Hillary Clinton’s bad day has been grinding along for two months now, with no sign of the sun getting anywhere near the western horizon. Her latest misadventure flows from a strategic decision to handle a spate of “anti-Clinton books” – the most successful of which, Ed Klein’s “Blood Feud,” has been selling better than Hillary’s own book – by forming a united front with husband Bill and daughter Chelsea to portray themselves as a family under siege by literary predators. It’s a defensible idea for a strategy, but unfortunately the husband in this family is the Perjurer-in-Chief, so when he and the severely truth-challenged Hillary team up to call anyone else a “liar,” the effect is much more comical than what they’re shooting for.
It also took an ugly totalitarian turn, which doesn’t sit well with the image of power, privilege, and arrogance Hillary is trying to escape from. Look, I’ll make no bones about opposing Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions, but if I had been brought in to consult on her media defense strategy, I would have honestly ventured that joining forces with the rest of her family to present a united front against alleged smear merchants was a smart play. Then I would have thrown myself on top of the statement they actually released as though it were a live hand grenade.
The statement, as related by Politico, covers Klein’s book, plus “Clinton Inc.” by Daniel Halper, and an upcoming title by Ronald Kessler:
???With Klein, Halper and [author Ronald] Kessler, we now have a Hat Trick of despicable actors concocting trashy nonsense for a quick buck, at the expense of anything even remotely resembling the truth,??? a joint statement from spokesmen for Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton read. ???It???s an insult to readers [and] authors, and should be reserved for the fiction bin, if not the trash.???
In a squeeze on mainstream media, the Clintons added of the authors: ???Their behavior should neither be allowed nor enabled, and legitimate media outlets who know with every fiber of their being that this is complete crap should know not to get down in the gutter with them and spread their lies. But if anyone isn???t sure, let???s strap all three to a polygraph machine on live TV and let the needle tell the truth.???
Their behavior shouldn’t be “allowed?” It’s remarkable how fundamentally Democrat politics has grown incompatible with free speech and the First Amendment. This is really not the right moment for anyone on the Left to shriek about what anyone else should be “allowed” to say, especially not someone with Hillary Clinton’s image problems. I can’t think of a worse turn of phrase for her defenders to use, short of encouraging that the offending books should be burned under giant banners of Hillary’s stern visage.
The rest of it seems laid on a bit thick, although I guess they were going for a feeling of rough-and-tumble blue-collar authenticity by grumbling about “complete crap.” The big strategic mistake here is that the statement throws red meat to Clinton fans who are already inclined to support her, at the cost of elevating the stature of the books they are objecting too. A light touch is needed to dismiss something that purportedly is not worth engaging.
And Lord have mercy, but the last two people in America who should challenge anyone to a polygraph beatdown are Bill and Hillary Clinton. They’d be burned to cinders when their polygraph machines overloaded and exploded. Besides, I thought Hillary Clinton gained a lifelong contempt for polygraphs when the child rapist she represented beat one, even though she knew he was guilty. She actually had a laugh about it, during a long-suppressed interview from the Eighties. That’s really not an episode Hillary defenders should be inadvertently reminding the public of.
Meanwhile, Hillary adjusted her programming and attempted to compute yet another spin on her hilariously tone-deaf claim to have been “dead broke” upon departing the White House. She decided to combine a pity play for her “hard-working” husband with some boilerplate rhetoric about how much she cares… cares so very much… about the Sainted Middle Class, which has been suffering so terribly under the policies of… hey, remind me, which party has occupied the White House for the past six years? From the Washington Post:
“I regret it. It was inartful. It was accurate. But, we are so successful and we are so blessed by the success we’ve had. And my husband has worked incredibly hard,” Hillary Clinton told Fusion TV’s Jorge Ramos in an interview Monday.
Clinton told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a June interview, “We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.” The former first lady cited legal fees that she and her husband had to pay during his White House tenure.
Clinton said she worries about the economic outlook of “other families in our country who feel like they are running in place,” not her own family.
The former secretary of state said she knows her net worth “within a range” but declined to offer a specific estimate.
“But millions?” Ramos asked her.
Clinton responded: “Yes, indeed.”
I’m old enough to remember class-war liberals growing extremely upset with Republican candidates who couldn’t instantly provide important details of their net worth – say, how many houses they owned. “I’ve got millions but I can’t remember exactly how many?” Holy cow.
