Many Americans, especially many older women, feel a certain shared identification with Hillary Clinton. She's one of the people; one of us. This is a basic underlying theme of her campaign, "fighting for us." But how similar is she to most of the 99%? Does she even have a clue of what life is like for most Americans?
In an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC on July 8th, 2014, Clinton stated "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt . . . we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education. It was not easy . . ." This was not the only time she told this story.
When they left the White House, the Clintons had one house they had bought for $1.7 million, and just as they were leaving, they bought another mansion for $2.85 million. Within a few months, Bill Clinton was giving speeches for $125,000 a pop, and that first year out of the White House, Hillary Clinton received $2.84 million in royalties from a book publisher. This is hardly what most people would consider "dead broke" and "struggling" financially. It's no surprise that from her perspective, someone earning $240,000 per year is "middle class."
On January 27th, 2014, speaking before the NADA in New Orleans, Mrs. Clinton complained that "One of the regrets I have about my public life is that I can't drive anymore. Last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996." She has repeated this more recently, that she hasn't driven a car herself in about two decades. Poor Hillary Clinton!
Does Mrs. Clinton really expect anyone to sympathize with her on this issue? She's had a limousine and chauffeur, with bodyguards, on call 24-7, for the past two decades, and she's complaining about not being able to drive herself?
The fact is that Bill and Hillary Clinton have monetized their White House experience to a degree far in excess of any other first couple. Mrs. Clinton's basic fee for a one-hour speech is $225,000, and some of her speeches are much more lucrative than that. She usually gets a first-class dinner thrown into the equation, but what's a few hundred dollars when one is getting $62.50 per second for one's time? It should be noted that Clinton has her own speechwriters, so it's not as if she struggles for hours putting these speeches together.
So when Clinton advocates for a minimum wage of $12 per hour, as compared to Sanders' $15 per hour, this is something that she truly cannot relate to. At her suggested $12 hourly salary, a person working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year with no additional time off, would need to work more than 9 1/3 years to make as much as Mrs. Clinton gets for one afternoon or evening on the town, giving a one-hour speech. (Of course, all of that worker's salary would be subject to Social Security taxes, unlike over 99% of the Clintons' income.) At Sanders' $15 an hour, the corresponding time is 7 years. Clinton takes for granted her bodyguard service for life, costing taxpayers several millions of dollars per year. It's been that way for decades. Working for a salary that's actually related to the hours put in, is as foreign to her as, well, as driving her own car.