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Tags: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton, World-Champion Pretend Griller



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How perfectly Clintonian:

While a crowd of several thousand Democrats waited on a sloping, grassy field below, Mrs Clinton, her husband and Senator Harkin staged a mini-grilling of steaks for the press at a single barbecue grill in a fenced-off enclosure, framed by a handsome tree and a picnic table filled with some patient Iowans. Mrs Clinton gamely posed, pretending to grill a steak that had been pre-cooked for her.

Why, they’re just regular folks, just like us! (AP photo.)

Remember all those relentless media references to George W. Bush’s alleged “fake” “plastic” turkey while visiting the troops in Iraq?

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Something Lighter

Hillary Clinton’s a Book Critic Now



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I’ve never had much regard for the newspaper breakfast test, but no American family should encounter this spectacle over their Sunday hot cakes:

Maybe there’s no way to avoid the phenomenon of Democratic and Republican secretaries of state meeting in the lethal center, but couldn’t we have Madeleine Albright delivering the long-overdue appreciation of Al Haig? A John Kerry/George Shultz international cookbook? Henry Kissinger long ago ascended to an elder-statesman mesosphere where just about everybody praises his sagacity and few could tell you what his ideas are on any topic. (I’m foggy on anything beyond Vietnamization and his work as a shiatsu pitch man.) But he has a long record in foreign affairs going back to actual service (as an enlisted man, no less) in World War II, and including policy shifts like the China thaw that are, for better or worse, still with us. Clinton’s dull review of Kissinger’s new book World Order is a reminder of how little remains, just two years later, of any of her State Department’s policies.

The prospective 2016 Democratic presidential candidate does try to argue otherwise. Of 25 paragraphs in the print version of Clinton’s review, eight are mostly or entirely devoted to herself, seven deal with Kissinger’s book, and the rest are either a combination of the previous two (“Kissinger is my friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state”) or extremely familiar blather about America’s place in the world (“In the past, we’ve flirted with isolation and retreat, but always heeded the call to leadership when it was needed most”). It turns out, though, that her time at Foggy Bottom was more in the way of a rebuilding season: “In the president’s first term,” Clinton writes, “we laid the foundation, from repaired alliances to updated international institutions to decisive action on challenges such as Iran’s nuclear program and the threat from Osama bin Laden.”

Sadly, you can only use the “I killed bin Laden” card one time in a presidential election, and that’s already been done. That Clinton is one of the least interesting people in American public life is no big news, and it’s no surprise that even her book reviews are boring. But there is one piece of sort-of negative interest in the way she dwells on low-priority stuff like the “Asia pivot.” At some level, even Hillary Clinton understands how little she really has to run on.

“Our country is at its best, and our leadership in the world is strongest, when we are united behind a common purpose and shared mission, and advancing shared prosperity and social justice at home,” Clinton writes. “Sustaining America’s leadership in the world depends on renewing the American dream for all our people.” Like everything Clinton says, it sounds like boilerplate, but it also invites another invidious comparison: Whatever Kissinger  may have done as a statesman, you never had to listen to his opinions on domestic policy.

Establishment conservatives, human rights liberals, old-right non-interventionists and others have panned Clinton’s effort as a feuilletonist. Their reasons differ, but I’d like to say I agree with all of them.

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Henry Kissinger

Will Hillary and Obama Make Up? Tune in Tomorrow to As D.C. Turns!



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Also in today’s Jolt:

Will Hillary and Obama Make Up? Tune in Tomorrow to As D.C. Turns!

Notice this section at the tail-end of an AP story on the president’s week ahead:

Obama’s vacation has also been infused with a dose of politics. He headlined a fundraiser on the island for Democratic Senate candidates and attended a birthday party for Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan’s wife, where he spent time with former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

That get-together between the former rivals-turned-partners added another complicated dynamic to Obama’s vacation. Just as Obama was arriving on Martha’s Vineyard, an interview with the former secretary of state was published in which she levied some of her sharpest criticism of Obama’s foreign policy.

Clinton later promised she and Obama would “hug it out” when they saw each other at Jordan’s party. No reporters were allowed in, so it’s not clear whether there was any hugging, but the White House said the president danced to nearly every song.

We discussed this on Howard Kurtz’s Media Buzz Sunday morning, and I was left with the distinct impression that the Washington press corps has lost its collective mind.

