From today’s LA Times coverage of the Hillary Clinton campaign:
On a day in which Clinton was hoping to inflict considerable damage on Donald Trump — this time, by ripping into his economic agenda — her campaign was on the defensive, scurrying to clean up the latest damaging revelations in years-old messages that were sent by Clinton and her staff and released as the result of a lawsuit.
….The fresh batch of emails was pried from the State Department thanks to a lawsuit filed by the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch. It revealed what appeared to be seedy dealings by Clinton’s team at the agency….The emails are not devastating, but they are damaging as Clinton struggles to boost her trustworthiness with voters.
I have developed a fairly regular habit of ignoring the latest Hillary “scandal” for a day or two, just to see how it’s going to play out. Nearly all of them turn out to be bogus, and it’s hardly worth the time to figure out how and why. So I just wait for other people to do it.
Even the ones that really are a problem are almost always overblown. Emailgate is a prime example. Yeah, it was bad judgment. Hillary screwed up, and if you think that’s reason enough not to vote for her, fine. But when you dig into the actual facts, there’s surprisingly little there. She had a private server. She turned over all her work emails when asked to. In an unprecedented judicial ruling, they were all released to the public and there was virtually nothing of interest there. Of the “classified” emails, most were retroactively classified (at a low level) in a dreary episode of interagency feuding; three were marked classified at the time but were marked improperly (and were trivial); and 110 were emails Hillary “should have known” were classified, but which dealt with a drone program that everyone on the planet already knew about.
So sure, it’s a screwup. But there’s not really that much to it. So what about the latest batch of emails. Do they really show “seedy dealings” by Team Hillary?
I dunno. One is from a Clinton Foundation executive asking a Hillary aide if she can set up a meeting for a big donor with someone at State. The Hillary aide says she’ll see what she can do, and then blows it off. In another, a foundation executive asks for help getting someone a job. He’s told that everyone already knows about the guy, and “Personnel has been sending him options.” In other words, he’s blown off. In yet another, it turns out that a Clinton aide spent some of her own time helping the foundation look for a new CEO.
So….what? People in Washington schmooze with people they know to help other people they know? Shocking, isn’t it? My guess is that the average aide to a cabinet member gets a dozen things like this a week. If all we can find here are two in four years—both of which were basically blown off—the real lesson isn’t that Hillary Clinton’s State Department was seedy. Just the opposite. It was almost pathologically honest.