Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for example, was eviscerated on the campaign trail in 2016 over her apparent coziness with Wall Street and Goldman in particular, slammed by Democratic socialist rival Bernie Sanders over her refusal to release the transcripts of several highly-paid speeches she gave to the bank. Supposed transcripts of the speeches released by WikiLeaks ahead of the vote had Clinton gushing that only Wall Street insiders were qualified to regulate Wall Street, suggesting the candidate planned to hand regulatory power to the same people who’d broken the economy in 2008.
And even former President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president, was lambasted by progressive Democrats for essentially allowing investment bank Citigroup to appoint his cabinet in the wake of the almost half-a-trillion-dollar TARP bailout that put taxpayers on the hook for paying off Wall Street’s gambling debts. Citi exec Michael Froman, whom Obama appointed as US trade representative, sent out a list of nearly three dozen cabinet selections, most of which the incoming president filled as advised.
And despite vowing to “drain the swamp” of Washington insiders, revolving-door lobbyists, and corrupt career criminals, President Trump himself appointed Goldman Sachs banker Gary Cohn as director of his National Economic Council as he prepared to take office in 2017. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, too, boasted a lengthy stint with the “vampire squid” before leaving in 2002 to work for a series of hedge funds. The hires earned Trump jeers from his supporters, who perhaps naively assumed the popular slogan meant he wouldn’t shunt the swamp’s slimiest slithering specimens directly into his cabinet.