Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

HRC turns over 55,000 emails; Colin Powell, none

A friend distributed this tweet, from Joe Conason, a liberal columnist who wonders about the Hillary Clinton email flap.

“If Beltway press isn’t satisfied that @HillaryClinton turned over 55K emails, why don’t they care that Colin Powell turned over ZERO?”

I think I know the answer.

Colin Powell isn’t considering a run for the presidency in 2016; Hillary Clinton is likely to declare her White House candidacy in a month, maybe two.

That’s the reason for the interest.

Colin Powell served as secretary of state during the first term of the George W. Bush administration. He used a personal email account, just as Clinton did. In no way does that justify anything, other than to suggest that the media have this way of applying double standards whenever and wherever possible — and against whomever they feel like doing so.

I suppose if Powell, a retired Army general as well, were to decide to run for president, then he’d become fair game, too.

HRC's email tempest is going to build

Oh, how I was hoping Hillary Rodham Clinton would quell the unrest over her use of private email accounts while she was secretary of state.

Silly me. I knew it likely wouldn’t, but I was hanging on to a glimmer of hope.

Her press conference today likely guaranteed this tempest is going to follow her onto the 2016 presidential campaign trail, assuming that she makes the race — which everyone in the know seems to think will happen.


She said something today about deleting tens of thousands of private emails from her server at home. She said she never breached national security with private communications. Clinton said she used the private account for “convenience” sake and said if she could do it over, she would have used the State Department account to communicate about State Department matters.

Her critics on the right — led by Fox News and other conservative mainstream media — will ensure that this matter keeps bubbling up.

Now, though, her critics on the left are likely to start beating the bushes for an alternative candidate to seek the Democratic presidential nomination next year. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts says she won’t seek the presidency.

Hmmm. Can she be talked into running? I’m betting some operatives are going to try.

This email matter hasn’t risen to the level of “scandal,” as some on the right have called it. But it does raise some questions — in my mind, at least — about whether Clinton kept public information away from public scrutiny.

This mess is far from being cleaned up.


Sen. Graham: No emails from me

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is appealing to the technologically challenged.

The South Carolina Republican says he’s never sent an email and prefers to talk face to face with his South Carolina constituents. Well, good for him.


Graham said on “Meet the Press” that the next president of the United States — which might be him, although that seems to be among the longest of long shots — should be good with people, not technology.

That’s quaint talk, senator. It’s also meaningless.

The subject came up in a discussion of the email flap that keeps hounding Hillary Rodham Clinton and her use of a private email account while she served as secretary of state. Some Republicans, such as Rep. Darrell Issa of California, suggest Clinton might face “criminal charges.” Oh, brother.

Graham said Sunday: “The way I communicate is that I talk to people face to face, I’ll pick up the phone. I think the best thing is … to go to the Mideast, not email about the Mideast, not be told about the Mideast, but get on the ground.”

Maybe it’s just me, but my strong hunch is that in the remote chance Graham gets elected president next year that he’ll have plenty of staff sitting around waiting to communicate via email with a pertinent foreign leader. Were he climb aboard Air Force One just to talk to someone, say, in the Middle East, well … that could get a little expensive.

And haven’t Republicans been casting stones at the current president, Barack Obama, and his family over their alleged overuse of that big jumbo jet?


Run, Joe, run for the White House

Hillary Clinton is looking suddenly a bit less invincible as she ponders whether to run for president next year.

Is it time, then, for Vice President Joe Biden to ramp up his own interest in seeking the Top Job?

Sure. Why not?


That’s the case being made by Matt Bai, a veteran political reporter, who writes that Biden should run “and run now.”

There’s something so very un-Democratic Party-like in anointing someone to the presidential nomination when there’s so much over which to argue.

Hillary Clinton does present a formidable record to present to Democratic voters. But as we’ve learned in recent days, she does present some vulnerabilities. The email kerfuffle has revealed an apparent penchant for secrecy that can be exploited.

Biden, given his own penchant for garrulousness, would seem to be the anti-secrecy candidate.

