintons have been doubling down on the claim like a bad gambler. Bill Clinton was brought out to vouch for Hillary that the statement is “factually true.” That resulted in a new round of mockery. We have discussed the controversy in terms of the interesting dynamic of American politics where exceptionally wealthy candidates struggle to identify with Americans struggling financially. The Clintons however will not accept that the pitch is simply not working. This week Hillary is again claiming to have been impoverished in a new interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel – a claim that even Germans find just as hard to swallow.

Hillary told the magazine that the couple was worried about not being able to afford college for their daughter and pay for a simple mortgage.The claim is based on legal debts that are common in Washington. It is well known in Washington that these debts to Democratic law firms is funny money and that these firms would have closed shop rather than pursue the Clintons for payment. The debts, as is always the case, was quickly paid off by Clinton supporters, lobbyists, and others interested in helping the powerful couple. It was debt on paper alone and both Clintons were looking at massive windfalls after leaving the White House.

However, Hillary told Der Spiegel: “Well, when we came out of the White House, we were deeply in debt because of all the legal bills that we owed because of the relentless persecution of my husband and myself, and he had to work unbelievably hard to pay off every single penny of every debt we owed. And we did.” When the magazine points out the fortune amassed by the Clintons from friends and lobbyists, Hillary responds “We are very grateful for where we are today. But if you were to go back and look at the amount of money that we owed, we couldn’t even get a mortgage on a house by ourselves. In our system he had to make double what he needed in order just to pay off the debt, and then to finance a house and continue to pay for our daughter’s education.”

CoalMinersJenkinsThe claim that they couple had “to work unbelievably hard” is not likely to sit well with many Americans holding two or three jobs to take food on the table. Being flown around in private jets and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a speech (or a million a speech for Bill Clinton) is not viewed by most people as working unbelievably hard. The common definition of hard work does not include speaking to adoring crowds and sycophantic lobbyists. I regularly give speeches around the county (for a tad less than $250,000 a pop!), but I would never claim to be working hard. My grandfather worked hard. He was a coal miner. That is hard work.

What is interesting is that the rest of the interview is quite impressive, showing Clinton’s intellect and knowledge. I remain fascinated by the desire to claim to have been a struggling couple after leaving the White House as a political necessity.

Here is the Der Spiegel interview.

93 thoughts on “Clinton Renews Claim Of Being “Dead Broke” And Insists The Couple Had “To Work Unbelievably Hard” To Make The Mortgage”

  1. randyjet “Even Prof Turley has admitted the FACT that on paper they were indeed broke. Now if you wish to use future earnings as a means of resolving things in bankruptcy court, I suggest you change the laws.”


    “Dead broke” more than implies having trouble finding the funds for necessities (like food). The Clintons didn’t, “in fact”, file for bankruptcy, which makes any comment about bankruptcy irrelevant.

    Keep in mind that “on paper” is a qualification that means “not in real life”.

    The Clinton’s claim to being “dead broke” is “FACT” only if you are using a meaning for “dead broke” that is completely different that the meaning an overwhelming majority of people use.

    How, exactly, does the “dead broke” lie serve the Clintons?

    “Turley 6/12/2014: “Moreover in 1999, the couple bought a five-bedroom home in Chappaqua, N.Y., for $1.7 million and then in 2000, they bought a seven-bedroom house near Embassy Row in Washington, D.C. for $2.85 million.”

    These are, in fact, not actions that a person who is “dead broke” would take. Not because these actions would be stupid, in that case, but because they wouldn’t be possible at all.

  2. Al Zheimers wrote “The other blog put on this piece from wiki”

    Wikipedia is often a farce and you need to accept that. I remember looking up the page on the Red Army Faction a/k/a the Baader-Meinhof Gang. After Andreas Baader’s name was “(RIP),” obviously added by a true believer.

  3. I do not beleive that Hillary’s dog partner was named Rodney. I think it was Cigar. I heard this story years ago while living in DC. The story is old but apparently forgotten. Let sleeping dogs lye. I would spull it lie but I dont want folks to get confused. Dogs always bark the truth.

