Republicans released a new email at the Benghazi hearing written by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to her daughter Chelsea Clinton late on the night of the attacks in Benghazi.
In the email, Mrs. Clinton tells her daughter — who used the email pseudonym “Diane Reynolds” — that the attacks were undertaken by an “Al Queda-like group.”
RM is a trusted commenter Vermont 11 hours ago
Trump became a front runner by making some bombastic statements that attracted free media attention. He has spent a small fraction of what others have spent, and he is the front runner.
Trump certainly knows how to grab a headline. However, it is clear he is not a Christian Taliban, not a neocon, and has a good head on his shoulders. I am convinced he would surround himself with qualified advisors if elected, and is more interested in a personal legacy than catering to a bunch of special interests.
Now that it appears Bernie will fall short, in the general election, I will support Trump. I have had enough Clintons for one lifetime. If we are going to elect a “moderate Republican”, I prefer one not bought by special interests.
Hillary Clinton took in millions for “speeches” and added the money to her personal wealth. And she won’t reveal what she said in those speeches. Yet she claims she will give the special interests no breaks. Well, somebody will wind up cheated. Either the general public when she gives them the breaks, or the bankers, who will have paid for the breaks, and then not get them.
THURSDAY, APR 21, 2016 11:00 AM EDT
Enough with the Hillary cult: Her admirers ignore reality, dream of worshipping a queen
Clinton voters overlook money lust, shadowy surrogates, sociopathic policy shifts, horrific overseas record. Why?
What is it with the Hillary cult?
As a lifelong Democrat who will be enthusiastically voting for Bernie Sanders in next week’s Pennsylvania primary, I have trouble understanding the fuzzy rosy filter through which Hillary fans see their champion. So much must be overlooked or discounted—from Hillary’s compulsive money-lust and her brazen indifference to normal rules to her conspiratorial use of shadowy surrogates and her sociopathic shape-shifting in policy positions for momentary expedience.
Hillary’s breathtaking lack of concrete achievements or even minimal initiatives over her long public career doesn’t faze her admirers a whit. They have a religious conviction of her essential goodness and blame her blank track record on diabolical sexist obstructionists. When at last week’s debate Hillary crassly blamed President Obama for the disastrous Libyan incursion that she had pushed him into, her acolytes hardly noticed. They don’t give a damn about international affairs—all that matters is transgender bathrooms and instant access to abortion.
I’m starting to wonder, given the increasing dysfunction of our democratic institutions, if the Hillary cult isn’t perhaps registering an atavistic longing for monarchy. Or perhaps it’s just a neo-pagan reversion to idolatry, as can be felt in the Little Italy street festival scene of The Godfather, Part II, where devout pedestrians pin money to the statue of San Rocco as it is carried by in procession. There was a strange analogy to that last week, when Sanders supporters satirically showered Hillary’s motorcade with dollar bills as she arrived at George Clooney’s luxe fund-raiser in Los Angeles.
The gushy indulgence around Hillary in the Manhattan media was typified by Vanessa Friedman’s New York Times piece, “Hillary Clinton’s Message in a Jacket,” after last week’s debate.
Evidently oblivious to how she was undermining the rote sexism plank in the Clinton campaign platform, Friedman praised Hillary for “playing the clothing card” against Sanders: Hillary’s long white jacket made her look like “New York’s white knight,” riding to the rescue.
Gee, that sure wasn’t my reaction. My first thought was: “Why is Hillary wearing a lab coat?” My second was: “Isn’t this a major gaffe—reminding people of abortion clinics?” My third was: “The big belted look is not recommended for those broad in the beam.” For all the complaints about an alleged higher scrutiny suffered by women candidates, affluent politicians like Hillary can afford glam squads of stylists and an infinite range of clothing choices, hairstyles, and cosmetic aids. Male candidates with their boring cropped hair and sober suits fade into the woodwork when the queen bee flies in.
The protective major media phalanx around Hillary certainly extends to her health issues, which only the Drudge Report has had the courage to flag. In assessing possible future occupants of the White House, the public has an inalienable right to know. I was incredulous at the passive gullibility of the media, including the New York Times, last July, when a woman internist, identified as Hillary’s doctor, released a summary letter about her health that was lacking in the specifics one would normally expect in medical records. Does anyone really think that world-renowned Hillary, whose main residence for years has been in Washington and not Chappaqua, has as her primary physician an obscure young internist in Mount Kisco, New York? It’s ludicrous on the face of it.
And what about that persistent cough? “Allergy season,” the hacking Hillary claimed on a New York radio show this week. (“You all right? Any mouth to mouth CPR?” joked a host.) I’m just a Ph.D., not an M.D., but I’ll put my Miss Marple hat on here. Am I the only one who noticed Hillary’s high-wrap collar, pallid, puffy face, and bulging eyes during her choleric New Hampshire primary concession speech in February? (Another unusually high collar followed the next morning.)
My tentative theory is that Hillary may have sporadic flare-ups of goiter, worsened under stress. Coughing is a symptom. High collars mask a swollen throat. In serious cases, an operation may be necessary. Is this chronic thyroid condition disqualifying in a presidential candidate? Certainly not in my view, but I don’t like being lied to—by candidates, campaign staffs, or their media sycophants.
