Wealth is not a sin

It has been very obvious this past week that Hillary Clinton is not comfortable discussing the wealth she and her husband have accumulated since he left office in January 2001. Both she and former President Bill Clinton received huge advances for books and command six-figure fees for giving speeches. Their net worth is in the tens of millions of dollars.

So why is she so uncomfortable with questions about that wealth? She has blundered badly in interviews and town halls when addressing such queries.

First she said they were “dead broke” when they left the White House. Yes, they had a couple of million dollars in legal fees related to Whitewater and the Lewinsky scandal. But both are very smart people and knew that their stories and views on public policy would fetch compensation that would set them up for life.

Then, again sounding defensive, she claimed that she and the former president pay “ordinary income taxes” on their earnings – unlike other rich people she declined to name.

Her answers about their wealth are cringe inducing. Just because one is well off doesn’t mean she is unable to empathize with those less fortunate. It also doesn’t mean she won’t support policies to better the lives of people who need help.

We’d point out to Mrs. Clinton that two liberal icons – Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy – came from very wealthy families. Yet, they worked hard to make life better for the underprivileged.

So, loosen up about your wealth, Mrs. Clinton. Use your money – and your brains – to help others.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.