Fortunately, the Democrat Party has, with nearly 100 percent agreement, recently advanced a demand that would help Mrs. Clinton remember precisely how many millions of dollars she’s got in the bank: she could release her tax returns. She might be reluctant to do that. For one thing, it would allow us to confirm whether she does, in fact, donate her exorbitant speaking fees to charity, as she has claimed. There’s no other way to know if she’s telling the truth about that. It would be rather embarrassing to discover those claims were not entirely accurate, wouldn’t it?
But there’s an even bigger scandal about the Clintons’ finances brewing, with a taste of that good old Obama corruption we’ve learned to savor over the past six years. Once again, it’s conservative watchdog groups like Judicial Watch digging up the dirt, not the mainstream media. And once again, the dirt was dug with a lawsuit that forced the Obama Administration to hand over the documents, not the cheerful and timely fulfillment of a Freedom of Information Act request. It turns out the State Department was very agreeable to paying big bucks to one Clinton for speaking engagements, while the other Clinton was Secretary of State:
June 2011 documents show that the State Department approved a consulting arrangement with a company, Teneo Strategy, led by controversial Clinton Foundation adviser Doug Band. The Clintons ended the deal after only eight months, as criticism mounted over Teneo???s ties to the failed investment firm, MF Global.
Mr. Clinton???s office proposed 215 speeches around the globe. And 215 times, the State Department stated that it had ???no objection.???
Mr. Clinton???s speeches included appearances in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Central America, Europe, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, India and the Cayman Islands. Sponsors of the speeches included some of the world???s largest financial institutions???Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, American Express and others???as well as major players in technology, energy, health care and media. Other speech sponsors included a car dealership, casino groups, hotel operators, retailers, real estate brokers, a Panamanian air cargo company and a sushi restaurant.
???These documents are a bombshell and show how the Clintons turned the State Department into a racket to line their own pockets,??? said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ???How the Obama State Department waived hundreds of ethical conflicts that allowed the Clintons and their businesses to accept money from foreign entities and corporations seeking influence boggles the mind. That former President Clinton trotted the globe collecting huge speaking fees while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy is an outrage. No wonder it took a court order to get these documents. One can???t imagine what foreign policy issues were mishandled as top State Department officials spent so much time facilitating the Clinton money machine.???
All told, Hillary Clinton’s State Department put $48 million into Bill Clinton’s pocket. There are some more cozy arrangements detailed at the Judicial Watch piece above. It’s not the sort of thing a country emerging from Obama’s era of “government of, by, and for the government” are going to swallow easily. Especially since Hillary’s telling interviewers she can’t remember just how many millions she and her husband have salted away.
This would probably be a bad time to learn that ten hours before Osama bin Laden attacked New York, Bill Clinton told a foreign audience that he missed a chance to take out the al-Qaeda mastermind because he was worried about collateral damage to Afghanistan, wouldn’t it? MSNBC reports:
Ten hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, Bill Clinton allegedly told a group of businessmen in Australia that he had a chance to kill Osama Bin Laden, but passed because it would have meant killing hundreds of innocent civilians. That???s according to never-before-released audio of remarks made public by Australian media on Wednesday.
On September 10, 2001, Clinton was speaking to a group of about 30 businessmen in Melbourne, including Michael Kroger, the former head of the Liberal Party in the Australian state of Victoria. The event was recorded with the former president???s permission, according to Kroger, but the audio never released ??? until Wednesday night, when Kroger appeared on Sky News with host Paul Murray to unveil it. Kroger said he had forgotten about the recording until last week.
At the event in Melbourne, which took place not long after the end of Clinton???s term in office, the former president was asked about international terrorism.
???And I???m just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden ??? he???s very smart guy, I???ve spent a lot of time thinking about him ??? and I nearly got him once,??? Clinton is heard saying. ???I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn???t do it.???
By the way, Clinton was paid a measly $150,000 to give that speech.
As with all such stories, it should be possible to verify the authenticity of this Clinton tape. It’s odd that his people haven’t rushed out to claim it’s a fake, since the Clintons are so big on calling everyone else liars these days. Maybe Bill could take a polygraph test to deny he said those things, and if he passes, Hillary will get a laugh out of it. Or maybe the Democrats will think long and hard about what they might be obliged to spend the next couple of years defending.
Update: The same Secretary of State who claimed she couldn’t afford proper security for U.S. ambassador in Benghazi paid her husband $48 million to give speeches? Oh yes, run on that in 2016, Democrats. Tasty pick.