Hillary’s road map to the Democratic nomination was written by “Tricky Dick” Nixon, who after his acrimonious defeat in the 1962 California gubernatorial race doggedly restored his standing in the GOP by doing the “rubber-chicken circuit,” building up the grass-roots connections that allowed him to win the White House six years later. Similarly, Hillary has spent the years since her 2008 loss to Obama in deepening and tightening her relationships with state and local Democratic politicians, community leaders, and urban ministers nationwide—for whom she has assets of infinite largesse.
When pro-Hillary media taunt Bernie Sanders about what his campaign has or has not financially contributed to lower-level Democratic races, they are foolishly exposing Hillary’s modus operandi. Nixon’s rubber chicken has turned into one mighty gilded bird.
DNC Attendees Can’t Name a Single Hillary Accomplishment
1:15 PM EDT
Remember when shrillary tried to name one of her own accomplishments:
“My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked. My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know. The remnants of prior situations and mindsets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didn’t do that. Very proud. I would say that’s a major accomplishment.”
1:17 PM EDT
Holy smokes! Is that a real quote?
7:38 PM EDT
How did we democrats end up the old, white, corrupt, sexual deviant party? Can’t we find a decent person to run? Someone not surrounded by enablers and double dippers? We should be embarrased to have to defend this type of crap. We are better than this, aren´t we?
7:18 PM EDT
Is anybody really going to vote for the old, stale, tired, unethical, corrupt liar Hillary Clinton?
Bonus question for all you liberals – can you name an accomplishment by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State?
7:02 PM EDT
This is mind-boggling–scrolling through the comments, page after page, and I am the only one who has noticed that Cheryl Mills helped set up an American campus in the heart of the Middle East! That is a terrific accomplishment!
Johnathan Swift Jr.
7:44 PM EDT
An accomplishment? These regimes are beastly and they want to insert themselves into our society and [dominate] influence us.
They are buying their way in and charlatans from both parties and aiding them. It’s one thing to buy oil from them, but we should not legitimize the regime that has spears terror throughout the world through radical clerics and madrases, radicalizing once moderate populations. These are monstrous regimes where a woman like you would have to wear a burlap sack around, where people are persecuted for not being Moslems, that have cities where people from other faiths cannot go, where a woman like you cannot drive.
Every one of these stone age cultures should be isolated and left to rot. Where did the 9/11 buckers come from? From this same place you think we need a university presence. If it is such a great idea, move there yourself.
The reason they have from time to time allowed dual employment in these positions was as a favored to tenured professors, not to allow the elite to double and triple dip, to be able to sell influence. The entire State Department was run for four years as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation.
Seven unanswered questions about Clinton’s emails
BY ANITA KUMAR AND GREG GORDON
McClatchy Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON At least 400 emails that Hillary Clinton sent or received through her private computer server while secretary of state contained classified material, according to the State Department’s latest update Wednesday from its ongoing review of more than 30,000 emails.
12:46 AM EST
I was an avid supporter of Hillary in 2008, came to candidate Obama only because of her graciousness in defeat, got to know him, and love him. He has set a new standard for what I expect in a US President. I will miss him so much because he has been an integral part of our daily lives, from buying a first home, to healthcare, to everything that impacts our lives, including our image abroad, and our security. I love his humor, and he is the first President I can understand clearly when he speaks because he is so authentic.
I was not sold on Hillary this time, until tonight. She is best when she is at work, doing what she loves to do: champion the American people and make this country better. She’s not so great chit chatting and making “cute”. She looked 10 years younger tonight, animated, smart, quick, blunt, capable. She has a lifetime of progressive left championship of the working middle class but this younger generation of voters think she just came to be 8 years ago. She did not get where she is overnight, but by championing women and women’s rights, children’s rights, and the working middle class.
But, she is practical and she can get things done. She has made men look good all her life, getting things done for them. I like Sen Sanders and Gov O’Malley. The stage was full of respectful, dignified, intelligent people who spoke to the real issues without offending each other, us, or any others. Not an amateur or “kid” in the group and, no circus theatrics here. Experienced professionals, not a bunch of bomb throwers who shut down government on purpose or because they cannot govern or run a House of Representatives effectively.
Cleetus Knoxville, TN 14 minutes ago
This committee has interviewed dozens of people who were involved with the Benghazi disaster and who were never interviewed before and yet Democrats nothing new has been done. It was this committee who discovered that Hillary had her own server and it was this committee that discovered tens of thousands of pertinent documents that no other investigation has seen.
What bothers me so much about all of this is that I have had a security clearance for many years and I can tell you without question Hillary broke the rules and the law. Period, end of statement.
The real issue is whether or no she will be prosecuted. I have seen case after case of people fired and some go to jail for doing less than what Hillary has done and what everyone fails to understand is that by choosing to use her own server Hillary assumes all responsibility for what was on it, security precautions required for it and so forth. It is positively insane that so many people are trying to justify that which is completely unjustifiable based on completely false ideas and irrelevant information.
It does not matter if the documents were marked classified or not. American secrets were on a server under her responsibility so she is guilty. If people think violating the law should be condoned, then please cease claiming that America is a country based on laws for this can no longer be the case. As it stands, this committee is investigating a crime as well as the Benghazi debacle and they are related.
