What is it about candidates talking to their donors?
Another reminder just this past week, whatever happens at a donor event doesn't stay at a donor event.
Hillary Clinton the latest to find out the hard way.
Back in February talking about the Bernie Sanders phenomenon and the kids behind it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
'They're the children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents' basement if you're feeling that you're consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn't pay a lot and doesn't have much of a ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be a part of a political revolution is pretty appealing.'
(END AUDIO CLIP)
Outside of no doubt offending those same Bernie Sanders supporters, to say nothing of older Sanders fans, who might live in a basement but it's their own basement, did Secretary Clinton say anything outlandish here? I don't think she did.
Just like I don't think Mitt Romney did when he famously told his own donors this about the nearly half of voters in this country who he says would never be voting for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
'There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them.'
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Even Romney said after that tape leaked out that his remarks were 'inelegant.'
But no one disputed the fact 47 percent of Americans weren't paying federal income taxes many, for good reason, they're retirees, or those whose exemptions and write-offs result in their not paying any income taxes.
And many of them still pay state taxes, and FICA taxes.
And sales and other taxes so they are hardly get off scott free.
Still, what Romney was saying was something that was and is sobering. Fewer and fewer Americans are paying for more and more government spending. It's unsustainable
And for a Republican candidate trying to rein in that spending, politically polarizing.
Was he really that far off to suspect those benefiting from government would want the candidate aiming to shrink that government?
In retrospect, I think not.
Just like Hillary Clinton was right about the passion behind Bernie Sanders among young voters, fed up with a system of same-old and eager to try something new.
Sometimes I wish what candidates said behind supposedly closed doors they'd say to the rest of us. It would elicit the kind of debate I think we really need; one that doesn't fear offending some, maybe for the education of all.
We do have fed up voters in this country. And others, to Romney's point, might not want too much change in this country and still others, to Mrs. Clinton's point, might feel that we need a lot more change in this country.
Now, how candidates respond to them is telling. Romney seems to dismiss ever winning them over, and sadly for him, he didn't.
Clinton tries placating some of that enthusiasm by co-opting the ideas of her opponent, and potentially winning them over? Well, she could.
That is, if they aren't still stewing on Election Day. History shows voters have a tough time forgetting a clear slight.
Especially when it's done behind closed doors.
Then again, much depends on a media that in Mr.Romney's case, was all too eager to replay that slight again and again.
And in Mrs. Clinton's case, ignore that slight, as if it never happened at all.