How bad are things getting for the Clintons? Even Reuters is compelled to note that there are huge, yawning gaps in the disclosures provided by Hillary to the Obama administration. And as this particular scandal blows up the Obama administration has to wonder how long it can forestall throwing Hillary under the bus for failing to live up to her promises to prevent them from being blindsided by this exact scenario:
(Reuters) – In 2008, Hillary Clinton promised Barack Obama, the president-elect, there would be no mystery about who was giving money to her family’s globe-circling charities. She made a pledge to publish all the donors on an annual basis to ease concerns that as secretary of state she could be vulnerable to accusations of foreign influence.
At the outset, the Clinton Foundation did indeed publish what they said was a complete list of the names of more than 200,000 donors and has continued to update it. But in a breach of the pledge, the charity’s flagship health program, which spends more than all of the other foundation initiatives put together, stopped making the annual disclosure in 2010, Reuters has found.
In response to questions from Reuters, officials at the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the foundation confirmed no complete list of donors to the Clintons’ charities has been published since 2010. CHAI was spun off as a separate legal entity that year, but the officials acknowledged it still remains subject to the same disclosure agreement as the foundation.
The finding could renew scrutiny of Clinton’s promises of transparency as she prepares to launch her widely expected bid for the White House in the coming weeks. Political opponents and transparency groups have criticized her in recent weeks for her decision first to use a private email address while she was secretary of state and then to delete thousands of emails she labeled private.
The transparency is one thing. But the lack of transparency in this case is clearly not just the Clintons being their shady, secretive selves. It is becoming painfully obvious to everyone – even the media that has long sheltered the Clintons – that a primary motivating factor for Hillary’s use of a private personal email address and her subsequent unreviewed deletion of tens of thousands of emails from that address were almost certainly designed to hide what the Republicans have long contended about the Clintons and that the press has (until now) ignored: that the Clinton foreign policy is totally and completely for sale to the highest bidder.
The Clintons, probably less than any politicians in recent memory, have no ideological core when it comes to foreign policy. Certainly, this is preferable to the ideological core of the current resident of the White House, who views America as a problem in the world rather than a solution, but it has always led to a confused and chaotic effort from the Clintons at actually affecting anything on the worldwide stage. While the Clintons have always had definite things they wanted to do and accomplish on the domestic front (mostly making the Clintons and people connected with the Clintons wealthy and powerful), they have never elucidated a foreign policy vision that has stood for anything other than as a useful distraction from their domestic failings – witness the chaotic and uncommitted incursions into Bosnia-Herzegovina during Bill’s first term and his transparently wag-the-dog bombing of Iraq to distract from l’affaire Lewinsky in his second.
But the most damning evidence of this fact tended to show that the Chinese attempted – with no small amount of success – to literally purchase the support of the Clintons in 1996, an accusation that the press at the time largely treated as too fanciful to possibly be true. The fact that Hillary would allow herself to become embroiled in a virtually identical scandal as one that threatened legitimate criminal sanctions against her husband and his allies bespeaks either a colossal lack of judgment or a stupendous level of hubris previously unencountered in recent American politics.
The fact that the press is treating the allegation seriously this time around indicates that Hillary may be in for a much rougher ride than many imagined. Which could explain at least in part why Hillary’s support even among Democrats is cratering before her campaign has even begun; after all, a relatively easy general election is the only thing the Hillary campaign has to offer to committed Democrat voters, ideologically. And if she can’t deliver, they really don’t have tremendous use for her… except that at this point there’s no one else left in the field for them to choose from.