(Trigger Warning: POLITICO)
You guys might have heard about this silly e-mail thing that involves Hillary Clinton. If you haven’t, here’s the recap, courtesy Ace of Spades’ John Ekdahl. Suffice it to say, what is written in this TIME article is certainly enough to perhaps inspire someone to go after Mrs. Clinton for deleting half of her e-mails without ever opening them (emphasis below is mine).
She commissioned a review of the 62,320 messages in her account only after the department–spurred by the congressional investigation–asked her to do so. And this review did not involve opening and reading each email; instead, Clinton’s lawyers created a list of names and keywords related to her work and searched for those. Slightly more than half the total cache–31,830 emails–did not contain any of the search terms, according to Clinton’s staff, so they were deemed to be “private, personal records.”
And they were deleted.
This is extraordinarily arrogant on the part of the Clintons… though, I suppose that’s not totally out of character for them. But this post is not about the illegality of the Clintons’ moves. It is about something far more important* – how does this affect Barack Obama?
That leads me to this piece from the POLITICO, which indeed has everything: scandal, intrigue, lingering hostility, ass-kissing, and media bias. Basically, it’s perfect.
They thought she’d changed. They thought maybe she’d picked up a little bit from them about how people respond to awkward secret arrangements and contrived ways of not telling the full story.
This has been a surprising two weeks for aides in President Barack Obama’s orbit as they’ve watched Hillary Clinton’s email mess unfold.
It isn’t that Obama and Clinton like or don’t like each other, or that their aides still have hard feelings left over from the 2008 primary campaign. In the White House, as conversations with current and former aides make clear, they want her to win — after all, so much of what they’ve achieved depends on her getting into the Oval Office to keep it going. The Democratic nomination is all but hers, the Republican field still looking weak to them, and they’re counting on her.
To sum up the feelings, all the way up to the highest levels: What. The. Hell.
The entire story is filled with so many delightful exerts that I would basically be re-printing it if I did it justice. Instead, let me copy over my personal highlights. Let’s start with the abject fear that is displayed by (anonymous) Obama sources about the issue at hand: They are terrified. Apparently, they are completely and totally convinced that Obama has run a transparent administration, and that this scandal could tarnish Obama’s record on transparency (you know, that transparency from the executive privilege placed over Eric Holder’s office when Congress sought information on Operation: Fast and Furious).
Secondly, they are convinced – TOTALLY CONVINCED, I TELL YOU – that if Obama has had any scandals during his tenure in office, they were never about personal gain. Except the story contradicts that (sorta) by admitting Obama is totally into the idea of preserving his legacy which, as POLITICO puts it, is tinged with “a background awareness that any scandal would be a scandal for the first African-American president.”
As much as critics complain that Obama’s not running the country or the world well, no one’s said that he or the people close to him are putting money in their pockets, or cutting a corner or fudging the rules out of “convenience,” or because technically it’s allowed, or because no one specifically told them no.
Are. You. Kidding.
These folks working for the president (and, apparently, this writer at POLITICO) actually think this is the first major scandal of the Obama Administration. They are convinced that nothing else since 2009 holds and weight nor will it be judged in the annals of history. This Clintonian Infernal Machine, however, could hurt the Precious’s legacy, and that’s terrible.
Finally, I want to point this out, but I must first ask that you remain seated because you are likely to collapse from laughter or rage:
A lot of this has to do with what Obama aides refer to as a culture clash. The Clintons look for loopholes, they say, while Obama takes a special pride, particularly on transparency issues, in sticking to the letter of the law: a combination of cockiness that he’s right, so why not let everyone see how he got there, as well as a background awareness that any scandal would be a scandal for the first African-American president.
“The president has been willing to say and implement provocative policies to shake up Washington,” said one current White House aide. “Willingness to send those signals is a good way to make clear to people that this is the way we’re going to do business: differently.”
I urge you, dear reader, to find this hilarious because, if you succumb to rage, you have fallen into the enemy’s trap. If (and this is a very, very big IF) Obama were following the letter of the law (Spoiler: He’s not), then there should be nothing “provocative” about it. This is the kind of mentality these people have, however – Everything we do is Right and Just and it is the Republicans who are Evil and Vile and No Good.
Because of this mentality, we are where we are as a country. This story, a story written by Obama fanatics and for Obama fanatics, is meant to distance the president from Hillary Clinton without appearing to do so. It is a tactic best served for a general Democratic stenographer like POLITICO, but it does nothing for the poor souls who have to live with the consequences of just what this administration as whole has done to the country.