He’s also an experienced politician. Biden served more than 30 years in the Senate before being elected vice president in 2008. He’s held key Senate chairmanships, leading the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees. Biden is known to be a foreign policy expert and one who has built many relationships over the years with key foreign leaders.

The political equation, though, is getting murky. Clinton is going to speak about the email matter later today. Perhaps she’ll put the controversy to rest — although no one believes the right-wing mainstream media will let the matter go so quickly.

Meantime, the vice president of the United States — who’s let it be known that he’s interested in the working in that Oval Office — should get ready to rumble.


Nothing is secret, Mme. Secretary

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a public figure for more than three decades, going back to when she was first lady of Arkansas.

She ought to know a fundamental truth about public notoriety: Almost nothing is secret.


But as The Hill notes in the attached report, Clinton has a penchant for secrecy that is driving her supporters to the point of insanity.

The recent email flap is a case in point.

She used her private email account to conduct affairs of the State Department, which she led during the first term of the Obama administration. She likely didn’t break the law. Previous secretaries of state have done the same thing. So have governors, senators, county commissioners — you name it — of both major parties.

The rules have changed since Clinton left the State Department.

Still, Clinton and her team seem to have mishandled the uproar over the revelation about the use of the private account. It’s causing grief among those who want her to run for president in 2016. An announcement is expected within the next month or so.

I happen to dislike the idea of public officials using personal email or other personal media accounts to do public business. Politicians of all stripes talk about the need for “transparency.” Only the most sensitive national security matters should be kept from public view.

Clinton now has asked the State Department to release her emails to an inquiring public, which by the way includes members of the House Select Benghazi Committee that no doubt is looking for that “smoking gun” to shoot holes in her probable presidential campaign.

Whatever. The former secretary/U.S. senator/U.S. first lady knows better than most the price people for seeking to serve the public.

As the cliché reminds us: No good deed goes unpunished.


Oops, Perry has own email trail

Doggone it anyhow, former Gov. Rick Perry.

Why did you have to be so quick on the trigger in criticizing Hillary Rodham Clinton over this brewing email controversy, in which it is alleged that Clinton used a private email account to conduct federal government business.

It turns out the former Texas governor has done the same thing while working for our state.


Perry piled on Clinton quickly, accusing her of lacking “transparency” in the way she conducted the public’s business while serving as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

Now, though, two legislators — both Democrats — say they believe Perry is just as non-transparent as Secretary Clinton. The questions come from state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio and former state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez of El Paso.

As the Texas Tribune reported: “Martinez Fischer and Gonzalez both sat on the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations as it looked into turmoil on the University of Texas System Board of Regents. At a meeting of the panel in 2013, Martinez Fischer brought up the emails in question, some of which were then obtained by The Texas Tribune. The emails, in which Perry is identified as only “RP,” show him corresponding with a number of UT regents as well as Jeff Sandefer, a prominent Republican donor and informal adviser to Perry.”

The Tribune also reported that Perry’s office has responded to the allegations: “’The Governor’s Office complied with state law regarding email correspondence,’ Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said. ‘While serving as governor of Texas, Gov. Perry’s emails were requested and released through public information requests.'”

Isn’t that what Clinton’s team has said, that she complied with the “spirit and letter” of federal law?

Is this yet another hurdle the ex-Republican governor will have to clear — along with that felony indictment alleging abuse of power — if he intends to seek the presidency once more?


Benghazi returns to center stage

I got a bit ahead of myself with an earlier blog post about Hillary Clinton’s email tempest.

The supposition was that she was in trouble again, but the difficulty didn’t have anything to do with Benghazi.


The House Benghazi Committee — that’s what I’ll call it — is going to subpoena the former secretary of state’s email messages to determine what she said at the time of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.


This ties into the email problem because Clinton used her personal email account to communicate official State Department business. The Benghazi panel, which already has traipsed all over the issue of the consulate fire fight and what the State Department knew about it, wants to see the emails to determine, I suppose, if there’s any “smoking gun” with which to blast away at the presumed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.

I am concerned about the use of a private email account to conduct public business. The Benghazi matter? Not so much. Yes, the deaths of those people were tragic beyond measure. But I do not believe Secretary Clinton purposely misled Americans about the attack, nor do I believe there’s been an orchestrated cover-up by the State Department or the White House.

