"I did go on the speaking circuit," she said. "I spoke to heart doctors, I spoke to the American Camping Association, I spoke to auto dealers, and yes, I spoke to firms on Wall Street. They wanted me to talk about the world, what my experience had been as secretary of state."
This was an improvement over her response in a forum Wednesday night that she took the money because "that's what they offered." But she stumbled again when asked if she would release transcripts of her speeches to Goldman and others, saying only that she would "look into it."
It's hard to figure out how Clinton has not managed to come up with a better approach. The easiest thing of course would have been to think of the headache the Wall Street speeches would give her in a presidential campaign and just not have done them in the first place. Short of that she could have donated the money to charity months ago. She could still do that now. The Clintons are not hard up for cash.
On the transcript front, it's possible the contracts she signed would require that the companies Clinton spoke to also agree to release the text. If she asked, they almost certainly would. She should just do it and stop the bleeding.
These speeches tend to be high-level overviews though there could be passages in the remarks to banks over causes of the financial crisis that might make some on the left wince. There could also be the usual host flattery that typically marks these high-paid speeches. And that could be fodder for attack ads.
But if Clinton doesn't release the text she will continue to be dogged by attacks that she has something to hide. She already has problems with her use of private email and donations to the Clinton foundation. A display of total transparency would be a nice change of pace and possibly buy Clinton some good will.