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Friday, August 21, 2015

Like the Bourbons, she remembers all but learns nothing

Only a few months into the campaign and already the She-Clinton is showing she has learned nothing from her three previous presidential campaigns. The cheeseparing answers, the listening tours, the scripted spontaneity- all that's left is the return of The Cackle.

Elizabeth Drew, who has been covering presidential races for forty years, sums up the state of play here:

But Clinton is now facing an unpredictable and volatile situation. The email issue metastasizes by the day and an ordinary citizen could be in serious legal jeopardy over the kind of careless handling of classified material that Clinton apparently engaged in. It’s now known that someone attempted to wipe the server before it was turned over to the FBI. Clinton’s efforts to brush aside the criticism of her failure to adequately protect her official emails as partisan politics—when the matter is being investigated by the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Inspector General of the intelligence community, all obviously part of the Obama administration—and her strained and obviously false claim that she turned over her emails to the State Department “out of an abundance of an attempt to be helpful” have only worsened her situation. People in her own campaign as well as within the Obama White House have been telling reporters that they’re appalled by her carelessness with sensitive government messages and the way she has dealt with what, through her own doing, has become a crisis for her campaign.
I don’t think she would be subjected to the same intensity of scrutiny and criticism over this issue if it weren’t a reminder for how she had behaved in the Clinton White House—resisting investigators’ demands for documents. The episode also raised concerns that no one around her had persuaded her—if they tried to—of the riskiness of the course she took with the private server. Clinton maintains that what she did with the server was legal—but that’s now in question. (A majority of respondents has for some time been saying that they don’t think Clinton is trustworthy.) The point is that by using her own private server—which was recently disclosed to have ended up being stored in a bathroom closet in a Denver condo owned by an official of the small company whom she entrusted with her and the nation’s secrets—she had rendered them vulnerable to hackers. It will be a while before Joe Biden discloses whether he will enter the race, but Hillary Clinton’s mounting problems must make it all the more tempting to do so.

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