Hillary Clinton and her rich friends

imageGary Hart, two-time Democratic presidential candidate, has a problem with Hillary Clinton’s impending presidential candidacy.

“I like Hillary Clinton. I really appreciate what she and her husband have done … but we need new leaders,” said Hart, a former Colorado senator who rose from the bottom of the polls and nearly took down Walter Mondale in the 1984 primaries.

The post-Citizens United campaign finance environment has sullied the presidential process, he said, benefiting establishment politicians who cater to financial backers. He pointed to his own experience, noting that he and his wife mortgaged their home for between $50,000 and $75,000 — an amount that made a significant difference in his first campaign in 1984.

“I’m now told the Clinton campaign intends to raise $1 billion. Now, that ought to frighten every American,” he said.

I hate being reminded that there is little I like about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. But Democrats have been given no choice and the Republican alternative is far worse, needless to say.

I don’t necessarily agree with Hart that we need new leaders, but do agree that the kind of power and influence required to raise the necessary funds limits significantly who can run, which is fatal to democracy.

I don’t know how to solve this problem, and Citizens United certainly made everything worse, but I am sure that a President Clinton will do nothing to make the rich less powerful.

And yet, under the circumstances, I will be forced to wish her well.

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