By Cathleen Decker
May 11, 2015

Thursday’s radio report danced with anticipation — rain was on the way — and then anchor Dick Helton broke in with news of another sort.

“Hillary’s in town,” the KNX mainstay chortled. “She’s here for the money.”

No surprise to anyone, she was. And no one needed to be told where she was headed. Hillary Rodham Clinton would spend the day on a key leg of the national money trail, traveling from Westwood to Pacific Palisades to Beverly Park, the gated enclave off Mulholland Drive that is the literal pinnacle of Angeleno wealth.

From a breakfast with women to a lunch hosted by a noted producer to a dinner with nationally known entertainment names, the Democrat’s path took her through only the most gilded portions of greater Los Angeles. And it raised anew the campaign conundrum for a presidential candidate whose major argument is that she understands the angst of the economically stressed American voter.

When do they get a seat at the table?

It’s not a new conundrum, to be sure. It takes money for a candidate to get out a message, even when the message is that the candidate cares about people without money. To campaign solely amid the misbegotten confers moral superiority, maybe, but it almost surely leads to defeat.

So Clinton, and all the Republican candidates similarly foraging in California, are playing the game according to the rules. But they are rules that seem to broaden the distance between the political donor class and everyone else, a distance gaping in an era when “super PACs” pull in millions per donor and even the smallest entrance fee to the Clinton events, $2,700, is an extravagance to most.

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