During the MSNBC Democratic debate, Chuck Todd asked if Hillary would release the transcripts of her paid speeches, particularly the three Goldman Sachs speeches for which she was paid $675,000 total.

As the question was being asked, you could see Hillary’s mental wheels spinning until she came up with the response she needed: I’ll think about it.

Hillary then quickly moved on to her robotic stump speech:

After that awkward moment, Hillary deflected in classic Clintonian fashion, by setting preconditions she knew no one could or would meet — everyone who ever gave a speech had to release all transcripts for all speeches. Hence, Hillary deflects from her massive Wall Street speaking fees:

“Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them,” Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’ll all release them at the same time.”

“You know, I don’t mind being the subject in the Republican debates, the subject in the Democratic primary,” she added. “That kind of goes with the territory – I’ve been around long enough.”

“But sometimes, you know, these rules need to apply to everybody.”

She said a “bunch” of her opponents in the White House race have given speeches to high-profile groups.

Bernie Sanders refuses to demand release of the transcripts. Just like with Hillary’s email scandal, he’s not willing to attack her, presumably because he hopes some of her supporters will come over to his side. But also, just like the email scandal, he doesn’t need to be in the lead, hoping others will do the job for him.

Politico reports, What Clinton said in her paid speeches:

Recalled one attendee: ‘She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.’

…. “It was pretty glowing about us,” one person who watched the event said. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”

At another speech to Goldman and its big asset management clients in New York in 2013, Clinton spoke about how it wasn’t just the banks that caused the financial crisis and that it was worth looking at the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law to see what was working and what wasn’t.
“It was mostly basic stuff, small talk, chit-chat,” one person who attended that speech said. “But in this environment, it could be made to look really bad.”

The problem is, if Clinton releases the transcripts, Sanders and other progressive candidates could take even seemingly innocuous comments and make them sound as though Clinton is in the tank for Wall Street. And if she doesn’t, it makes her look like she has something very damaging to hide…..

The person who saw Clinton’s Arizona remarks to Goldman said they thought there was no chance the campaign would ever release them. “It would bury her against Sanders,” this person said. “It really makes her look like an ally of the firm.”

With Bernie unwilling to fight the fight over the transcripts, it will be up to Sanders’ supporters, the media and Republicans. Since Hillary will squeal about turning them over, it may be up to someone who has copies to squeal on her.