July 6, 2015

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Hillary’s emails have received a lot of attention. Pickerhead is reminded of Hannah Arendt’s memorable phrase -”the banality of evil.” Evil is an over-reach, but the banality of the country’s leadership explains a lot of our current predicaments. Kimberley Strassel is first today with a look at Clinton’s emails.

Clinton scandals have a way of bumping and rolling along to a point where nobody can remember why there was any outrage to begin with. So in the interest of clarity, let’s take the latest news in the Hillary email escapade, and distill it into its basic pieces:

• Nothing Mrs. Clinton has said so far on the subject is correct. The Democratic presidential aspirant on March 10 held a press conference pitched as her first and last word on the revelation that she’d used a private email server while secretary of state. She told reporters that she’d turned over to the State Department “all my emails that could possibly be work-related.” And she insisted that she “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”

Not true and not true. The State Department has now admitted that it is aware of at least 15 work-related emails that Mrs. Clinton fully or partially withheld. We know this only because congressional Republicans, as part of their Benghazi probe, required longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal to turn over his correspondence with her. It revealed work-related emails that had not been disclosed.

These don’t appear to be random oversights, but rather emails that Mrs. Clinton would likely have had an interest in keeping from the public. Most appear to be instances of her telling Mr. Blumenthal about State Department business, even though he was a private citizen and was advising a business seeking contracts from the Libyan government. Others appear to contain discussions that might undermine Mrs. Clinton’s or the administration’s public position on the Libyan conflict. …




Then Jennifer Rubin

The latest batch of Hillary Clinton e-mails disclosed by the State Department is perhaps the most interesting. This is not because there is a bombshell; we know she destroyed “personal” e-mails, so we are not likely to find any real nuggets in those she turned over. (In one humorous e-mail previously released, she asked whether the e-mail can be printed out “without identifiers.”) No, this tranche of e-mails is revealing because it shows Clinton to be lacking real authority, surrounded and protected by political hacks, filthy rich and obsessed with political power. In short, this is the real Hillary Clinton.

Observers of the Obama White House know that this president, to a greater extent than any in recent memory, creates and controls foreign policy himself and through close aides in the executive office. Clinton was on the periphery, lacking much influence (as she admits, she couldn’t move the president on Syria) and devoid of creative policy-making abilities. The e-mails reflect that. Comically, Clinton hears on the radio that there is a Cabinet meeting and e-mails to find out why she is not invited. (“I heard on the radio that there is a Cabinet mtg this am. Is there? Can I go? If not, who are we sending?”) She shows up at the White House to find another meeting canceled. She is the third wheel, the least important person in foreign policy making.

She is, however, immersed in a web of cronies and hacks. She solicits Sid Blumenthal for advice, and not just on Libya. …

… And then — this is the supposedly nonpolitical secretary of state whose portfolio is strictly foreign affairs — there is her fixation on news reports, interest in domestic politics and outreach to labor unions. The Wall Street Journal observes: “While serving as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was keenly attentive to domestic political issues—following the gay-rights debate, staying in touch with Democratic allies and keeping tabs on her public image—a batch of emails released by the State Department Tuesday shows. . . [She] received numerous updates from her department advisers about the changing politics of gay rights and activists’ frustration with the Obama administration. . . . The emails show Mrs. Clinton engaged with domestic political figures.” Why is this so significant? Aside from using the taxpayers’ provided office and staff to attend to her political aspirations, it is evident that while in office Clinton was planning ahead, greasing the wheels for her campaign. That puts her receipt after leaving the State Department of outlandish speaking fees and foundation receipts in a clear light: Both she and the donors correctly figured this was cash flowing to a future presidential candidate.

And the e-mails are interesting for what they don’t include. Where is Hillary Clinton the wonk? Hillary Clinton the master of policy? Maybe there will be more of that to come. But she comes across as many critics have long surmised — vain, small-minded and, above all, politically calculating in everything she does.




And in a few short paragraphs, Matthew Continetti sums it up.

… Judged by miles flown and plenary sessions convened, interviews given and appearances made, Hillary Clinton was one of the most “impactful,” indeed successful, secretaries of state ever. Judged by what actions she took or did not take, however, what policies she pursued or was told not to pursue, she was easily one of the worst—a disastrous “reset” with Russia, a campaign against Iran sanctions her administration later pretended to have supported, misguided and dangerous “outreach” to the Muslim Brotherhood, no serious action to end the Syrian Civil War, the rushed and half-handed and disastrous Libya intervention, the failure to renegotiate the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that led to our full withdrawal at the end of 2011 and, in combination with the breakup of Syria, the rise of ISIS.

Her failures are hard to comprehend, actually—so great is their magnitude, so dismal the state of world order and American deterrence and prestige—it’s hard to face the fact that she is more likely than anyone to be the next president of the United States.

How does she do it, how is she able to flit above the incompetence and dissimulation and money-grubbing, from one benefit and tribute and resume-enhancing post to the next? Valuing political expediency above all surely helps. But there is also her ability to exploit the liberal dissociation of intention and result, her manner of so overwhelming liberals with statements of compassion and resolve and determination to combat inequity that they never end up paying attention to what she actually did with all that power and cash.

“We should create a day,” Clinton wrote to an aide while scheduling the Gelb interview. “Meeting w Webb about Burma, McCain/Lieberman/Graham about Af-Pak, etc. Meeting with Mitchell/Holbrooke etc.” Hillary Clinton creates her own days, planning with meticulous care her schedule of rehearsed interactions and focus-grouped poses in order to give the public the face she wants it to see at any moment. What made these latest emails shocking and powerful was the degree to which they revealed just how complicit the Washington establishment is in her shaping of perception, her fine-tuning of reputation and stature. What Clinton is seeking in the presidency is the opportunity to create many more days, for many more audiences, all with the purpose of furthering her and her family’s already obscene and unmerited wealth. …




Nothing left to do but laugh. Andy Malcolm has late night humor.

Fallon: Hillary Clinton signed a note for a nine-year-old boy the other day, explaining to his teacher that he was missing school to meet her. And this is nice. In exchange, the kid wrote Hillary a note saying his dog ate her emails.

Meyers: An English couple has become the world’s oldest newlyweds at the ages of 91 and 103. The couple is registered at Bed, Bath and the Great Beyond.

Conan: Donald Trump reaffirmed his stance against gay marriage. Trump said, “Marriage is between a rich guy and his much younger third wife.”