Gupta-gate: Hillary Clinton at the pillory

The Clinton's roadmap to a presidential dynasty seems to have been drawn in part by Republican fat cats. How else can we interpret their acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from Vinod Gupta, a multimillionaire donor to all things Clinton, whose own company sold consumer data to telemarketing criminals who used it to steal money from elderly Americans.

Even supporters of Hillary Clinton are aware that in order to win the nomination, let alone the presidency, she has to overcome the public perception of being driven by cold, calculating ambition.

Could she be a ruthless politician like George W. Bush whose quest for power is not far removed from an amoral capitalist obsessed with amassing wealth? Could she be following an ethical compass whose arrow always points north even when she's headed south?

According to the New York Times, Mr. Gupta's company…

paid $146,866 to ferry the Clintons, Mr. Gupta and others to Acapulco and back, court records show. During the next four years, infoUSA paid Mr. Clinton more than $2 million for consulting services, and spent almost $900,000 to fly him around the world for his presidential foundation work and to fly Mrs. Clinton to campaign events. (Read article here)

Here's a quote from the New York Times article that has the Bush ring to it:

"An entrepreneur from India, Mr. Gupta, 60, founded infoUSA in Omaha in 1972 and built it into a publicly traded company with more than $400 million in revenue. Along the way, he nurtured a taste for politics, becoming a major Democratic fund-raiser and a Lincoln Bedroom guest in the Clinton White House.

Before leaving office, Mr. Clinton appointed Mr. Gupta to the board of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Earlier, Mr. Clinton had nominated him for two minor ambassadorships, which Mr. Gupta declined because of business commitments.

Even if infoUSA was a pristine pure company operating at the highest level of ethics, and all Gupta did was open his wallet for the Clintons to dip into so he could bask in the afterglow of power, and get a chance to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom (which he did), the Clinton's behavior looks so ….. Bush Republican.

If John Edwards can be held to task and mocked for a $400 haircuts and living in a mansion, what will be the public reaction to Billary's cozy financial relationship with a millionaire who engaged in a tawdry scheme to bilk the elderly.

How will both her supporters and critics react to one of her surrogates, Phil Singer's public rationalization of her accepting a $146,666 private jet trip by saying she “complied with all the relevant ethics rules” on accepting private air travel.

The relevant rules are that senators and candidates make reimbursement at a rate equal to that of a first-class ticket. I know first class is pricey, but unless she flew to the moon I can't image that a trip anywhere on earth would cost $146 thousand.

Those who want to see a Democrat as our next president better hope that Barak Obama doesn't have any gold plated skeletons in his closet.