  4. The other blog put on this piece from wiki:

    As a child, Hillary Rodham was a teacher’s favorite at her public schools in Park Ridge.[7][8] She participated in swimming, baseball, and other sports.[7][8] She also earned numerous awards as a Brownie and Girl Scout.[8] She attended Maine East High School, where she participated in student council, the school newspaper, and was selected for National Honor Society.[1][9] For her senior year, she was redistricted to Maine South High School, where she was a National Merit Finalist and graduated in the top five percent of her class of 1965.[9][10] Her mother wanted her to have an independent, professional career,[6] and her father, otherwise a traditionalist, was of the opinion that his daughter’s abilities and opportunities should not be limited by gender.[11]
    Raised in a politically conservative household,[6] at age thirteen Rodham helped canvass South Side Chicago following the very close 1960 U.S. presidential election, where she found evidence of electoral fraud against Republican candidate Richard Nixon.[12] She then volunteered to campaign for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the U.S. presidential election of 1964.[13] In the ninth grade she was alleged to have had sex with a neighbor’s dog named Roddy. Rodham’s early political development was shaped most by her high school history teacher (like her father, a fervent anticommunist), who introduced her to Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative,[14] and by her Methodist youth minister (like her mother, concerned with issues of social justice), with whom she saw and met civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., in Chicago in 1962.[15]

    1. Al – and then she went to college where she met lots of girls and did her senior paper on Alinsky.

  5. Another blog has it that Hillary had sex with a dog back in junior high. Is there any truth to this?

    1. Al – do they have pictures of Hillary and the dog? Or witnesses? Dick Morris was the Clintons’ political consultant and he is the first one I heard say that Hillary was a lesbian.

  6. The Clintons are just Republicans disguised as Democrats.

    I’ll vote for Sanders in the primary or Warren if she runs.

    If Clinton wins the nomination, I’ll write in Warren in the general election.

  7. Paul C. Schulte
    pete – no one in the right mind would hire me as a political consultant. 😉


    yeah, they ain’t been knockin down my door either

  8. Paul – not sure what your point is, but if you are implying that HRC is really a liberal/progressive – then I think you are dead wrong, and the evidence that she is as right-wing as Morocco Bama, the bushes, Bill C., Al Gore, and Saint Ronald (aka “The Snitch”) is long and deep, going back 50 years when she was a Goldwater Girl).

  9. That HILLARY! is seen by so many people as a Moderate reflects just how right-wing much of the voting public has become.

    1. bill – it has to do more with Hillary positioning herself to a Presidential run.

  10. The #1 Paul wrote “Reagan made a deal with Democrats that he would both cut taxes and the budget. He got half the promise.”

    He didn’t put everything into one bill or ensure that both bills passed together? Mister “trust but verify” got burned on a political deal?

    1. saucy – Reagan seems to have done better dealing with the Soviets than Congress. Of course, he labelled the Soviets as “evil” so there was a line drawn in the sand.

  11. If you believe Hillary Clinton was dead broke when she left the White House, you’ll believe that rocks grow. No. Better still. If you believe Hillary Clinton was dead broke when she left the White House, you’ll believe she landed under sniper fire in Bosnia.

    1. Vince – loved your comment. You forgot the firmly held belief that Hillary was named after that mountain climber guy, Sir Edmund Hilary.

  12. Hillary is so frustrated.

    Her opponent wears camouflage to look like everyone else on the renegade party boat circling her, as they all take turns shooting holes in their own boat.

    When HE, her opponent stands erect as the renegade party voters take of the white hoods of their candidates, then exalt their national nocandidate, she becomes frustrated because she does not have much of a fight ahead.

    Thus, another predetermined national election, perhaps birthing another Sarah The Palin.

    It is a duopoly where one party comes from Lubbock, Texas.

    Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.” -Butch Hancock

  13. nick:

    “Here, it’s lyin’ SOS politicians and we’re campaign managers. Plus, it’s fun for many of us ripping the Queen. This means NOTHING in the real world. Just talkin’ trash”


    Agreed, but some folks around here actually believe some of the spin. A little disabusing of ideology is in order for them.

  14. John:

    ” Bill Clinton’s name is only minimally acceptable for the historical record because he, like America, was a direct beneficiary of the Ronald Reagan economy that lasted for 25 years.”