Hillary: Making The Same Mistake Twice
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on October 1, 2015
The last fundraising report indicates that the Sanders-Clinton match has all the hallmarks of the Obama-Clinton race of 2008 with Hillary making all the same mistakes now that she did then:
• As her momentum has slows, so has Hillary’s fund raising. In the winter — second quarter — she raised $48 million but in the third quarter, this past summer, she raised only $28 million. And, in contrast, Sanders has plenty of momentum. He raised only $10 million in the second quarter but put up an impressive $26 million in the third quarter, more than doubling his haul.
• Hillary is doing the same old traditional rolodex fundraising to get her money, phoning donors who max out, going to 58 fund raisers this quarter, and soliciting money hand over fist. The problem now, as in 2008, is that when the going gets tough and she needs financial reinforcements, her donors will be maxed out and unable to give more.
• Meanwhile, Sanders is raising his money through the internet. He has gotten 1.3 million donations from 650,000 different people, putting him the same class with Obama’s 2008 campaign. Back then, while Hillary sweated over her rolodex raising money with her best people maxed out, Obama had only to push the Send button on his computer to re-solicit money from his small donors, none of whom was maxed out. Sanders’ money will come in more and more easily as his internet base gives and gives again.
• While Hillary has refused to reveal her cash-on-hand, her very reluctance attests to the likelihood that Bernie, right now, about equals her in that category. Sanders has about $25 million on hand, according to the New York Times. In her earlier report, Hillary indicated that she had spent 40% of her fundraising intake. As in 2008, Hillary is showing no discipline in spending money, assuming that her front runner status would last forever. In Ed Klein’s new book, Unlikeable: The Problem With Hillary, he chronicles how Bill urged his wife to hire high priced Obama consultants and operatives to lock them up so no other candidate could get them. Now, she has an overhead that will stagger her.
Hillary’s slowdown in fundraising will likely get worse as the specter of Joe Biden looms ever larger over her campaign and her poll numbers continue to drop.
So far, the Sanders vs. Clinton primary campaign looks like a rerun of the Obama vs. Clinton campaign. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Remember, too, that this latest gap — or discrepancy — in her recollection of the events surrounding the server comes after months in which Clinton has struggled to get her story straight. When the news first broke, she said she used a private server solely out of convenience. She recently apologized for doing so. She initially said that there was no need to turn over the server to a third party investigator; she was eventually forced to do just that.
Time after time, the story Clinton has tried to tell has been contradicted — in ways large and small — by reporting about the e-mail server. She hasn’t been able to put the story behind her because the story keeps evolving.
Voters don’t like her, they really don’t. “Clinton’s favorability was upside-down among voters from all parties: 39 percent favorable versus 51 percent unfavorable. Sanders was slightly positive overall with a 37 percent favorable and 33 percent unfavorable rating. Meanwhile, Biden, who has not declared a candidacy, was the most popular among all voters polled, with a 51 percent favorable rating and a 35 percent unfavorable rating.” The most common descriptor of her is “liar/dishonest.” Yeah, it’s that bad.
Turning to the money issue, she raised $28 million in the third quarter, but many observers think she spent a lot as well and will have an unimpressive amount of cash on hand. Sanders, meanwhile, hauled in nearly as much ($26 million) without huge, expensive fundraisers. If she was going to bury Sanders with money for ads, organization, etc., it is not happening.
…As for Clinton’s fate, it is certainly possible Biden decides not to run, or that if he does, Clinton destroys him with the negative, nasty campaign we know she is capable of running. It is equally possible that the Clinton attack machine shreds Sanders and she emerges as the party’s nominee. In that case, however, the Democrats will be saddled with an unlikable, untrustworthy candidate whose big “success” was a policy that has now blown up in our faces, so to speak. The Republicans are entirely capable of blowing such an election, but it’s beginning to look like they’d have to nominate an obviously unacceptable figure in order to lose to her.
8:25 PM EDT
The same day Jenghazi cackles about Clinton’s supposedly horrific day her own paper is running the headline “Clinton team sees political gift in McCarthy comment on Benghazi probe”.
The jig is up, and everyone now understands the Benghazi hearings to be the two bit political theater they are, designed solely to drive Clinton’s number down.
By any measurement for Clinton, that’s a very good day.
8:18 PM EDT
Hillary in August: “I have said repeatedly that I did not send nor receive classified material, and I’m very confident that when this entire process plays out that will be understood by everyone.”
Um, not so true.
8:14 PM EDT
I don’t care about this email nonsense…. It’s all political theatre designed to push her numbers down.
10/1/2015 7:55 PM EST
Over 400 emails deemed classified passed through Hillary’s private, unencrypted server on which she said she never “sent or received classified material”.
Hillary was an OCA. She had the responsibility of knowing what was classified and what wasn’t. Her conduct was not just unethical. It was illegal.
She should be a strong candidate for Leavenworth, not the presidency.
Vote Jim Webb in `16.
10:37 PM EDT
If no classified materials was sent or received, was HIllary completely out of the loop?
Hillary was require to provide originals of all government materials including emails to the records officer on departure as Secretary of State. The records officer was the one to determine what she could or couldn’t make copies of and take with her. Hillary has never supplied the State Department with original records (electronic email records from the email database) only paper copies. This is a violate of federal law. Each document is one count of the violation.