However, by golly, we’re going to revisit the Benghazi attack once again because of questions about whether Secretary Clinton hid pertinent information — whatever it might have been — from the public she was serving.

HRC looking suddenly vulnerable

What’s the opposite of “invincible”?

Is it, say, “vincible”?

Suddenly and with little warning, the chatterers of Washington and in some key political hot spots are starting to wonder aloud whether the once seemingly invincible Hillary Rodham Clinton might actually not run for president of the United States next year.


I believe a Clinton pullout from the White House contest remains the longest of long shots. She’s invested a lot of her time, money, effort and political capital in getting support on board to bail now.

But oh, man, there’s trouble out there. It has nothing to do, really, with Benghazi.

It has to do with her use of email technology and whether she might have kept the public’s business hidden from public view.

Politico is reporting that Democratic strategists aren’t yet considering the idea of Clinton dropping out of the race: “What if The Unthinkable did happen and she actually dropped out? What would be the Democrats’ response? ‘Panic,’ says Democratic consultant Chris Lapetina.”

Some questions have emerged of late about whether the then-secretary of state broke federal rules by communicating exclusively with her private email account. The way I see the trouble is that using private channels leaves open the possibility that she conducted non-classified public business in private. More murkiness has emerged as well, with some Clinton supporters suggesting that the rules weren’t put in place until after she left the State Department.

Clinton’s advisers have said she broke no laws and followed the “spirit and letter” of the rules governing such communication.

Suddenly, though, the smooth sailing Clinton has enjoyed so far has given way to some choppy waters. Have the waves built enough to capsize the Good Ship Hillary? Not yet, but factions on the Democratic Party’s left and most certainly those on the right and far right aren’t about to throw her many life lines.

Democratic Party “panic” needs to give way to some planning in the event that The Unthinkable actually occurs.


Doing public business in private? A serious no-no

The presumed frontrunner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination next year now finds herself having to answer a serious question about ethical conduct.

Did former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton break government rules when she used her private email account to conduct affairs of the state?


She’s not the first public official to do something such as this. But her exclusive use of her private email account makes this matter unusual and worth scrutiny.

As the New York Times has reported: “Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.”

Further, the Times reported: “‘It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,’ said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.”

I do not recall a “nuclear winter” occurring, which makes this situation quite disturbing.

How much information that should have been available for public inspection was kept in the dark?

Let’s hear it, Mme. Secretary.


Perry questions HRC's 'loyalty'

Rick Perry thinks Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of foreign money to the Clinton Foundation — all of which went to earthquake relief in Haiti — gives Americans reason to question her “loyalty.”

To whom? To which country? Well, the former Texas governor — and probable Republican candidate for president in 2016 — isn’t providing any suggestions.


Perry was among a thundering herd of potential GOP candidates to rake Hillary Clinton over the coals at the just-concluded Conservative Political Action Conference.

The Clinton Foundation accepted $500,000 from Algeria right after an earthquake devastated Haiti. The foundation has raised tens of millions of dollars to aid the Haitians. The Algerian contribution went directly to relieve the victims of the quake.

Perry, though, wonders if that kind of foreign cash makes her more, um, loyal to the giver of the funds than — hmm — to her own country?

MSNBC.com reported: “The foundation acknowledged they should have alerted officials about the donation from the country.

“’As the Clinton Foundation did with all donations it received for earthquake relief, the entire amount of Algeria’s contribution was distributed as aid in Haiti,’ the statement said. ‘This donation was disclosed publicly on the Clinton Foundation website, however, the State Department should have also been formally informed.’

“But Perry said Americans will question this.

“’I’m really concerned that – not just going forward — but what has been received at the Clinton Foundation over the course of the years and how that affects this individual’s judgment,’ Perry said.”

I’m trying to connect those dots, but I’m trouble here.

Money given for disaster relief and is administered through an independent non-profit foundation somehow is supposed to cast doubt on the judgment of a presidential candidate? That’s how it goes?

As Denzel Washington said in the film “Philadelphia”: Explain that one to me as if I’m a 5-year-old.