That the Hillary! candidacy is doomed is now a foregone conclusion. Madame Defarge has no aptitude for the job, only a taste for it, and a venomous certainty that it is somehow rightfully hers. But when you’ve lost Jon Chait:
The qualities of an effective presidency do not seem to transfer onto a post-presidency. Jimmy Carter was an ineffective president who became an exemplary post-president. Bill Clinton appears to be the reverse. All sorts of unproven worst-case-scenario questions float around the web of connections between Bill’s private work, Hillary Clinton’s public role as secretary of State, the Clintons’ quasi-public charity, and Hillary’s noncompliant email system. But the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.
The news today about the Clintons all fleshes out, in one way or another, their lack of interest in policing serious conflict-of-interest problems that arise in their overlapping roles:
There follows a list of the various Clinton disasters we have lovingly been chronicling here for weeks now. Still, it’s instructive that the default mode on the Left is to attribute to “disorganization,” “greed” and “sloppiness” (hello, Sandy Berger!) what is almost certainly outright and overt criminal behavior, undertaken in the belief that no one would ever be held accountable.
When you are a power couple consisting of a former president and a current secretary of State and likely presidential candidate, you have the ability to raise a lot of money for charitable purposes that can do a lot of good. But some of the potential sources of donations will be looking to get something in return for their money… And yet the Clintons paid little to no attention to this problem. Nicholas Confessore described their operation as “a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.” Indeed, as Ryan Lizza reported in 2012, Bill Clinton seemed to see the nexus between his role and his wife’s as a positive rather than a negative:
Regardless of Bill Clinton’s personal feelings about Obama, it didn’t take him long to see the advantages of an Obama Presidency. More than anyone, he pushed Hillary to take the job of Secretary of State. “President Clinton was a big supporter of the idea,” an intimate of the Clintons told me. “He advocated very strongly for it and arguably was the tie-breaking reason she took the job.” For one thing, having his spouse in that position didn’t hurt his work at the Clinton Global Initiative. He invites foreign leaders to the initiative’s annual meeting, and her prominence in the Administration can be an asset in attracting foreign donors. “Bill Clinton’s been able to continue to be the Bill Clinton we know, in large part because of his relationship with the White House and because his wife is the Secretary of State,” the Clinton associate continued. “It worked out very well for him. That may be a very cynical way to look at it, but that’s a fact. A lot of the stuff he’s doing internationally is aided by his level of access.”
Well, duh. Throughout the entire Clinton period, the media has done its best to ignore the organized-crime roots of Bill Clinton’s political career, from his early apprenticeship at the feet of the legendary Prohibition-Era gangster, Owney Madden, to the criminal nature of the town of Hot Springs, Ark., where Bubba grew up, to the quid-pro-quo gangland tactics both Clintons have always employed in their dealings with the wider world beyond the Ouchita mountains. Exactly none of what the Clintons now stand revealed as having done, both politically and through their phony “charity,” should come as a surprise to anybody who’s been paying the slightest bit of attention for the past twenty years.
The Obama administration wanted Hillary Clinton to use official government email. She didn’t. The Obama administration also demanded that the Clinton Foundation disclose all its donors while she served as Secretary of State. It didn’t comply with that request, either. The Clintons’ charitable initiatives were a kind of quasi-government run by themselves, which was staffed by their own loyalists and made up the rules as it went along. Their experience running the actual government, with its formal accountability and disclosure, went reasonably well. Their experience running their own privatized mini-state has been a fiasco.
And yet, the fact that it is coming as a shock to some die-hard Democrats is a tribute to the remarkable power of the Clinton-friendly media, which (as Glenn Reynolds has pointed out) sees its job not so much as deciding what to report, but what not to report, especially when it comes to its beloved Democrat party, famously described by your truly as a “criminal organization masquerading as a political party” — which of course it is. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this comes about in part from the fact that elite liberal journalists and politicians naturally gravitate toward each other — they all attended the same schools and live in the same neighborhoods — and also from the journalists’ nagging sense that they really should have been Southern Poverty Law Center lawyers, rather than the oxpeckers they actually are.
What’s an oxpecker, you ask?