The Clintons are back.
Although, they never really left.
America’s foremost power-couple have arguably been planning for this day since leaving the White House in January 2001.
Blueprints for the former first lady’s gigs (Senator and later Secretary of State) were likely crafted in conjunction with one of the shrewdest political operators in modern history-her husband-deliberately designed to convince voters that she would be ready to serve as President when the time came.
That Barack Obama delayed Hillary’s ascendency for eight years proved to be of little consequence and allotted time to bolster her resume, consult with Bill, and possibly manufacture a plausible explanation for Benghazi.
Selling voters on the recent email fiasco could prove more difficult.
But competency is not the issue; accountability is.
The Clintons rarely accepted responsibility for problems that occurred on their watch and often blamed those who sought to hold them accountable.
Hillary’s 1998 interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, where she skillfully dodged a series of questions alluding to inappropriate behavior on behalf of her husband in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal and instead lashed out at Republicans alleging a “vast right conspiracy,” is a prime example of this.
Consistency also is a major problem for the Clintons.
President Clinton has flip-flopped to such an extent that it was often difficult to tell where he stood on an issue.
The former President’s position on Welfare Reform best illustrates this.
Having campaigned on a pledge to dramatically reduce government dependency among poverty-stricken individuals, Clinton vetoed two bills specifically designed to accomplish this, and then reverted back to his initial position when polls suggested it might be beneficial.
Ironically, President Clinton is credited as the arbiter of Welfare Reform, which is a testament of his ability to successfully hijack a narrative and mislead an arguably uninformed electorate.
Hillary has also mastered the art of deception.
Consider her on-and-off again support for the state of Israel.
Attempting to capitalize on her husband’s immense popularity among Jewish voters, as well as a desire win an election in her own right, in 1999, Hillary decided to run for the U.S Senate seat which would be vacated by New York’s Daniel Patrick Moynihan following the 2000 election cycle.
At the time, Mrs. Clinton walked a tight rope trying to project solid pro-Israel credentials while also supporting Palestinian statehood.
Because of this, Jewish loyalties were divided, and her presumed GOP opponent then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was undoubtedly pro-Israel.
Perhaps this is why Hillary decided to make nice with the Arab community, and on a trip to the West Bank in November 1999, kissed PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat’s wife, Suha, on the cheek, after the former had made a speech in which she accused of Israel of using poison gas to kill Palestinians.
Hillary later condemned the remarks and expressed remorse over the gesture, but it was clear to most that she was just trying to save face.
Mrs. Clinton also paid lip service in support of President Obama’s ill-advised nuclear agreement with Iran, despite having previously told a largely Jewish audience in NYC that the Iranians could not be trusted.
Hillary is regarded by many on the left as a feminist icon, but the Clinton Foundation, of which is she a full fledged partner, had no qualms about accepting donations from countries like Saudi Arabia.
Clintonian inconsistencies are overwhelmingly documented, and now there is ample reason for scholars to continue that effort.
But I guess that depends on what the definition of “is” is, because as far as the Clinton’s are concerned, you don’t get one without the other.
Bryan is a freelance political journalist who has extensive experience covering Congress and Maryland state government.
His work includes coverage of the election of Donald Trump, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions-as well as that of the Maryland General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan has broken stories involving athletic and sexual assault scandals with the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
His original UMBC investigation gained international attention, was featured in People Magazine and he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” and local radio stations. Bryan broke subsequent stories documenting UMBC’s omission of a sexual assault on their daily crime log and a federal investigation related to the university’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.