Officially, they hail from Chappaqua and Washington, by way of Arkansas. But when it comes to integrity, they’re straight out of Tammany Hall.

They are the Clintons of Tammany, and they set their moral compass to the reckonings of George Washington Plunkitt, “The Sage” of that fabled Irish-American political machine.

Goodwin Rule No. 1 with the Clintons: There’s no such thing as a coincidence.

More than a century ago, he laid out his philosophy to a biographer, calling it “A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics.”

Goodwin Rule No. 1 with the Clintons: There’s no such thing as a coincidence.

Among Plunkitt’s gems: Tammany “does missionary work like a church, it’s got big expenses and it’s got to be supported by the faithful.”

He quickly helped families burned out of their houses because “it’s philanthropy, but it’s politics, too — mighty good politics. Who can tell how many votes one of these fires brings me? The poor are the most grateful people in the world, and, let me tell you, they have more friends in their neighborhoods than the rich.”

Then there’s this one: “Everybody is talkin’ these days about Tammany men growin’ rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin’ the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft.”

Plunkitt insisted his immense wealth was the product of honest graft, adding, “I might sum up the whole thing by sayin’: ‘I seen my opportunities and I took ’me.’”

To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post, click here.

 

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.