Charlene Avis Richards
10:40 PM EDT
According to this report given to Greta Van Sustren in March, an IT expert who works in security investigated the IP address of. Hillary’s server and located it in NYC, NOT in Chappaqua:
Margaret Florida 22 hours ago
If she ran as a moderate Republican, nobody would know the difference except for her stance on abortion. She is Republican Light and always will be.I would love to like and trust Hillary Clinton. But every rational as well as intuitive bone in my body screams at me not to. Rational because one only has to go by her past voting record to understand she is trying to dupe us. And intuitive because I can’t trust someone who deliberately has remained unknowable and now wants us to believe that she is different from what we think she is.Really, what are the chances that she suddenly cares about the middle class and the have-nots? Who, in recent or distant history has ever undergone such a transformation? Her handlers admit that they are shifting her over to a more progressive stance, as if all it takes is her adopting some sound bites and suddenly everybody is going to swoon and fall in line. Frankly, as a voter I feel my intelligence is being insulted.
I.M. Salmon Bethlehem, PA 22 hours ago
HRC has no core convictions other than self-advancement. I abhor the source but David Frum had it right when he said “Hillary Clinton wouldn’t lead for fight for motherhood and apple pie if motherhood and apple pie were polling below 70 percent.” Her waffling on the trade pact is just the latest example.
Col Andy Dufrane Ocala 16 hours ago
Maureen this is one time I can agree with your column. Hillary had better learn to be who she is and not what the machine perceives to be best. To thine known self be true. If she cannot stand up for what she believes and at the same time stand by President Obama America will read right into the phony and she will have lost what was hers to win once again.
Rex Reese Las Vegas 13 hours ago
During Hillary’s farewell address to state department staff. She said, “I am so grateful that we’ve had a chance to contribute in each of our ways to making our country and our world stronger, safer, fairer and better.”Parallel universe?
PE Seattle, WA 13 hours ago
Hillary just wants to get elected, to be part of history, and it seems like she will do anything to that end–like Mitt Romney who played down his religion, and waffled on every big topic. American wants someone who is definitive, not desperate. Hillary comes off desperate to win, so much so that she will muffle her convictions and temper her values and flip flop with the polling winds. Come general election, if she makes it, she will be a shell of her former self, a Mittens Romney with empty speeches, but desperate for power. People don’t like to give power to that type of sneaky desperation.
David Pittelli · Top Commenter · Harvard University
Hillary’s “brand” is corruption and incompetence. People remember that Ms. Clinton was Secretary of State, and they know that our foreign policy was and is a mess. (The reason her own messaging only brags about flying a million miles.) But most have forgotten her disgraceful exit from the White House, when everyone who was paying attention noticed that both Clintons are personally corrupt, and that much of that corruption was directly due to Hillary’s ambition for power and her family’s greed. Her husband bought her Senate seat in part with the pardons of 16 unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorists, as well as of Hasidic community leaders who had embezzled $30 million from the U.S. government. Other Bill Clinton pardons just happened to have been preceded by $100,000 and $200,000 payments to BOTH of Ms. Clinton’s brothers; and $100,000 to Ms. Clinton’s Senate campaign and a million dollars to the Democratic party came from Marc Rich, a man who, far from having paid his debt to society, had fled to and stayed in Europe prior to his unprecedented pardon. (But don’t worry, Eric Holder was cool with it.) Either both Clintons are crooks, or they are the most blind and unlucky White House inhabitants ever, who couldn’t stop themselves from being surrounded by crooks. Either way, they belong nowhere near the levers of power.
Reply · Like · 24 · Follow Post · 17 hours ago
…None of what you said made any sense. Keeping a single account mingling business and personal with your own server wasn’t about “convenience.” It was about expedience. You became judge and jury on what’s relevant because you didn’t want to leave digital fingerprints for others to retrace. You could have had Huma carry two devices if you really couldn’t hoist an extra few ounces. You insisted on piggybacking on Bill’s server, even though his aides were worried about hackers, because you were gaming the system for 2016. (Or even 2012.)
Suffused with paranoia and pre-emptive defensiveness, you shrugged off The One’s high-minded call for the Most Transparent Administration in History.
It depends upon what the meaning of @ is.
Jerry Frey Columbus Just now
A most excellent column. I particularly like: “It depends upon what the meaning of @ is.” Fact is, quantitatively the Republicans have nothing to offer while qualitatively the Democrats have no one worth voting for.
Coolhunter New Jersey 1 minute ago
We all knew the real Ms. Hillary years ago when she told us that she would put up with Bill, no matter what he ever did. It has always been about ‘power’ with the Clinton’s, nothing else. To have such a person again in the White House will lead to the demise of America, its that simple. We can do better America, we deserve better America. Start looking.
Hillary Clinton also used an iPad for e-mails, undercutting her single-device defense
10:33 PM EST
Wonder if Obama found out about the private server from the media like everyone else considering she reported directly to him for 4 years?
10:34 PM EST
I doubt that she sent emails to Obama, other than perhaps kudos or something like that. Certainly not on policy. There is another system for the President to consider policy recommendations after interagency review.
