The front runner for the Democrats in 2008, Senator Hillary Clinton has found another obstacle to the White House in her path. This one is sure to cause flummox amidst the core constituency of the Dean Democrats that she is courting. And more ammo for Republicans.
It seems that while her husband was governor of Arkansas, the law firm she was a partner in worked for Wal-Mart and she herself served for six years on the Wal-Mart board. Its first woman board member where she drew $18,000 a year in salary, $1,500 per meeting, and by 1993 had $100,000 in Wal-Mart stock. Plus her and Bill flew on Wal-Mart corporate planes 14 times for free in preparation for Bill Clinton's run for the White House.
There is certainly a whiff of conflict of interest when Bill, as governor of Arkansas, uses Wal-Mart planes while his wife is on the board of directors. But conflict of interest is nothing new to the family from Hope, Arkansas. It is a way of life.
Hillary has recently returned a $5,000 donation from Wal-Mart while saying this about her relationship with Wal-Mart, "That was a long time ago." Really, sounds very much like Bill lapses of memory during Monica-gate doesn't it? Was her involvement with Wal-Mart recorded in those Rose Law firm documents sought by Ken Starr, that for so many years vanished, only to reappear in the White House? Was her sinecure on the board an attempt to buy influence with Bill like a certain land deal called Whitewater? Do the Clintons still own stock in Wal-Mart and how is it managed? For people who talk about being with the little people, they sure act and live like parvenu.
How Hillary Clinton can be considered a front runner is amazing. She has more political baggage than anyone besides Richard Nixon, whom she helped bring down when she was part of the Democrats' Watergate team. And in at least one poll, a very large number of people surveyed had an automatic negative reaction to her as a Presidential candidate. May her campaign live in very interesting times.