The “hug it out” aspect of the recent Hillary Clinton–Barack Obama brouhaha is the absolute least important part of the whole matter. Think about it: The last secretary of state just said that Obama’s foreign policy had “no coherent organizing principle” and that “we don’t even tell our own story very well these days.” That’s a pretty damning indictment, well beyond the particulars of sending arms to the Syrian rebels. It goes well beyond Syria. But what makes the criticism so mind-boggling is that this was Hillary’s whole area of responsibility for four years, and she’s insisting that the disappointing results all around the globe are the president’s fault. If she’s telling the truth now, how would she characterize her praise for the president’s foreign policy from 2009 to 2013? How often did she suppress her objections and help enact policies she felt were doomed to failure?

In light of all that, who gives a flying fuchsia pantsuit about whether or not Hillary and Obama have patched it up, or who’s mad at who, or who’s still carrying a grudge against the other? It matters once it affects policy; until then, it’s part of a soap opera.

One of Ace of Spades’ keen observations, from last year:

For Obama’s fanbois [sic], this is not politics. This isn’t even America, not really, not anymore.

This is a movie. And Barack Obama is the Hero. And the Republicans are the Villains. And policy questions — and Obama’s myriad failures as an executive — are simply incidental. They are MacGuffins only, of no importance whatsoever, except to the extent they provide opportunities for Drama as the Hero fights in favor of them.

Watching Chris Matthews interview Obama, I was struck by just how uninterested in policy questions Matthews (and his panel) were, and how almost every question seemed to be, at heart, about Obama’s emotional response to difficulties– not about policy itself, but about Obama’s Hero’s Journey in navigating the plot of President Barack Obama: The Movie.

As with a MacGuffin in the movie, only the Hero’s emotional response to the MacGuffin matters.

Once you hear about this phenomenon of seeing all events through the lens of the personal heroic narrative of the president, you start recognizing it everywhere.

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Barack Obama , Media

Already Insufferable Speculation About a Clinton-Castro Ticket



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Also in today’s Jolt:

Urgh: Already Insufferable Speculation About a Clinton-Castro Ticket

Because it’s perfectly normal for a newly-appointed 39-year-old Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to be discussed as a potential running mate, right?

As she expands her political network in advance of an expected presidential run, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband have been cultivating an important ally who some believe could become her vice presidential running mate.

Former president Bill Clinton invited Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and incoming Obama Cabinet secretary, to the Clintons’ home in Washington last week for a private dinner that friends described as a chance for Democratic leaders from different generations to become better acquainted.

The fact that Democrats continue to insist Castro is ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency indicates how intense and unyielding identity politics and television charisma grip their criteria for a potential national leader.


(Chuck Kerr, the artist at Current who created the memorable image above, invites Campaign Spot readers to build their own Castro campaign posters, proudly endorsing Castro for president, governor, senator, mayor, Jedi master, or Top Chef contestant.)

As I keep pointing out, Julian Castro failed to tangibly improve his city much in five years as mayor:

Castro leveraged his rise-from-humble-roots narrative and the occasional wacky joke into national press coverage that most senators and governors would envy – major national magazine profilesa TED talk, an appearance on Meet the Press, a six-figure memoir deal. It’s fair to wonder whether Castro would get the same attention if he were not a member of a demographic increasingly important for national politics.

Castro’s record suggests that, if he is in fact nominated and confirmed as secretary of HUD, he will be one of the most-covered and most-discussed members of President Obama’s Cabinet. His record also suggests that he will leave the department in about the same condition as when he entered it.

Tags: Julian Castro , Hillary Clinton

Hillary Calls Obama to Say She Didn’t Mean to Criticize Him



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Looks like Hillary’s attempt to distance herself from Obama’s foreign policy did not go over well in the White House:

I understand this was the hold music:

You know how we know that Team Obama was irked about Hillary’s comments?

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Barack Obama

The Things I Like about Clinton Are Making Her More Politically Vulnerable



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I like that Clinton is drawing distinctions between herself and Obama, and I think she is generally right on policy. She is admirably forthright in her defense of Israel and in her condemnation of Hamas’s tactics of both targeting Israeli civilians and hiding behind Palestinian civilians.

The bad news is that a substantial body of Democratic opinion is actually to the left of President Obama on foreign policy. That means it is dangerous to be to Obama’s right.

I think Ezra Klein is right that Clinton is playing a politically dangerous game with her party’s leftists — who are both more numerous and more self-confident than they were when she was in the White House. History has promised the party’s activist liberals that the future is theirs, and it will take a series of consecutive electoral losses to beat the hubris out of them. That won’t happen by 2016.