10:32 PM EST
What did she mean “the State Department” approved it? She was the one in the State Department that should have put a stop to her own scheme.
10:33 PM EST
What did Bill O’Reilly mean about reporting from a war zone?
10:34 PM EST
Look! A squirrel!
10:34 PM EST
Is Bill still in office?
10:34 PM EST
Yes, Fox News stands behind Bill’s preposterous lies, even now.
10:33 PM EST
It’s just like Obama saying DoJ approves things he wants to do anyway, like pardon illegals.
10:31 PM EST
The media is not buying Clinton’s explanation. And her defenders like James Carville and Lanny Davis are making fools of themselves trying to justify her private e-mail account. There is no way Clinton survives as a candidate without turning over the server drive.
10:30 PM EST
The dog ate my server…
10:29 PM EST
This has every sign of yet another Republican “issue” made out of nothing. I guess the economy is going too well for them, so they have to make up an issue about some emails. Since when do we get to see John Boehner’s emails? Or the CEO of Exxon Mobil ? Or Mitch McConnell? Or Bill O’Reilly?
10:29 PM EST
With the Clintons it’s not of question of whether Hilliary is lying or stonewalling; the question is whether or not she’ll be allowed to get away with it.
10:27 PM EST
If Hillary has no intention of turning over the sever why did she delete all her personal emails?
10:29 PM EST
10:26 PM EST
As a matter of fact, CNN reported Hillary’s e-mail server was found lifeless in Fort Marcy Park from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hard drive.
David Axelrod…who is not working for Clinton, has been critical of Clinton in his new book, in which he describes her as “an opportunist” and “not a healing figure” and “too much a part of the system in Washington ever to change it.”
WASHINGTON — I’LL pay for this column.
The Rottweilers will be unleashed.
Once the Clintons had a War Room. Now they have a Slime Room.
Once they had the sly James Carville, fondly known as “serpenthead.” Now they have the slippery David Brock, accurately known as a snake.
Brock fits into the Clinton tradition of opportunistic knife-fighters like Dick Morris and Mark Penn.
The silver-haired 52-year-old, who sports colorful designer suits and once wore a monocle, brawled his way into a Times article about the uneasy marriage between Hillary Clinton’s veteran attack dogs and the group of advisers who are moving over from Obamaland.
Hillary hasn’t announced a 2016 campaign yet. She’s busy polling more than 200 policy experts on how to show that she really cares about the poor while courting the banks. Yet her shadow campaign is already in a déjà-vu-all-over-again shark fight over control of the candidate and her money. It’s the same old story: The killer organization that, even with all its ruthless hired guns, can’t quite shoot straight.
Squabbling competing factions helped Hillary squander a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in 2008.
As Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick chronicled, the nasty dispute spilled into public and Brock resigned last week from the board of a pro-Clinton “super-PAC” called Priorities USA Action — whose co-chairman is Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager — accusing the political action committee of “an orchestrated political hit job” and “the kind of dirty trick I’ve witnessed in the right-wing and would not tolerate then.”
He should know.
The former “right-wing hit man,” and impresario of “dirty tricks,” as Brock has said of himself, made his living in the ’90s sliming Anita Hill as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty” and breaking the Troopergate story, which accused Arkansas state troopers of setting up liaisons for Bill Clinton and spurred Paula Jones’s 1994 sexual harassment lawsuit.
He has tried to discredit anyone who disagreed with his ideological hits (myself and reporters I know included). And that’s still the business he’s in, simply on the other side as a Hillary zealot. (His conversion began in 1996 when he published a biography of Hillary that was not a total hit job and that began the thaw.)
Just as Bill Clinton was able to forgive another architect of the vast right-wing conspiracy, Richard Mellon Scaife, once Scaife was charmed by Hillary in person and began giving money to the Clinton foundation, so, too, was Bill won over by Brock’s book, “Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative,” and Brock’s Media Matters and Correct the Record websites, which ferociously push back against any Hillary coverage that isn’t fawning.
With the understood blessing of the Clintons, Brock runs a $28 million cluster of media monitoring groups and oppo research organizations that are vehicles to rebut and at times discredit and threaten anyone who casts a gimlet eye at Clinton Inc.
As Confessore and Chozick wrote, he uses a fund-raiser named Mary Pat Bonner, whose firm has collected millions of dollars in commissions — a practice many fund-raising experts consider unethical.
Everyone wants to be at the trough for this one because Hillary is likely to raise, and more important, spend more than $1 billion on her campaign.
The Clinton crowd is trying to woo Brock back into the fold because he’s good at getting money and knows how their enemies think. The Clintons appreciate the fact that Brock, like Morris, is a take-no-prisoners type with the ethical compass of a jackal. Baked in the tactics of the right, Brock will never believe that negative coverage results from legitimate shortcomings. Instead, it’s all personal, all false, and all a war.
This is a bad harbinger for those who had hoped that Hillary would “kill off the wild dogs,” as one Obama loyalist put it, and Bill would leave behind the sketchy hangers-on in the mold of Ron Burkle and Jeffrey Epstein.
Hillary’s inability to dispense with brass-knuckle, fanatical acolytes like Brock shows that she still has an insecure streak that requires Borgia-like blind loyalty, and can’t distinguish between the real vast right-wing conspiracy and the voices of legitimate concern.
