Why is Hillary mum on VA scandal?
So why haven't we heard from Hillary Clinton on the VA scandal? The putative front runner and president-in-waiting has been mum about the VA's troubles which have rocked official Washington and resulted in bi-partisan outrage.
This is especially confounding considering, as Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski points out, Hillary scoring political points off the Bush administration for scheduling problems at the VA in 2008:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is so far silent on allegations that hospital officials doctored paperwork to cover long wait times for veterans seeking care, but as a 2008 presidential candidate she harshly criticized the care of veterans under President Bush.
“As a President, President Bush has not done what we needed to do for our veterans,” Clinton said at an El Paso, Texas campaign event in February of 2008. “We haven’t funded the VA. We have so many coming home who are injured and not being taken care of. I think it is the highest obligation of the President, who is also our commander in chief, to take care of those who have served our nation.”
Clinton pledged as president she would take care of U.S. veterans.
“I pledge to you: I will take care of our veterans. I will make sure our youngest veterans get what they need. We will honor our oldest veterans from World War II and I want to pay special attention to the veterans of my generation who served and fought in Vietnam, to give them what they deserve to have.” (HT: Hot Air)
Speaking out about abuses at the VA will not sell her new book. Hillary is in the midst of a PR blitz promoting her memior so commenting on contemporary politics would only distract people from buying her tome.
Also, if she wants Obama's blessing, she's going to have to toe the administration line on the scandal. Clinton had a secret lunch with Obama that was described as "informal." It's hard to imagine the subject of the 2016 presidential campaign didn't come up, nor the president's attitude toward his vice president jumping into the race. A neutral Obama would be a big benefit to Clinton and feeling out the president about where he stands was probably on her agenda.
By not taking a stand on the VA scandal, Clinton keeps her options open. Her silence prevents her from offending Obama, while she says above the fray. Eventually she'll have to say something, but until then, she has the best of both worlds.