It gets even worse when Clinton criticizes Obama from the right.  Obama’s approval ratings are pretty lousy, but the plurality of Democrats who are likely to vote in the 2016 primaries are almost certainly going to be heavily invested in believing Obama was a good president. The only conditions under which a majority of 2016 Democratic primary voters might repudiate Obama are conditions under which no Democrat could hope to win the general election.

Clinton’s moves to the right provide an opening for Biden. Clinton’s moves allow Biden to present himself as both the relatively less interventionist candidate (without being a left-isolationist) and the true heir of President Obama. This could given Biden access to a much wider anti-Clinton constituency than could be won by an Elizabeth Warren) whose support would likely come from white upper-middle-class liberals).

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Shorter Hillary Clinton: We Didn’t Arm ISIS Enough



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It’s easy to see why there’s so much August Silly Season excitement over Hillary Clinton’s Jeffrey Goldberg interview. Clinton’s new strategy of running against her own State Department, her convenient rediscovery of her long-missing yiddishe kop, and her criticism of President Obama’s unbelievably silly foreign policy mantra are all magnificent examples of the kind of logical arabesques and reality-bending dipsy-doodles that are hallmarks of the Clintons’ truth-distorting powers.

But there hasn’t been a lot of attention on the total inanity of Clinton’s if-I-weren’t-stuck-in-this-chair regrets about how she didn’t move Foggy Bottom to promote a kinder, gentler Islamic State back when it was just the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria:

It is striking, however, that you have more than 170,000 people dead in Syria. You have the vacuum that has been created by the relentless assault by Assad on his own population, an assault that has bred these extremist groups, the most well-known of which, ISIS—or ISIL—is now literally expanding its territory inside Syria and inside Iraq…

I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.

They were often armed in an indiscriminate way by other forces and we had no skin in the game that really enabled us to prevent this indiscriminate arming.

If you want to know why your grandchildren will still be fighting over Iraq, you have your answer right there: Today’s solution is the same as yesterday’s solution, and it’s being pushed by the same geniuses who created the problem. And tomorrow, they’ll have the same solution once again.

It’s clear that America lacked the resolve to intervene on behalf of the Sunni rebels in Syria. (The massive popular opposition to the Syrian intervention is always attributed to “war-weariness” rather than to the possibility that it was just a bad idea.) It’s also clear — as those same rebels have begun cutting off heads and burying people alive in Iraq — that intervening against Bashar Assad’s brutal dictatorship was an idea so dumb only John McCain and Hillary Clinton could have thought it was smart.

Clinton and McCain, along with many Obama detractors today, will argue, as Clinton does above, that the “secularists” and “everything in the middle” were the people who needed our help, not the Islamists. But is there any reason to believe anybody in the Clinton State Department knew the difference? They certainly don’t seem to have been able to tell friend from foe among the anti-Qaddafi resistance in Libya. During eight years of full commitment in Iraq, the United States was so unable to distinguish the nuances among Iraqi factions that we’re now stuck with an Iraqi leader who refuses to leave office even with total opposition from his own government and our government. We can’t even prevent one of our good pals in Afghanistan from killing an American general. But somehow the same people who ran those operations were supposed to know which Syrian Sunni fighters were sufficiently moderate to deserve lethal American assistance?

Clinton, in her unstoppable juggernaut of error, will insist that of course, once you have “skin in the game” you’ll be able to leverage your allies in the direction you want. Has this ever worked? Did FDR and Churchill get Stalin to moderate his leadership of the USSR in ways that history has failed to notice? Did America’s intimate involvement with the anti-communist Islamists in Afghanistan during the 1980s help the moderates in that vibrant and modern democracy? In ten years of massive military commitment and multiple coups, the United States couldn’t even get a South Vietnamese government that had the outward appearance of decency (or, as it turned out, any ability to defend itself). Closer to the region in question: The United States allied with Bashar Assad’s father openly during the 1991 Iraq war and to a lesser extent with Bashar himself after 9/11. Are we just failing to appreciate the amiable side of the Assads that emerged thanks to that cooperative experience with America?

It’s a universal law of diplomacy that allies are not friends. There are any number of quotes to this effect. The idea that you can micromanage outcomes in wartime by setting a sterling moral example, or by empowering one slightly better faction rather than another one, or just by building friendships in a chaotic coalition of Sunni Muslims, is straightup insanity.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Since being consistently wrong is a prerequisite to becoming a quotable expert on the Middle East, here’s a quote from T.E. Lawrence, who was more wrong than anybody and wrong earlier than almost everybody: “The foreigner and Christian is not a popular person in Arabia. However friendly and informal the treatment of yourself may be, remember always that your foundations are very sandy ones.”