Money-grubbing is always the ugly place with the Clintons, who have devoured $2.1 billion in contributions since 1992 to their political campaigns, family foundation and philanthropies, according to The Old (Good) New Republic.
David Axelrod, the author of a new memoir, “Believer,” wrote that Hillary’s past gurus, Morris and Penn, were nonbelievers — mercenary, manipulative and avaricious. He told Politico’s Glenn Thrush that he would have advised Hillary not to cash in with her book and six-figure speeches.
Axelrod reiterated to me that Hillary’s designated campaign chairman, John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s last chief of staff who left his post as an Obama counselor on Friday, “has the strength and standing to enforce a kind of campaign discipline that hasn’t existed before.”
But, for now, what Republicans say about government is true of the Clintons: They really do believe that your money belongs to them.
Someday, they should give their tin cup to the Smithsonian. It’s one of the wonders of the world.
“She is smart, tough and savvy and has a capacity to learn from failure and adjust. But . . . people are bored of her and feel like she has been talking at them forever. . . . She is a dull, grating, inauthentic, over-eager, insipid elitist with ideological blinders yet no particular vision and is likely to be reduced to running on a dubious promise of experience and competence while faking idealism and hope — a very common type of presidential contender in both parties, but one that almost always loses.”
5:45 PM EST
By writing critical column about Hillary Clinton George Will is trying to help her out. Conservatives like Will hope and pray Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic nomination because they know, as I know, and you know, Clinton will lose and Republicans will control all branches of the government.
Hillary Clinton is a loser. Many don’t want to hear that much less accept that but recognizing her as a political loser is money in the bank. So if you want Republicans to totally control the country, get us into more Bush wars (as would Hillary), and accelerate the decline of the middle class, they nominate Hillary Clinton.
A primer on Benghazi battle: What you need to know
Here’s a guide to the controversy surrounding the attack that left four Americans dead.
…The attack probably could have been prevented if the department had heeded intelligence warnings about the deteriorating situation in eastern Libya, a bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee said.
Stevens’ requests for more security, made clear in cables to State Department headquarters in July and August 2012, went unheeded, according to the Senate report, as did those made by his predecessor earlier that year.
But Stevens also twice declined the U.S. military’s offer of a special-operations team to bolster security and otherwise help his staff [due to bureaucracy - channels].
What happens if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run for president? Chaos.
Why Hillary winning might be bad news for Democrats
BY CHRIS CILLIZZA
February 18 at 11:59 am
Conventional wisdom for 2016 goes like this: Republicans are heading toward a bruising primary while, if she runs, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the de facto Democratic nominee. And, that CW goes, that is a very good thing for the Democratic Party.
Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a roundtable discussion held by Univision between parents of elementary school children and politicians regarding language learning and preschool on February 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
The positives for Democrats of nominating Clinton basically by acclamation are obvious. She is well known, well liked and a proven commodity on the campaign trail. Polling suggests she has a massive primary lead and a double-digit lead in the general election as well. And she is a Clinton.
The negatives are less obvious but have both a symbolic and logistical component.
First, the symbolic. As we have written, elections are almost always about the future, and Clinton is, for better and worse, a candidate of the past. She first came into the national political consciousness in 1991 and has barely receded from that spot for the better part of the last two decades as she moved from first lady to New York senator to presidential candidate to secretary of state. Nominating her — particularly if she is not seriously challenged in a primary — will link the Democratic Party to all of the Clinton history, much of which the public would prefer to put behind them. And, given the relative newness of the Republican top-tier candidates — Rand Paul, elected to the Senate in 2010, is 51, while Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Paul Ryan are all in their 40s and have spent relatively little time in elected office — the contrast between past and future will be readily apparent and may well work against Clinton (and Democrats) in 2016.
Now, the logistical — which may well be more important for the party’s long-term future. Open presidential elections — when your party has no sitting incumbent — tend to be a moment in which a large-scale debate about what the party should look like going forward happens. Stars emerge with new messages that move the party in new directions. The presence of an heir apparent like Clinton stymie the rise of those new stars — and their messages — for four or even eight years.
Whatever you think of Elizabeth Warren or Tim Kaine or Martin O’Malley or Kirstin Gillibrand or Andrew Cuomo, they all represent differing views of what the Democratic Party should focus on going forward. As Dan Balz and Phil Rucker wrote in a story examining the future of the Democratic Party over the weekend: “Democrats nevertheless face simmering tensions between the establishment and a newly energized populist wing, led by the unabashed liberalism of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the fiery rhetoric of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.”
A Clinton-less race would allow that fight to happen — with one view emerging victorious. A race with Clinton — and without a serious primary challenger against her — postpones that fight while also keeping the ambitious voices within the party on the sidelines. If you need an example of how corrosive that can be for a party’s long-term prospects, you need only to look back at the nomination of George W. Bush in 2000.
Bush was the de facto nominee from the start of the race, the scion of a well-regarded political family whose name recognition and, especially, fundraising ability scared off many of the other younger rising stars who were looking at running. Bush faced a surprisingly serious challenge from John McCain but still wound up as the nominee. Fast forward eight years — when the fight over what the GOP should stand for began in earnest but with a field of candidates who were not the stars of the future. (The top tier of the race was McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani — all of whom were at least 60 years old.) McCain, 72 years old on Election Day, lost to Obama, who was 25 years his junior, in an election defined by — you guessed it! — a vision of the future.
