Hillary's Baggage

Hillary Clinton’s latest misadventures are not just so typically Clintonian, but more to the point, they reveal a fatal flaw in the woman’s makeup -- she has absolutely no judgment! Now you can write off the three current scandals (her private email account use while serving as secretary of state; the foreign donations to the Clinton foundation while also serving in that capacity; and, most recently, her brother Tony and her campaign advisor Terry McAuliffe receiving preferential visa treatment for their friends or clients by the Department of Homeland Security) as just another manifestation of Clinton arrogance. But that would barely scratch the surface as to what it reveals about Hillary.

The woman knows that she is going to run for president in 2016; knows that she is carrying a ton of baggage from her first lady years in the White House that she would like to put behind her; knows that the Republicans (as inept as they are) are going to dig out all these skeletons in her closet; yet engages in this form of clearly inappropriate conduct that she has to know is going to come out in the course of her quest for her own stint in the White House. This is much more than Clintonian arrogance and/or duplicity; this puts in relief Hillary’s greatest failing – lack of judgment.

This pattern of incompetence and dishonesty has dogged her path at every step in her undistinguished career. The only action that Hillary has taken that might be regarded as a “positive accomplishment” was marrying Bill Clinton and riding his coattails to positions of prominence, where she not only failed to “accomplish” anything that might be regarded as positive, she consistently revealed her inability to lead, her willingness to lie with impunity, and to screw up with regularity.

These disturbing qualities became apparent upon her leaving Yale with her failure to pass the District of Columbia Bar examination, a feat rarely accomplished by a Yale Law School graduate. First, the D.C. Bar exam has never been regarded as one of the country’s more difficult bar exams, and second, 80% of graduates of first-tier law schools (and Yale is at the top of the heap) pass the bar exam -- any bar exam -- on their first effort. Hillary, with characteristic ("what-difference-does-it-make?") insouciance, brushed this failure off with the romantic notion that, since her heart was in Arkansas (with Bill and where she passed the bar exam), this was a message to her that she should follow her heart. She then went to work on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee, which was considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon at the time. She worked for the committee’s chief counsel, Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat and a former professor at the University of Santa Clara Law School, who found her work legally inadequate and ethically flawed. As a consequence, she was one of only three attorney-employees of the committee over the course of Zeifman’s tenure that he considered unworthy of a positive reference. Indeed, Hillary and the Clintons left such a sour taste in Zeifman’s mouth that, not only did he point out his displeasure with Hillary in his 1995 book about the Committee’s activities, Without Honor, he wrote a lengthy monograph some 10 years later excoriating Hillary Clinton’s scurrilous behavior (Hillary’s Pursuit of Power), in which he details many of Hillary’s indiscretions and displays of incompetence. Things did not improve from there; indeed, they only went downhill.

1) Arkansas -- She did little of note in her stay in Arkansas, either in her capacity of wife of its attorney general and then governor, nor in her work at the Rose Law firm. When the National Law Journal labeled her as one of the 100 most “influential” attorneys in the country (because of her relationship with the state’s attorney general and governor) she tried to pass this off as one of the country’s 100 best attorneys (for which she was taken to task by the National Law Journal). Arkansas is where she entered into the infamous Whitewater transaction which dogged her path to the White House. Also, you may recall the fraudulent futures transaction she entered into in which, thanks to her relationship with a Tyson Chicken attorney with the right market connections, she managed to turn $1,000 into $100,000. She explained this bit of stock market alchemy as the result of her having read the Wall Street Journal. (which market pundits said had about a million to one chance of being the case).

Two of her Rose Law firm cohorts, Vince Foster and Webster Hubbell, accompanied her to Washington -- Foster committed suicide and Hubbell went to prison (where he received a substantial “consulting” fee for not giving Hillary up -- how many imprisoned consultants do you know of who are so handsomely compensated?).

2) White House First Ladyship -- Her stay in the White House was marked by numerous scandals, and, with the exception of her husband’s reckless sexcapades, every one of them was due to some action engaged in by Hillary. There is no need to rehash this unpleasant period, but since the woman is running for president, it might be wise to remember Travelgate, Filegate, the Rose Law Firm billing records (that magically showed up in one of her rooms some two years after they had been subpoenaed), etc., etc. The list goes on an on, and, again, every nonsexual scandal could be laid at her doorstep. And even the sex scandals were a farce insofar as Hillary is concerned; she not only stood by her man (contrary to her having informed us that she was no Tammy Wynette), she savaged the women with whom he inappropriately behaved as shameless bimbos. How’s that for the behavior of a feminist “icon”?