Tags: Hillary Clinton , ISIS , Iraq , Arab Christians

If Only Hillary Had Been In a Position to Influence U.S. Foreign Policy!



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This morning we hear Hillary Clinton make her most explicit criticism of her old boss, President Obama, telling The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

If only she had been in some sort of official position where she could offer and establish a set of organizing principles for U.S. foreign policy!

She also laments, “One issue is that we don’t even tell our own story very well these days.”

If only she had some position or role where she could help tell the American story!

She tells Goldberg, “One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States.”

Indeed, which is why one would think our State Department would listen to the warnings of our ambassadors in places, like, say, Benghazi.

Then she told Goldberg: “I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets… Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command-and-control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult.”

 “[J]ust as we try to do in the United States and be as careful as possible in going after targets to avoid civilians,” mistakes are made, she said. “We’ve made them. I don’t know a nation, no matter what its values are—and I think that democratic nations have demonstrably better values in a conflict position—that hasn’t made errors, but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas.”

She went on to say that “it’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war. Some reports say, maybe it wasn’t the exact UN school that was bombed, but it was the annex to the school next door where they were firing the rockets. And I do think oftentimes that the anguish you are privy to because of the coverage, and the women and the children and all the rest of that, makes it very difficult to sort through to get to the truth.”

She continued, “There’s no doubt in my mind that Hamas initiated this conflict. … So the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.”

A lot of friends of Israel will applaud those words, but imagine how the world would have reacted if she had said that, say, a week and a half ago. Hillary Clinton’s comparably pro-Israel views may still get her in trouble with the Democratic Party’s base, but she sure was quiet these past two weeks, wasn’t she?

Above: Hillary, quietly yearning for an organizing principle.

 

 

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Clintons: Behavior of Our Critics ‘Should Not Be Allowed’



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The Clintons — Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea — release a joint statement on recent books critical of them by Ed Klein, Daniel Halper, and Ronald Kessler:

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.

Got that? “Should not be allowed.” I can’t wait for Hillary to take the oath and pledge “to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution . . . except for the First Amendment rights of authors who criticize me.”

Because the Tuzla Dash/“dead broke”/“did not . . . have . . . sexual . . . relations” Clintons are just the right folks to accuse others of lying, right? Are Hillary and Bill willing to subject themselves to live, televised polygraph tests?

UPDATE: Michael Blum reminds me of this past comment from Hillary Clinton, discussing her successful legal defense of an accused rapist:

On the tapes, Clinton, who speaks in a Southern drawl, appears to acknowledge that she was aware of her client’s guilt, brags about successfully getting the only piece of physical evidence thrown out of court, and laughs about it all whimsically.

“He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” Clinton says on the recording, failing to hold back some chuckles.

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Bill Clinton

D’Souza Warns: Hillary Is Not Bill



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Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and Georgetown University professor of sociology Michael Eric Dyson argued Sunday over Hillary Clinton’s connection to Saul Alinsky, with D’Souza saying Clinton is steeped in Alinsky’s ideas and Dyson saying she barely retained any of the radical left-wing theorist’s ideas.

“A lot of people think Hillary is like Bill; they go, ‘We kinda want Billary back in the White House,’” D’Souza said in an appearance on ABC’s This Week alongside Dyson, who appears in D’Souza’s new film, America: Imagine a World Without Her. But D’Souza pointed out that — in sharp contrast to Bill Clinton’s flexible and occasionally pro-market ideology — Hillary’s political thinking was formed by Rules for Radicals author Alinsky, whom she met in high school and about whom she wrote her college thesis.

But Dyson — author of Why I Love Black Women and a perfervid supporter of the Obama administration who has called Attorney General Eric Holder “the chief law giver of the United States, so to speak” and “the Moses of our time” — responded with a prolix defense of the former first lady, secretary of state, and U.S. senator.

“Here’s the reality,” Dyson said. “Yes, she has interpreted and interpolated Alinsky. But she is not, given the suspicions of Mr. D’Souza, somebody who’s trying to bring down American government. She’s trying to make that rare act of a politician in public, to bring ideas to bear upon the forces that prevail that help the nation become its best self and to work against the demons that are bespeaking, if you will, a negative impact on America. So Alinsky, in terms of his impact on Obama and Hillary Clinton, I’m sure the Alinskyites would say it’s barely discernible now, in their political lives.”