Many Democrats insist that the best thing for any party’s future is to hold the White House — no matter who does it or how he/she does it. Fair enough. But, that best-case scenario also assumes Clinton wins. If she loses the general election, Democrats may be stuck in a place that Republicans found themselves in 2012 — facing the tough task of beating a sitting incumbent with a less-than-stellar group of candidates whose primary motivation in running is to not miss their window to do so.
Clinton is widely being cast within Democratic circles as the answer to the problems the party will face once the Obama era is over. (Populist or establishment? Pro-trade or protectionist?) Seen through another lens, however, she is a Band-Aid that simply delays rather than stops the inevitable political bloodletting that produces change and elevates new voices. And that might not be such a good thing.
FEB. 17, 2014
Her perseverance often awes me. Her arrogance sometimes galls me. And her particular braid of high-mindedness and high-handedness almost always leaves me puzzled and exhausted.
But what I’ve been feeling for and about Hillary Clinton over the last week is sadness. Does she have even a smidgen of privacy left? Can she utter a syllable or think a thought with any assurance that it won’t be exposed, analyzed, ridiculed?
When she was talking decades ago with Diane Blair, whose journals are part of “ The Hillary Papers,” she no doubt assumed an audience of one: her dear friend. Her best friend. But this corner of Hillary’s life, like every other, has now been put on public display. Get as close as you like. Gawk. Judge.
I’m not suggesting that The Washington Free Beacon, the news site that presented “The Hillary Papers,” did anything unusual or wrong. By recognizing that an archive of documents at the University of Arkansas hadn’t received much scrutiny and going through it, The Free Beacon provided candid, intimate glimpses of the Clintons that hadn’t existed before. This was indeed a scoop, one that many other media organizations would have been happy to trumpet.
But to absorb it in the context of the endless drip-drip-drip about Hillary over the years was to worry that we’ve lost sight of any boundaries and limits — that maybe even Hillary herself has stopped hoping for anything kinder. When the archive was opened to the public in 2010, she gave a tribute to Blair, who died in 2000.
Details in the documents were fresh. Most of the truths they fleshed out weren’t. We already knew that Hillary had found tortured rationales for Bill’s infidelities. We already knew that her compromised brand of feminism accommodated the vilification of women who dared to threaten the couple’s purchase on power.
What’s at least as interesting is what the documents say about the political arena that the Clintons inhabit: the toll it takes, the cynics it makes. Early in her White House years, Hillary’s guard has already gone up. Blair chats with Janet Reno, Bill Clinton’s attorney general, and writes, in April 1993, that while “Janet wants to connect” with Hillary, she “finds HC a ‘mask.’ ”
This is even before the fever pitch of impeachment and the Starr Report in all its lurid detail and the sustained analysis of every provisional hairstyle and the millions of pages by authors determined to turn her into a symbol of this, that or the other. She has been called a Rorschach, but as I read “The Hillary Papers,” I couldn’t stop thinking of her as a carcass. With a tireless zest, we pick her clean.
The latest book about her, “ HRC,” by the journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, was published last week. It focuses on recent years, and is flattering: The Hillary here is resourceful and diligent and has enough guile and grace to win over the people whom she sets out to.
She’s also obsessed with loyalty, which governs her decisions, leading to bad ones. That’s perhaps inevitable when you’ve been so thoroughly peered and poked at. You do your damnedest to carve out a safe space.
Blair was surely supposed to be that, and it’s not clear why she was taking notes or what she intended to do with them. It’s also not clear that the Hillary in those notes is the truest one. With our friends, yes, we bare our souls. But we also let off steam, allowing ourselves a theatricality and sloppiness that exaggerate our emotions.
Blair’s journals are the kind of material from which biographies and histories have long been woven. But it doesn’t always surface so soon, and it is now augmented by the eavesdropping and tattling of cabinet secretaries (see “Duty,” by Robert Gates) and political allies and handlers eager to make themselves look better, even at a benefactor’s expense (see “Game Change” and the robust genre to which it belongs).
Frenzied media feed on this, to a degree that arguably goes beyond our obligation to keep politicians honest, and it’s troubling in two regards. How many decent, gifted people who contemplate public office look at what someone like Hillary endures and step away? And the people who aren’t scared off: How cold and hard are they, or how cold and hard do they become?
“HRC” recalls that just after the 2008 presidential election, a photo came to light of one of Barack Obama’s speechwriters, Jon Favreau, pretending to cup the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary. The image is shocking, but then again not. For a good long while, we’ve done with Hillary as we pleased, frequently looking past her humanity, routinely running roughshod over her secrets. She has gained so much — tremendous influence, significant riches — but lost so much, too. Was that the bargain she expected?
Has she made peace with it?
Book World: ‘HRC,’ inside Clinton’s State Dept. and the political machine
By Liza Mundy, Published: February 6
Ah, public service, among the noblest of callings, pursued by selfless individuals who have laid aside greed, ego or other personal gain, devoting themselves to democracy and the common good — and when necessary, ruthlessly crushing political double-crossers, defectors, enemies and traitors.
