Within walking distance from the Spin Room was Chris Matthews whose show was being televised live on MSNBC in the front of the Byrnes Auditorium. Approaching the set of the “Chris Matthews Show,” one could see Joy Reid and Steve Kornacki. Winthrop University students were holding signs that favored Secretary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders in large measure. However, there were barely any noticeable signs being held by students with the name O’Malley on them. A few students of culturally diverse races held signs that read “Demand a Black Lives Matter Debate.” Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was being prepared to go on set with Chris Matthews. So much time progressed that it was nearly time for the candidates’ forum to begin. Being ten (10) minutes away from the Spin Room, with fifteen (15) minutes to get there, it was a pleasure to take in the scenic view of the Winthrop University campus.
Rachel Maddow of “The Rachel Maddow Show” televised on MSNBC was on stage and just finished her dialogue with Senator Sanders. Secretary Hillary Clinton was called to the stage for her dialogue with Rachel. Initially, there were affirmations being asked by Rachel, like Secretary Clinton you lived in Arkansas for 20 years and you moved to New York with your husband after he completed his second term in office to which the reply to each statement was, “Yes.”
Rachel inquired: “If you are elected, you will be succeeding our nation’s first African-American president. What do you say to African-American voters? Even just people in this room who are looking at a stage full of white candidates tonight from the Democratic Party, wondering if their chance for meaningful change has passed.” Secretary Clinton responded with: “I feel very strongly that President Obama doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the great job he’s done. And I want to build on the progress that he’s made. But I want to go further because I think that his principle challenge was saving us from the terrible financial crisis he inherited. And I think he pulled us out of that big ditch. And I think we’re now standing, but we’re not yet running.”
Rachel asked Secretary Clinton about her ties with Wall Street, but that’s not an issue that really bothers Rachel most. However, Secretary Clinton answered by saying: “[A]nybody who thinks that they can influence what I will do doesn’t know me very well. And they can actually look and see what I have said and done throughout my career.”
Rachel began to dig in when she asked:
“Let me press you on that, though, because it’s not just Wall Street. You’re right. And it’s a lot of different types of special organized special interests. And one of the ones that I feel like — I’m a liberal and I am a policy-oriented person and I have not a person who’s prejudiced about anybody in terms of, you know, where they come from. I also use a lot of technology. That said I am freaked out by the influence, by the political influence that the tech industry has right now, particularly in the Democratic Party, because the Democratic Party is the more liberal of the two parties and I feel like if they’re going to be captured by this huge and richly powerful tech industry, I don’t know who will ever stand up to them. And there’s a big revolving door in the tech industry, and the highest flyers in the Democratic Party — David Plouffe to Uber, Jay Carney to Amazon, Chris Lehane to Airbnb. You have speaking fees from companies like eBay and Qualcomm and Salesforce.com. And I’m not saying any of those companies is a bad thing, but the tech industry now rivals Wall Street in terms of money and influence. What is the protection that the American people have that those industries aren’t just going to keep getting what they want even when it hurts the rest of us, especially if the Democrats are so in bed with them?”
Secretary Clinton responded with a tech historic that modeled that of Bill Gates: “And if you look at the tech industry, until relatively recently, they didn’t pay much attention to Washington, as you know, because they were too busy inventing things in garages.” Rachel retorted: “And becoming billionaires.” Secretary Clinton expounded with: “And becoming billionaires. Exactly. So look, anytime you have an industry that is maturing like the tech industry certainly has, and they begin then to say hey, there may be political advantage to what we need out of Washington, so we’d better have closer ties, you have to take a hard look at that. I support Tammy Baldwin’s bill to stop the revolving door. I don’t think people should be leaving Congress or an administration and immediately going into industries that have a lot of business before the federal government. So, look, this is not a new problem. This is an American problem. We have this robust, dynamic democracy. We have this free market economy, which I believe has produced an enormous economic advantage for hard-working people.”
Rachel seemed to be concerned with the creation of a revolving door policy where politicians make friends with tech giants, leave politics and use the influence gained to help tech companies amass billions of dollars in wealth. Secretary Clinton seemed to evade the question by making it a Southern problem which, in itself, is very interesting in its own right: “So we have to have a really candid discussion, which is one of the reasons why having this First In The South forum makes so much sense because look, it’s not a surprise. The Republican Party dominates in the South. We know that. And it’s been a pretty abrupt change over the last 30 years. And we need to understand more about why people either are not voting at all, leaving the field to maybe those they disagree with or whose interests are not the same, or why other people don’t trust the Democratic Party or a progressive approach to solving these problems.”
For quite some time now Political Science courses at institutions of higher learning have been trying to understand how Republicans get elected in an environment where Democrats overwhelming dominate the number of Republican voters nationwide.