WASHINGTON, October 17, 2016 — The 2016 Presidential campaign has been intensely personal, with relatively little attention focused on the policy differences between the candidates.
Yet in 2013, Hillary Clinton told Goldman Sachs she hoped this campaign would be about the issues, not about personalities.
Clinton’s remarks appear in transcripts of hacked emails from Clinton confidante and Campaign Manager John Podesta, and were released by WikiLeaks .
Clinton was responding to a hypothetical question posed by Tim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs’ Head of Investment Management. He asked, “What would you advise someone if he or she came to you and said, I’m thinking about running for the Democratic presidential nomination?”
O’Neill asked Clinton the question as part of a question and answer session conducted at the Aim Alternative Investments Symposium on October 24, 2013.
Initially Clinton joked, “I would probably say, are you crazy?”
Then she responded.
Look, I think whoever runs next time has to have a very clear idea of where he or she wants to take the country and has to run on those ideas, because the election cannot be about personalities, participants sniping, all of the irrelevant stuff the day after the election sort of dissipates, and you wake up and say, okay, now what am I going to do? It needs to be an election about the future.
So win or lose, people know what you want to do. You took it to the country, you tried to build a consensus for it, which can hopefully avoid some of the end runs that we’ve been seeing in the last few weeks, and then you have to have enough of an understanding of how government works to be able to execute the operational side of it, the slow, hard boring of hard boards as (inaudible) said about politics, there’s nothing glamorous about it.
The statement in retrospect is ironic; Clinton has focused much of her campaign attacking Donald Trump’s personality, along with two debates full of sniping. One of the chief criticisms of Clinton’s campaign is that it has not defined why she is running.
Trump has also engaged sniping and personal attacks, calling Clinton “Crooked Hillary”, suggesting she should go to jail, and making a series of misogynistic and racist comments.