Although she started the appearance by saying D’Souza had “conspiracy theory,” This Week host Martha Raddatz concluded, “It’s a very interesting movie; everybody should go see it.”

Tags: Hillary Clinton , leftism , Sunday Shows July 6 2014

The Tax-Deductible Donation That Enabled Hillary Clinton’s UConn Speech



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This morning I Tweeted . . . 

. . . based upon this article in the Washington Post.

University of Connecticut deputy spokesman Tom Breen Tweeted back and wrote in, insisting that it’s inaccurate to say the university paid to bring Hillary Clinton to campus; instead a donor fund specified for guest speakers, the Edmund Fusco Speaker Series, paid the fee.

The university insists that these particular funds are not fungible. Kevin Edwards, the university’s vice president of finance, explained in a letter to the university’s communications office,

the donations supporting the speaker series are restricted to be used for the Speaker Series as defined by the donors in making their donation. Utilizing these contributions for any other purpose would be a breach of donor intent.

The speaker series is administered by the UConn Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization “separate and distinct from the university, but existing solely to support the university.” So the donation that helped fund Hillary Clinton’s speech at the university was tax-deductible.

According to the University’s web site,

The program is sponsored by the Fusco family of New Haven, who created the contemporary issues forum at UConn through a philanthropic gift to celebrate their family’s 90th year in business, as well as the 90th birthday of Edmund Fusco.

Hillary Clinton was the second speaker brought to the campus under the Fusco Speaker Series program. The previous one was historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in October 2012. According to Washington Speakers Bureau, Goodwin is a “category 6″ speaker, meaning a fee of $40,001 and up.

It’s a free country, and the Fusco family is free to specify how their donation is to be used, any way they like. Some may wonder whether using $250,000 to bring in a speaker for one hour of remarks and a question-and-answer session afterwards is really the best or most cost-effective way to help the university in the long run.

​At the close of fiscal year 2013, the University of Connecticut’s endowment was valued at approximately $357.6 million. In 2013, tuition, room and board at the university cost $23,496 for in-state students, $42,444 for out-of-state students.

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Connecticut

The Multi-Billion Dollar Institution That Is ‘The Clintons, Inc.’



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If you have trouble receiving the Morning Jolt newsletter this morning, it’s because Team USA goalie Tim Howard blocked it the first 16 times.

The Multi-Billion Dollar Institution That Is ‘The Clintons, Inc.’

Yeah, tell us again how “dead broke” you were, Hillary:

Bill and Hillary Clinton helped raise more than $1 billion from U.S. companies and industry donors during two decades on the national stage through campaigns, paid speeches and a network of organizations advancing their political and policy goals, The Wall Street Journal found.

Those deep ties potentially give Mrs. Clinton a financial advantage in the 2016 presidential election, if she runs, and could bring industry donors back to the Democratic Party for the first time since Mr. Clinton left the White House . . . 

The Journal tallied speaking fees and donations to Mr. Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns; the Democratic National Committee during Mr. Clinton’s eight years in the White House; Mrs. Clinton’s bids for Senate and president; and the family’s nonprofit entity — The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

The Journal was aided by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks election contributions. The center provided an industry breakdown of campaign donations.

Finding an exact total is difficult because the Clintons aren’t required to make public any details about donations to their foundation. They voluntarily report donor names, however, and donation amounts within broad ranges.

In total, the Clintons raised between $2 billion and $3 billion from all sources, including individual donors, corporate contributors and foreign governments, the Journal found. Between $1.3 billion and $2 billion came from industry sources.

“Clinton Inc.” is a fitting term for the family, and perhaps that’s a good way to describe the endeavor to make her the next president.

It’s a free country, but everyone else is also free to ask what these institutions think they’re getting for those donations . . . and why, say, a public university would be paying Hillary Clinton hefty six-figure speaking fees:

Some students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are upset over Clinton’s speaking fee for a school-related fundraising event while members of the state’s board of regents are defending the decision.

“We’re dishing out nearly a quarter million dollars to invite a speaker to our campus and that money could be spent in so many other, better ways for our university,” said Elias Benjelloun, student body president.

Clinton is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser for the non-profit UNLV Foundation at the Bellagio Hotel in October. The reported speaking fee: $225,000. The university said the fee will be paid for with money raised privately through the school’s foundation. While it’s not student money, some UNLV students are not happy given a recent approval to hike tuition.