    I guess you didn’t live through the Reagan years. Ol’ Ronnie took over in a severe economic downturn caused by Nixon’s war and a global downturn generally. Reagan came in with tax cuts in 1981. The rich got much richer and our faux- sheriff then embarked upon an unprecedented defense spending spree and was borrowing like a college kid with his first paycheck. He ran up the deficit and as his rich pals made gobs of money, the middle class schmucks whom he courted saw no rise in their incomes. Also, there was negligible rise in productivity until 1995 as documented by Bush’s own economics team. So Reagan deserves some credit for the mid-80s upturn accomplished with taxpayer money but he gets just as much blame for the stagnation in productivity caused by too much spending late in his 2nd term.

    1. mespo – Reagan made a deal with Democrats that he would both cut taxes and the budget. He got half the promise. He complained about this several times. You just cannot trust some people.

  15. Hillary should go out and deliver a speech like Evita Peron. And then zip it.

  16. Warspite: “I have to say that I never doubted Bush II thought he was acting in the best interests of the US. … But Bill & Hillary Clinton are a different story. I truly don’t think either have any fundamental beliefs beyond their own personal aggrandizement. As adult political figures, I see no evidence of any religious, philosophical, political, whatever, beliefs. They act only out of convenience to themselves, and I find that quite threatening in a politician.”

    Your view aligns with my take on Secretary Clinton.

    Does she have the necessary “intellect and knowledge” (jonathanturley)? Sure, I’ll accept that. However, what gives me pause about her and President Clinton is that they’re such distinctively political creatures who look out for themselves first. I can accept the electoral road to the White House requires some self-centered pragmatic maneuvering. However, I need to at least trust a Presidential candidate will honor the leadership responsibility of the Office of the President and act in the best interests of the US in context, however he or she might be critiqued in hindsight.

    We at least have the excuse with Obama that he conned us all with a sparse resume and a ‘blank slate’. Secretary Clinton has amassed a record since she left the White House in 2001.

    Warspite: “In hindsight, in Iraq he was not.”

    I disagree with you, which bears on Secretary Clinton’s qualification for President.

    We are better off without Saddam, who was rearming in the midst of a broken ‘containment’. In addition to Iraq’s unresolved non-weapons violations, eg, UNSCR 688, which were also triggers, UNMOVIC reported “about 100 unresolved disarmament issues” in March 2003. After the regime change, the Iraq Study Group corroborated Iraq was in broad violation of its weapons obligations. By the requirements of the UNSC resolutions, WMD was found in Iraq. Saddam’s goal was to defeat the Iraq enforcement and rearm, not compliance so that the international community could trust Saddam with the peace.

    We also would be better off had US forces continued our Cold War-style insurance of Iraq’s security and facilitation of Iraq’s liberal progression. The 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement was right on the law and justified on the policy, but distorted in the politics. The 2003-2011 peace operations were necessary to secure and build the long-term peace – again, Cold War style. Obama should have stayed the course from Bush as Eisenhower stayed the course from Truman. Leaving Iraq prematurely in 2011 was a grave pivotal error that was compounded by Obama’s deviation from the Bush Freedom Agenda, which might have directed the course of the Arab Spring differently.

    That said, my take on the Iraq issue requires a contextual understanding of the 1991-2003 Iraq enforcement for which the US was chief enforcer of the Gulf War ceasefire and UNSC resolutions. The ceasefire was designed to disarm and rehabilitate Saddam in order to allow us to be certain that Saddam could be trusted with the peace in a vital region long tied to US and allied security. Saddam stepped on the red line during the 1980s with his internal actions and war with Iran, and then strode across the red line with Kuwait in 1990. Yet Saddam actually moved further in the wrong direction from the red line after the ceasefire. The 1991 ceasefire was meant as a fast disarmament of Saddam to be completed within 1-2 years. However, because Saddam refused to comply, the disarmament degenerated into a stalemated, festering ad hoc ‘containment’ after Operation Desert Fox. The ‘containment’ was really a euphemism for the failed disarmament, not an actually proactive strategy. By the time Bush came into office, the ‘containment’ of Saddam was broken – toxic, unstable, and collapsing. In other words, the Iraq enforcement was in a terminal state.

