As Powerball-mania gripped the minds of most Americans recently, it became (on certain days) difficult to make any convenience store purchases since the mushrooming jackpot encouraged the masses to try their hands at getting rich quick.
I, of course, bought my share of tickets. It would be near impossible not to, especially when the winnings were larger than the entire gross domestic product of some countries. Really, it's worth spending a few dollar bills just to fantasize about what to do with the money.
Daydreaming about lounging, drink in hand, on the beach of your own private island sure is fun. You know you've done it, too. Almost everyone has, including Hillary Clinton.
On Wednesday this week, the Democratic presidential front-runner was interviewed on "Good Morning America" by her longtime friend George Stephanopoulos. As their chat wound down, Stephanopoulos asked the former secretary of state if she'd bought a Powerball ticket.
"I did," she answered. "And if you win?" Stephanopoulos followed up. Clinton then detailed all the charities she'd donate to and how the mountains of moolah would enable her to feed hungry mouths and establish a massive college fund for military veterans.
It was a great response, you have to give her that except that it didn't actually happen.
No, instead of rattling off a list of worthy projects she might share some of her $1.5 billion with, her real answer was, "Well, I'll fund my campaign," cackling the segment into the commercial break.
Call it a Freudian slip or whatever you like, but this is what we get when Hillary is being the spontaneous candidate her campaign urged her to be. Going off-script, her true priorities were on sharp display. And at the top of that priority list isn't the "everyday Americans" she's championed. Hillary is all about herself and her most immediate need, which is campaign dollars.
Wednesday's "Good Morning America" answer really shouldn't be that surprising — for two reasons. First, there's long been evidence that the Clintons subscribe to a strict "me first" mentality, their public endeavors primarily serving as a means to enrich their private bank accounts. Second, the promises of progressive politicians have always been funded with someone else's money, not their own.
Health care "reform," universal daycare (sorry, pre-K), cradle-to-grave subsidized housing, etc. You name the progressive notion, and, well, you can also assume you're paying for it. Spreading the wealth and all that.
You'd think a Democratic presidential candidate would have hit that Stephanopoulos middle-of-the-plate fastball out of the park. But Hillary's mouth betrayed her heart. Perhaps she should stick to script-reading. Though I'm not sure what voters would be attracted to more — a lifeless drone reciting focus group-approved talking points or a flesh-and-blood human who is obviously only in the politics game for good old number one.
Either way, I do know who would've crushed a grand slam on Wednesday: Bernie Sanders.
The "Good Morning America" production team wouldn't have been able to cut to commercials for him cataloging all the causes he would throw the closest thing to actual free money at. No, I'm not saying Sanders wouldn't keep some cash for himself. He could drive the fanciest Prius of all time. It's that I don't think a guy who believes there are only "18 different pairs of sneakers" to choose from in America would have the slightest idea of how to spend $1.5 billion on a campaign, let alone himself.
Hillary, though, what's hers is strictly hers, and what's yours is everyone else's.
Contact David Allen Martin firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DMart423.