The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Boston Globe Comes Dangerously Close to Holding Clinton Accountable

Another dispatch from the vast right wing conspiracy, this time in the Boston Globe:

ALTHOUGH THE CHARITY founded by former President Bill Clinton has done admirable work over the last 15 years, the Clinton Foundation is also clearly a liability for Hillary Clinton as she seeks the presidency. The once-and-maybe-future first family will have plenty to keep them busy next year if Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump in November. The foundation should remove a political — and actual — distraction and stop accepting funding. If Clinton is elected, the foundation should be shut down.

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The inherent conflict of interest was obvious when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009. She promised to maintain a separation between her official work and the foundation, but recently released emails written by staffers during her State Department tenure make clear that the supposed partition was far from impregnable. That was bad enough at State; if the Clinton Foundation continues to cash checks from foreign governments and other individuals seeking to ingratiate themselves with a President Hillary Clinton, it would be unacceptable.

That the Boston Globe can acknowledge this — albeit while couching its criticisms inside of its worry that her corruption might prove to be “a liability for Hillary Clinton as she seeks the presidency” — is welcome. But if the Globe really wants to drive home its point, it will push Clinton a lot harder than that. Welcome as its editorial is, it represents little more than a gentle slap on the wrist from a group of supporters in a pro-Clinton state. If the editors are serious, they will recognize this, and follow up with another editorial asking why Clinton isn’t taking questions from the press. Further, they will record for posterity that they are not content to assume that the Foundation merely “looks” bad, and they will ask for more details about how it was run while she was Secretary of State, and how (and if) it will be run in the future.

For that matter, every serious editorial board in the country should be doing the same. I see a lot of snarking from journalists about Clinton’s inaccessibility, but little real action. Where are the editorials asking why she is hiding? Where are the reporters screaming the equivalent of, “What about your gaffes?” as she walks across the tarmac? Where are the harsh admonishments from the press corps when she does on rare occasions deign to talk to outsiders? Hillary Clinton is running for president, not for a local school board, and the habits she forms now will follow her into office. At present, the press is signaling that it may be irritated by her secrecy, but that it will not punish her for it. That should change. “What exactly will happen to the Clinton Foundation if you are elected?” is an inquiry she should hear incessantly. “We’ll look into that” should not be taken as an answer.

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