If the time-for-some-traffic-problems Chris Christie bridge fiasco weren’t reminder enough that American politics can be magnificently entertaining — no, no, I mean deplorably shocking — for its periodic spasms of vengeance and retribution, consider a scene that occurs near the beginning of “HRC.” Deeply reported and ably written by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, the book is a step-by-step recounting of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, but it’s also a revealing window into the le Carré-like layers of intrigue that develop when a celebrity politician who is married to another celebrity politician loses to yet another celebrity politician, and goes on to serve the politician who defeated her.
The scene takes place not long after Clinton’s devastating loss in the 2008 presidential primaries to Barack Obama. In a quiet office in her shuttered campaign headquarters in Arlington, a pair of Clinton loyalists are finishing a detailed Excel spreadsheet listing names and behavioral specifics of friends and betrayers. The gradations of loyalty and disloyalty are ranked at one point on a scale of one to seven, one being assigned to lawmakers who stuck with Hillary through thick and thin, seven going to those showing unforgivable treachery — often Democratic members of Congress who were expected to endorse her but broke for Obama; or, worse, allies for whom the Clintons had raised money or done other favors — like writing letters to get their kids into some fancy school — only to be jilted in the rush to the junior senator from Illinois.
The late Ted Kennedy does not fare well in their accounting, and neither do John Lewis or Chris Dodd or John Kerry. Virginia’s Jim Moran better be glad he has decided to retire from Congress altogether. Claire McCaskill — well, let’s just say that there is a special seat by hell’s fire reserved for the Missouri senator, who broke down in penitential weeping after she commented, on national television, that she would not want her daughter near Bill Clinton. But her greater sin was being the first female senator to endorse Obama. “Hate is too weak a word to describe” how Hillaryites still feel about her. One aide’s observation that the Clintons are “into loyalty” wins the award for epic understatement.
Loyalty: such a rich and complex word. It emerges as a theme through the book. Loyalty is the reason Hillary Clinton accepted the position at State: When the president asked her to take the job, she told him “no” so many times that Obama began dodging her calls to stave off a final turn-down, but then she changed her mind after reflecting that, had she won the election, she would want him to answer her own call if she needed him. Yet loyalty — to a staff of cultish insiders who did not always serve her well — is one reason she lost in the primaries in the first place. Loyalty is something she and Bill continue to expect from supporters and colleagues.
In print as in life, there are places where Bill Clinton, through the sheer largeness of his personality and his “insatiable” love of the campaign arena, eclipses the story of his wife. During her hiatus from electoral politics, Bill becomes the brand’s — I mean, the family’s — political networker and enforcer, playing an audacious double game. During the mid-terms and again in the 2012 election, Bill campaigns for candidates who had backed Hillary, and increasingly campaigns for Obama himself — defending the president’s efforts to fix the economy— yet continues to punish those who bolted from Hillary in 2008, declining to help them, sometimes helping their primary opponents.
Though these efforts may seem contradictory — supporting Obama while punishing Obama supporters — both were in service of Hillary’s political viability. It was in her interest that Obama win re-election, but also that people understand what formidable foes she and her husband could be — and what valuable allies.
In this way, the book tells a number of stories. It is the story of Hillary Clinton’s foray into global diplomacy as well as management of a vast bureaucracy; and of her resurrection from the setback and mistakes of 2008. The authors describe her State Department leadership as strong but not dazzling: a “workmanlike enhancement of diplomacy and development” with “deliverables” that were real but not high-profile — no “marquee peace deal,” for example. But she elevated the stature of State, which lost influence to the CIA and Pentagon during the years when two wars dominated the foreign policy landscape. She worked to win over her employees, fighting for budget increases and going to bat for Foggy Bottom bike commuters. As a member of the Cabinet, she brought star power and a venerable understanding of Washington’s “levers of power.” She defended the president’s health plan against doubting Cabinet colleagues, a moment the authors describe as “pivotal, if underappreciated.”
Part of the rapprochement between Clinton and Obama is the result of self-interest and the ability, of professional politicians, to work together when they have to; but it’s also because people tend to go through what one D.C insider calls the “stages of Hillary.” First, the person explains, you dread working with her, then you begin to grudgingly respect her, and one day you find you like her — won over by her fortitude, her sense of humor, and her ability to overlook episodes like the one where Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau stood beside a cardboard cutout of her and cupped a breast. That Hillary laughed off this punkish disrespect suggests that hit list or no hit list, she is capable of magnanimity.
Her diplomatic achievements were of course marred by the tragedy of Benghazi, where Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were murdered. The book concludes, plausibly, that Hillary was not personally to blame for inadequate security at the diplomatic compound, but the fact that Stevens was there in the first place was the result of her philosophy of “expeditionary diplomacy,” which holds that the United States should have a presence even in dangerous places.
Hillary’s personality does not emerge vividly in the book, possibly because she does not appear to have given the authors much access. But the assessment of her tenure feels fair, and after finishing “HRC” I understood, in a way I had not before, how and why the Clinton union has evolved into a juggernaut with such formidable “power to reward and punish.”
Mundy is a program director at the New America Foundation, and the author of “The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love, and Family.”
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