Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hillary's Private Email Account Scandal

Hillary is in hot water again with the revelation that she used a private email account during her time as Secretary of State, questionably ignoring the required standards set in place by government security.

This issue has quickly become the focal point of the 2016 debates. But as one Daily Beast article points out, this "scandal" might not actually be a scandal at all. Michael Tomasky says that the Times piece that brought this issue is missing one major point: when these new rules on personal email accounts actually came into place.

"Now, I know enough about reporting to know how this works. If you’ve got an airtight case, then you lay it all out there. You include the date. Indeed you emphasize the date, you put it high up in your story. The fact that it’s not in there is a little fishy."

He then proceeds to lie out an explicit timeline of all relevant dates, arguing that this issue might really be a nonissue. CNN has also reported that this is “one of the least convincing scandals” surrounding the Clintons.

While picking and choosing which personal emails should be turned over to federal record is most certainly a problem, it is to be expected that this issue has opened the floodgates of criticism on countless aspects of Hillary's record. Republicans are reopening criticism against her speaking fess, the Benghazi controversy, and even her husband's previous scandals.

This highlights the problem of focusing on any ammunition possible to slam the opposition, instead of directing attention towards policy issues.

But it also begs the question of how "vulnerable" Hillary Clinton is to opposition criticism. One statement in a NYT article titled, "Hillary's Messy Habits" states:

One of the arguments I frequently heard in favor of her presumed candidacy for the presidency was that she’d been vetted like nobody’s ever been vetted, with no surprises left. All the skeletons had been tugged from the Clintons’ labyrinthine closets. All the mud had been dug up and flung.

But that assessment shortchanged the couple’s ability to make new messes. It ignored the “Groundhog Day” in which they star.
Hillary has been doing a pretty good job at continuing to give ammunition to the Republicans. She has been in the game long enough to know what adds fuel to the fire. And yet the Clintons have been described as often being "their own worst enemies," whether through repeated silence on an issue that demands comment or new comments sparking even another controversy. 

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