“As tuition has consistently gone up, we can’t recklessly spend money — whether it’s private or public — there’s just no excuse,” Benjelloun said.

The students have put their complaints in writing and plan to overnight a letter to the Clinton Foundation.

What does UNLV, or Goldman Sachs, or a grocer’s convention get for their $200,000 to $225,000 to $400,000 they pay Hillary Clinton for a speech? For that price, one would think she is a whirling dervish of raw political charisma that delivers an audience the financially equivalent thrills of a live joint performance of Cirque de Soleil, the Harlem Globetrotters, David Copperfield, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Whatever the official explanation, the rest of us who don’t get offered six figures to come talk to people will have our own suspicion — that this is a legal way of buying goodwill with a potential future president, from a likely candidate all too eager to sell that goodwill.

Tags: Hillary Clinton

‘I’m a little worried she might try to hurt me.’



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The rape victim of Hillary Clinton’s legal client from back in 1975 speaks to the Daily Beast:

Whether or not Clinton was just doing her duty as a defense lawyer, for the victim, Clinton’s behavior speaks to her character, her ambition, and her suitability to be a role model for women or president of the United States.

“I think she wants to be a role model being who she is, to look good, but I don’t think she’s a role model at all. . . . If she had have been, she would have helped me at the time, being a 12-year-old girl who was raped by two guys,” she said. “She did that to look good and she told lies on that. How many other lies has she told to get where she’s at today? If she becomes president, is she gonna be telling the world the truth? No. She’s going to be telling lies out there, what the world wants to hear.”

The victim is concerned that speaking out will make her a target for attacks but she no longer feels she is able to stay silent.

“I’m a little scared of her. . . . When this all comes about, I’m a little worried she might try to hurt me, I hope not,” she said. “They can lie all they want, say all they want, I know what’s true.”

That’s your front-runner for the U.S. presidency, America.

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Does Hillary Regret Her Actions in That 1975 Rape Case?



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“I have also been told by an expert in child psychology that children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences and that adolescents in disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to exaggerate behavior.”

That’s from a sworn affidavit from Hillary Clinton, representing a man accused of raping a 12-year-old in 1975, in a stunning new report from Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon.

While the case is nearly 40 years old, some Americans may feel discomfort at the thought of a potential president who attacked the credibility of a girl who was raped. Yes, every American accused of a crime deserves the best defense they can get. But many outside the legal arena will conclude that attacking the victim crosses a line, and contributes to why some rape victims are so reluctant to come forward.

If asked about it — and I’ll bet a doughnut right now that the Clinton machine is working the phones, claiming the report is the work of a vast right-wing conspiracy, insisting that this is a long-ago non-story that “Hillary’s enemies” are trying to bring back into the media bloodstream — it will be a fascinating no-win situation for Hillary.

If asked, Hillary will presumably attempt to revert to “everyone is entitled to the best legal defense/legal ethics,” spin and try to keep it there, try to make it a boring story of two legal professors arguing abstract principles. The more interesting question will be whether anyone asks how she feels about attacking the credibility of a 12-year-old rape victim — particularly when, as Hillary later said on the tapes, she believes her client committed the crime.

This story could change the race if this blows up big enough. If Hillary says, “Yes, I regret it,” she’s admitting to an unpardonable sin in the eyes of the feminists, the Left, and honestly, a lot of Americans.

But if she says, “No, I didn’t do anything wrong, I did what every good lawyer would do” she looks callous and harsh and ruthless, confirming all of the old 1990s stereotypes.

Some may wonder how this aggressive legal strategy squares with Hillary’s declaration, “the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking.”

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Is Lucky That Iraq Is Dominating the News



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There’s no shame in holding a book signing at Costco — it’s a sign there’s a broad audience of buyers for your book! — but it does make for some awkward headlines and coverage:

Here’s how the Washington Post wrote it up:

The fans/discount shoppers applauded, and the delirious mania over the release of her political memoir “Hard Choices” — what it says, what it doesn’t, what it doesn’t say but should — culminated with Hillary Clinton in Aisle 130.

“I am here because of who she is, because of all she is,” said Marian Beverly, a retired NASA employee in line at the signing. “I love the Clintons,” added Beverly, who, in addition to being a fan of the Clintons, is also a fan of Costco’s frozen pizzas, paper products and rotisserie chickens.

