Hillary Clinton rubbed elbows with wealthy donors throughout the weekend, while keeping the press out. (Photo: neverbutterfly/flickr/cc)
Reporters cling to chain-link fences to catch fragments of private speeches to wealthy Provincetown donors
By Nadia Prupis / 08.22.2016
Hillary Clinton spent the weekend fundraising in affluent New England communities, speaking to more than 2,200 donors at private brunches and gatherings in Nantucket and Cape Cod—but what she told them “remains a mystery,” the Associated Press reported Monday.
The fundraising effort—which follows her campaign’s most lucrative month so far with a $63 million gain in July—underscores Clinton’s continued evasion of transparency over her ties to wealthy elites. In fact, of the roughly 300 fundraising events she has held since announcing her White House run in April 2015, only five have allowed any press coverage, and Clinton has attempted to ban the use of social media among guests, according to the AP.
The AP writes:
Clinton has refused to open her fundraisers to journalists, reversing nearly a decade of greater transparency in presidential campaigns and leaving the public guessing at what she’s saying to some of her most powerful supporters.
It’s an approach that differs from the Democratic president she hopes to succeed. Since his 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama has allowed reporters traveling with him into the backyards and homes of wealthy donors to witness his some of his remarks.
It has even incurred criticism from some of her Democratic allies, who “privately acknowledge” that Clinton’s aversion to transparency could be a liability considering her issues with appearing “trustworthy” to voters.
The AP notes that reporters who huddled at the perimeters of chain-link fences to cover one event in Provincetown, Massachusetts on Sunday—where tickets ran from $45 to $500 for general admission and in some cases sold as high as $27,000—caught fragments of a typical stump speech.
But much of the other weekend events remains shrouded in secrecy.
In addition to her private fundraising efforts, Clinton has gone months without a “full-fledged press conference,” the AP continues, while her Republican opponent Donald Trump has held several.
Trump brought in significant contributions in July. In a donation pitch sent out earlier this month, her campaign manager Robby Mook warned that “We have to take seriously the threat that Donald Trump could outraise us.”
Still, some observers think Trump’s pervasive media presence could end up helping Clinton more than hurting her.
“Quite frankly, if I’m her, it may not be a bad thing to let Donald Trump be the only candidate making news on any given day,” former Mitt Romney campaign aide Ryan Williams told the AP. “She can stay dark for five straight days and let Trump trip all over himself.”