After months and months of insisting (comically) that she did nothing wrong by sending classified and highly sensitive information over her own private email server, Hillary Clinton emerged less than a month ago wearing her best Bob the Tomato outfit and apologized to NBC News, taking “full responsibility” for the email fiasco and admitting it was a mistake.
Democratic presdiential front-runner Hillary Clinton offered her first direct apology on Tuesday for launching a series of federal investigations and risking the exposure of national secrets by setting up a private email server in her home for her use as secretary of state.
‘That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility,’ Clinton told ABC News anchor David Muir in an interview Tuesday.
Here, apparently, is what “I take responsibility” means, to Hillary Clinton: it means that you get to attack people who exposed the thing you are taking responsibility for:
Hillary Clinton, who waited a long time before striking a conciliatory tone about her use of private email at the State Department, said at a town hall hosted by NBC Monday that questions about her server were “beyond the pale.”
“There have been seven or eight Benghazi committees,” Today Show host Savannah Guthrie said. “This is the first to actually discover and find your emails. Was that a public service?”
“No. I mean, no,” Clinton said. “Before this whole thing was a big controversy, the State Department was looking for information. My emails were on the government account. More than 90 percent of them. The State Department was pulling them out. They’d been handed over. Look, I’ve been around this political situation for a long time, but some things are just beyond the pale. I’m happy to go, if it still is in operation, to testify. I’m happy to turn over my emails. I’ve gone further than anybody ever has.
“That’s ok. I’m willing to do that. But the real issue here is what happened to four brave Americans.”
In the first place, the assertion that the State Department asked for these emails before the Benghazi committee came looking for them has been directly contradicted by the State Department on numerous occasions by now. I have no idea why Hillary continues to tell this lie, in the hopes that no one will notice.
But more importantly, Clinton seems not to understand that “I take fully responsibility” is flatly inconsistent with “the people who are attacking me over this are attacking me over nothing.” At least, inso far as ordinary people understand the phrase “I take full responsibility.”
Which is, fundamentally, the problem with the Clintons – their definitions of honesty and trustworthiness are just fundamentally different than those of ordinary Americans. A Clinton thinks they are being honest as long as they are saying something that hasn’t been already disproven with DNA evidence. Truth does not apply beyond what is known at that exact moment. And even if you’ve admitted to something in the past (it was a mistake to set up the private server), if you later get political cover (thanks, [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ]!), you can take it back and pretend you never lied in the first place.
This is not how ordinary Americans count honesty, even still. Which is one of the problems Hillary will continue to face going forward.