However, in all fairness, she did accomplish one thing -- her imperious, arrogant, and incompetent handling of the one function her husband entrusted to her, HillaryCare, was instrumental in delivering to her husband the first Republican House in 40 years. The election of 1994 was a Republican rout, and Hillary played an instrumental role in producing it; no one energizes Republicans like Hillary Clinton. One of the key players who worked on HillaryCare, J. Bradford DeLong, an economics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a Democrat, said this about Hillary (with respect to her handling of HillaryCare):

My two cents’ worth -- and I think it is the two cents’ worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994 is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given.And she wasn’t smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly.

How’s that for a ringing endorsement? This from a Democrat, and not just any Democrat, a U.C. Berkeley college professor, and you can’t get much more Democratic than Berkeley -- it is the heart of Democratic darkness in a completely Democratic region. In short, HillaryCare was her only management assignment, and she screwed that up so badly that it was one of the key causes of her husband’s getting the first Republican House in 40 years.

Finally, even on leaving the White House, Hillary couldn’t do so with dignity -- she took the government’s furniture with her. The Clintons were really a class act!

3) Senator From New York -- On being retired from the White House, she carpetbagged her way into a position as Senator from New York (things broke nicely for her here since, not only was Moynihan retiring, but Guiliani, who  would have been a formidable opponent; was unable to run against her due to health problems. In her years in the Senate, she failed to do anything of note other than fairly meaningless actions such as bridge dedications, you will search in vain for a praiseworthy accomplishment.

4) Secretary of State -- This period can be quickly dismissed by noting that it began with her “Russian Reset” blunder (you would think some one in our State Department was smart enough to know the correct word and clue her in) and finished with the Benghazi fiasco (for which she took responsibility but was never held accountable -- what good is responsibility without accountability?  In between these notable bookends, she traveled a million miles and watched the globe burn while she circled it. It is important to note that no one died in Watergate; four Americans died at Benghazi, thanks to Hillary’s failure of leadership (which, at the outset, she tried to paper over by blaming the entire fiasco on a video, for which she shamefully promised parents of the deceased the video producer would be punished). Nixon, on whose impeachment proceedings she worked, was pilloried for his Watergate behavior and ultimately driven out of office. Hillary fobbed the whole thing off in her Senate testimony with her brazen and shameless retort to Senator Ron Johnson’s query on the matter -- what difference at this point does it make? Unfortunately, Johnson was so taken aback by her shameless outburst that he neglected to point out that it made all the difference in the world to the people who were sitting behind her, i.e. the families of the men who died at Benghazi because Hillary failed to respond to the now deceased ambassador’s request for additional security for the Benghazi facility.

5) As A Campaigner: Dull, Plodding, Gaffe Prone, And Unlikeable -- Alright, we have looked at her scandal-plagued past, what does she look like now? The same, as far as character is concerned, but now we have to deal with the uninspiringly dull campaign speeches in which her lies are packaged. Also, not only is she dishonest, she is gaffe prone, tone deaf, and does not comfortably connect with an audience. For example her complaint that she and her husband were dead broke when they left the White House -- as a consequence, no doubt, of running up mortgage debt on the  two million dollar homes they were purchasing for their post-presidential residences (one in D.C., the other in Chappaqua, New York, to establish residence there as a basis for her senatorial run). And even in the course of acquiring some of that debt, a minor scandal occurred in connection with Terry McAuliffe’s assistance in financing the project. Also, she and her husband have been taking in huge gobs of money for their book efforts and speeches.

Then she made the outrageously stupid statement that “businesses” don’t create jobs, suggesting that government does (no doubt a Freudian slip, reflecting the general job-creation approach of the Dems, i.e. if there is a problem, government is the solution -- in contrast to Reagan’s observation that government is the problem, not the solution). Finally, she comes across as angry and unlikable -- probably because she is angry and unlikable. When informed of this quality during her 2008 campaign, she seemed taken aback, shedding a few tears, thus reassuring her admiring public that she was indeed a feeling person.

Now this unaccomplished fraud gets $300,000 a speech to inform her audience of absolutely nothing of consequence. In the end, perhaps this says more about her audience than it does about her; that is, why would any one pay that kind of money to a person who not only accomplished nothing, but is a charmless political hack? By way of concluding this piece, I would recommend that the reader follow Professor Delong’s advice, i.e. “Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life.”