Hillary Clinton is quite lucky that awful news out of Iraq is dominating the news cycle, because she’s demonstrating on this book tour that she’s far from the top of her game. In just the past two weeks . . . 

* She declared she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House.

* An NPR interview — NPR! — went south when she and host Terry Gross had a sharp exchange about when she first supported gay marriage.

* She said the five released Taliban aren’t a threat to Americans, which will come back to haunt her if any of the five go on to commit acts of terror targeting Americans.

* The Washington Free Beacon uncovered audio of her discussing — with laughter — her successful legal defense of a man accused of raping a 12-year-old. The defense included attacking the victim’s credibility.

* Retired Secret Service agent Dan Emmett offers an unflattering portrait of Hillary Clinton in his book Within Arm’s Length, published by St. Martin’s Press.

* For better or worse, she pitches herself as quite religious, although one wonders how many religious Americans will concur and recognize her as one of their own. She told the New York Times this weekend, “the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking.”

Above, the Biblical-minded Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Interrupts Book Tour for Speaking Gig at Produce Convention



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Today’s schedule for Hillary Clinton:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the keynote speaker June 10 at a joint general session of the United Fresh Produce Association and Food Marketing Institute in Chicago.

The keynote session is scheduled for 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place.

Bill Clinton is giving a paid speech today as well:

Former president Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak Tuesday in Indianapolis at the annual conference of the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association.

Hillary Clinton is reportedly paid $200,000 per speech. Bill Clinton averaged $189,000 per speech from 2001 to 2012.

Those mortgages on those houses don’t pay themselves!

Day job interrupting your book tour? Tell me about it, Madame Secretary.

Tags: Hillary Clinton , Bill Clinton

Why Hillary’s ‘Dead Broke’ Comment Matters



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From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Why Hillary’s ‘Dead Broke’ Comment Matters

Hillary’s “Dead Broke” comment is the 2016 presidential cycle’s early version of her “Tuzla Dash,” – when she claimed that during a visit to Bosnia as First Lady, “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” Of course, there is no record indicating any danger to her.

Hillary Clinton misremembers events so they fit into her own personal heroic narrative, not as they actually were. Lots of people do this, particularly politicians, but this is a dangerous habit for a leader to have. If they cannot assess and interpret past events clearly, how much faith can we have in their ability to assess and interpret what’s in front of them now? Or in the future?

In case you missed it . . . 

Hillary Clinton said she and husband, Bill, were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001 with a meager income of $416,039 and $11 million in debt, as she defended her $200,000 speaking fee to ABC’s Diane Sawyer.

Clinton insists the speaking fees were necessary for the family of three to make ends meet, managing two mortgages and the steep bills for daughter Chelsea’s private school education.

“We struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy,” Clinton told ABC’s Diane Sawyer, in an interview to air Monday.

Remember when I chuckled about a New Yorker writer referring to her as “Lunch-Pail Hillary,” suggesting she will run a populist campaign that is “critical of the Wall Street types”? Apparently she really intends to do this.

A woman with a net worth of $200 million, who gives speeches to Goldman Sachs for $200,000 each, is perhaps the single least plausible populist of all time. She may attempt to pose as this reform-minded outsider who will shake up “The System,” when she is perhaps the personification of “The System.” You can count on one hand the number of people who have had more influence over public policy than her since January 1993.

But she’s going to try it, because she is apparently incapable of perceiving herself as she is. Because massive wealth is seen as suspicious or inherently corrupting in today’s political culture, particularly in Democratic circles, she has to pretend she’s middle class, that her personal finance worries are just like those of Americans making mid five figures or less.

The “he’s unbelievably rich and out of touch” attack clearly did damage to Romney in 2012. Hillary Clinton has to hope lots of people don’t react the way Jimmie Bise Jr. did: “I know of dozens of ridiculously-talented, hard-working people who’ll never set foot in a mansion. But Hillary Clinton buys two and weeps.”