    By the close of the Clinton administration, with the ‘containment’ status quo failing, our only realistic choices remaining as the chief enforcer with Saddam were either to deploy a credible threat of regime change to compel Saddam’s compliance or end the failing Iraq enforcement and free a noncompliant Saddam, unreconstructed. Or, as chief enforcer, we could have maintained the pretense that it was working until the ‘containment’ of Saddam collapsed on its own, and whatever happens with a triumphant Saddam, happens.

    President Bush’s Iraq enforcement carried forward President Clinton’s Iraq enforcement. The Saddam problem and the operative enforcement procedure to resolve the Saddam’s regime matured under Clinton. I don’t say that to shift partisan blame for the Saddam problem from Bush to Clinton or Clinton to Bush. Rather, it’s to say Saddam was a non-partisan festering problem, especially for the US President who was chief enforcer with Saddam.

    Most of the blame for the Saddam problem rests squarely with Saddam, who should have complied, disarmed, rehabilitated, and ended the Iraq enforcement in 1991-1992, let alone continue to defy Iraq’s ceasefire obligations into 2002-2003 when UNSCR 1441 stated clearly it was Saddam’s “final opportunity”. The remaining blame for the Saddam problem lies with his supporters, such as Russia, who advocated for Saddam, spread a false narrative of the Iraq enforcement, and actively participated in Saddam’s violation of the ceasefire.

    Point being, Bush carried forward Clinton’s Iraq enforcement. By the same token, President Clinton endorsed Bush on Iraq by citing to Clinton’s own enforcement struggle with Saddam.

    President Clinton, CNN interview, July 22, 2003:

    Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. … So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don’t cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions. I mean, we’re all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons. … it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons … I would say the most important thing is we should focus on what’s the best way to build Iraq as a democracy? … We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq.

    The endorsement by Senator Clinton and other members of Congress for Bush on Iraq simply carried forward Congress’s endorsement for Clinton on Iraq. More intimately, Senator Clinton’s support for Bush on Iraq was consistent with First Lady Clinton’s support for her husband on Iraq.

    Circling back to the prospect of Secretary Clinton as President and the return of Bill Clinton as First Gentleman(?), the Clintons are different from anyone else on the Iraq issue because the Iraq enforcement was the defining engagement of Clinton’s presidency, which set the law, policy, and precedent for Bush’s Iraq enforcement. The Clintons’ radical, nakedly self-interested shift on the issue speaks directly – and poorly – to the priority of respect they hold for the responsibility of the Office of the President and the White House they managed for 8 years.

    As I said up front, I need to at least trust a Presidential candidate will honor the leadership responsibility of the Office of the President and act in the best interests of the US in context, however he or she might be critiqued in hindsight. President Bush passed the essential presidential leadership test in his response 9/11 (which also carried forward Clinton’s counter-terror policy), by honoring the Iraq enforcement he inherited from Clinton, and most of all with the Counterinsurgency “Surge” in the face of tremendous political pressure to abandon the Iraqi people to the terrorists like Obama eventually did.

    From Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama’s leadership in ‘Duty’, by Bob Woodward, in the Washington Post:

    Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls “remarkable.”

    He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

    It’s too late for us to do anything about President Obama wasting the crucial progress that was hard won by our soldiers’ sacrifice under Bush, but it’s not too late to prevent Secretary Clinton from occupying the Oval Office. Despite Secretary Clinton’s “intellect and knowledge”, these admissions alone of her rank self-interest and parochial partisanship trumping the grave stakes in Iraq disqualify Secretary Clinton from Commander in Chief.

  17. Let’s see. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Lewis and Clark, Sam Houston, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Harry Truman, George Patton, Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan and

    Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Naawww. It just doesn’t have the same ring.


    P.S. Bill Clinton’s name is only minimally acceptable for the historical record because he, like America, was a direct beneficiary of the Ronald Reagan economy that lasted for 25 years. One can only imagine how great America would be now if Reagan had had the House and Senate. Bill Clinton didn’t do anything but ride the “Reagan Wave.”

    P.P.S. What’s naggin’ Obama? Mayor Ray Nagin of the “Chocolate City” and Karina fame just got 10 years and it’s amazing the similarities of fundamentally transforming characteristics of incompetence he has with the current ineligible occupant of the highest office. What a joke. The Keystone Cops with malicious fundamental transformation. I’ll bet Stalin would think a Soviet style “erasure” would be appropriate at this juncture.

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