Despite being dogged by scandal and suspicion at every turn, the campaign to put the Clintons back in the White House marches forward. How Hillary and Bill manage to not just stay afloat, but thrive in political life is by way of the remarkable power of the 'post modern' apparatus they have developed that allows the couple to bestride the political world like no other in modern memory.

In the old fashioned political machine, “honest graft” meant that you only take money from the group you had already decided on legitimate grounds would get the contract. With globalization and the explosion of non-American wealth changing the dynamics of wealth and power everywhere, their new machine offers even more opportunities for honest graft than the old kind.

Patronage in the service of doing good, that can effectively and legally use foreign donations in ways that build a powerful domestic political force: this might not be up there with the discovery of fire or the wheel as an invention that changes history, but it is not an insignificant contribution to the art of American governance.

What the Clintons built is an elaborate, well-funded operation, unprecedented in its sophistication and global reach. Whether they understood this from the beginning, or whether they just pursued opportunities without understanding how it would all add up, they’ve discovered a new way to yoke money and power onto a self-sustaining machine.