Our Charlie Cooke:

Leaving aside for a brief moment how utterly farcical it is to use “struggle” and “houses” in the same sentence, the notion that the Clintons were presented in their post-presidency with anything other than a license to print money is unyielding in its abject hilarity. By 2001, Bill Clinton had made $200,000 per annum for eight years while paying nothing toward his housing or upkeep, and, in addition to the extraordinarily lucrative speaking gigs that American ex-presidents are now to expect, he had a lifetime of pensions and benefits to look forward to. (David Graham points out that, in the last 14 years, he has received nearly $16 million from the government.) By the end of the year in which he left office, the couple had made $16 million and enjoyed between $5 and $30 million in assets. By 2004, they had $50 million to their names. And by 2014, Clinton had become the highest-earning former president in America’s history, with net assets of nearly $200 million. Being smart sorts, the couple knew full well that this was coming, which is why in 1999, with their apparently destructive legal bills still racking up, they bought a $6 million house in Chappaqua, N.Y., so that Hillary could legally run for the Senate. One suspects that if the Clintons had been genuinely worried that their legal fights might bankrupt them, they would not have done this, nor would friend Terry McAuliffe have agreed to loan them $1.3 million toward its purchase.

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton: ‘Rich People . . . Do Not Contribute to the Growth of Their Own Countries.’



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Hillary Clinton, speaking to an audience at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2012: “There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries.”

Over in the Corner, Andrew Johnson notes that Hillary Clinton continues to speak as if the term “rich” doesn’t apply to her:

Hillary Clinton and her husband have made millions on the speaking circuit since leaving the White House in 2000, but she explained to Diane Sawyer that they did it only to “pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.” The former secretary of state also lamented the burden high taxes put on the family’s effort to pay off the debts.

“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” she said in an interview set to air on ABC World News on Monday night. “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education — it was not easy.”

Clinton praised her husband, who has “worked really hard” to pay down the debts by making speeches, and noted that the former first couple had to make “double the money because of, obviously, taxes.”

We examined Hillary’s housing in Part Five of “The Better Homes and Gardens of Populist Democrats” series.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have an estimated net worth of $200 million.

In Washington, D.C., the Clintons own a five-bedroom, brick colonial-style house near Embassy Row that the District of Columbia assessed at more than $5 million.

In Chappaqua, N.Y., the Clintons own a Dutch Colonial that the Town of New Castle assessed at $1.7 million; Zillow estimates the property could sell for $9 million.

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Hillary’s Publisher: This Is ‘The Most Admired Woman in the World’



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Jonathan Karp, the president of Hillary Clinton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, just sent along this promotional e-mail:

Dear Jim,

I thought you might want to know that Hillary Rodham Clinton writes about you in her new book, Hard Choices. She begins this deeply personal and fascinating memoir by describing the end of the 2008 campaign and her gratitude to all the friends and supporters who put 18 million cracks in the “highest, hardest glass ceiling.”

As Secretary Clinton’s publisher, I’m hoping you’ll immediately want to buy a copy of this extraordinary book. Hard Choices is the best account I’ve read of what it’s like to be in the room with the leaders who are confronting some of the most challenging and interesting issues of our time…

I also hope you will forward this letter to your friends and family to let them know of this book’s publication. Even though Hard Choices will be front page news, the best way to appreciate Hillary Clinton’s story is to read it in her own words, unfiltered.

I wanted to convey the magnitude of publishing Hillary Clinton to my nine year-old daughter, so I sat her down at the computer with me, went to Google, and typed in the phrase, “Most Admired Woman in the World.” You can imagine whose name was the first to appear on the screen, again and again and again.

One day, soon, my daughter will be reading Hard Choices and finding great inspiration in Hillary Clinton’s work. I hope this remarkable book will have a similar impact on you and your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Karp
President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster

Tags: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Uses Bergdahl Deal to Promote Her Book



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Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton refused to criticize President Obama’s decision to exchange five Taliban leaders for U.S. Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a deal she reportedly opposed before leaving his administration, saying that reports that Bergdahl deserted don’t negate the need to bring him back to the United States. In fact, she used the opportunity to plug her new book.

“I think this was a very hard choice, which is why I think my book is aptly named,” Clinton told ABC during an interview about Hard Choices, her latest book. “If you look at what the factors were going into the decision, of course there are competing interests and values. And one of our values is we bring everybody home off the battlefield the best we can. It doesn’t matter how they ended up in a prisoner of war situation.”

Former defense secretary Leon Panetta, for his part, did reveal recently that he had opposed the deal while serving alongside Clinton on the Obama team. “I said, ‘Wait, I have an obligation under the law,’” Panetta recalled Wednesday, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “If I send prisoners from Guantanamo, they have to guarantee they don’t go back to the battlefield. I had serious concerns.”​

The fanfare surrounding the exchange — Obama held an event in the Rose Garden with Bergdahl’s parents — angered some of the soldiers who served in Bergdahl’s unit, which they say he deserted. 

Tags: Bowe Bergdahl , Hillary Clinton

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