I have seen a lot in my 72 years. But I have never seen the likes of the unprecedented, nearly thirty- year assault on Hillary, led by the New York Times.
Hillary, of Midwestern, Methodist stock, and carrying a Yale Law School pedigree, emerged on our national scene with Bill as two of our best and brightest.
She arrived attached to the hip of Bill Clinton, a young governor of a southern state; political novice, charismatic, charming, opportunist, and a many would say a sexual predator. I do not forgive him his proclivities (for God’s sake, Bill, you were the president, keep it in your pants). In sexual matters, he was also an opportunist in a position of power. Power is sexy.
But, what of Hillary? I love smart, strong, career-focused women. I married one. Hillary led the first effort to reform our healthcare system, got pilloried, and lost. Where would we be now if that effort had passed and we spent the last 25 years tinkering with it? A lot of lives would have been saved and a lot of bankruptcies prevented. Just saying.
She was the First Lady for eight years and did nothing to embarrass us. She stood by her man, and was pilloried for that, as well. It does not matter whether you think it works for the wrong reasons. You do not have a vote. They made it work. The rest of us can get a life.
The number of women who hate her has astounded me. Even my wife finds her voice “grating.” Meow.
She became a senator and won a second term, handily. She earned that second term because she did the heavy lifting. She knuckled down and served all of New York, traveling throughout the state. She earned a reputation for digging in and consuming an issue, and for working across the aisle. She was on the ground right after 9/11 and did whatever she could to help New York City. This is all a matter of record.
She announced for president in 2008, and an upstart senator from Illinois won out. Initially, I supported Hillary. But, after I read both of Obama’s books, I switched. She did not wane in my mind; Obama surged.
Obama asked her to be his Secretary of State. Smart move. By all of the accounts, most importantly from the international community, she served our country well, traveling often and everywhere, tirelessly. She was in the room with Obama when we took out Bin Laden. She weathered the Benganzi endless investigations and grilling with aplomb and stamina — eleven hours in the final grilling. Show me the last time a man did that.
But, the emails.
Where do I begin? Officially, even the Trump state department has now cleared her of any intentional wrongdoing. The New York Times buried the story on page 14. Thanks, New York Times. And while we are on the New York Times, they led the charge into the investigation of the Clintons over Whitewater, an investment in which they lost money. Seriously? Seriously. The Times served as a pep squad in the ramp-up to the Iraq War under Dubya. Even Dick Cheney quoted the New York Times in his defense of the run-up to Shock and Awe. They were all over the swift-boating of John Kerry. They were little less than scribers for candidate Trump, as was most of the Press. They put Hillary and her emails on the front page countless times, including the front page, right side, when Comey re-opened the investigation less than two weeks prior to the 2016 election. By all measurements, this cost her two points and was the final straw in her electoral coffin.
A favorite blogger of mine, on Mother Jones, wrote back in 2016 that he initially considered Hillary’s handling of the emails, “sloppy bad judgment but not illegal.” Then he read the 58-page FBI Report. He changed his opinion to “Hillary did nothing wrong, period.” One wonders if the New York Times bothered to read the report in its entirety? If they did, and still pursued the “story” the way they did, then we have a Hillary bias afoot.
Speaking of emails, many in the Trump Administration, including Ivanka and Jared, use private servers. Nothing here, move along. Who remembers when Karl Rove destroyed over 20 million emails during the Dubya presidency? Nothing here, move along.
Most recently, the New York Times claimed that Hillary said the Russians were grooming a Democratic presidential candidate to run as a third-party candidate. Hillary did not say Russians. She said Republicans. Seriously? Seriously.
I have followed Hillary’s career since 1992. Buried articles spoke of her loyalty to her friends and her friends’ loyalty to her. I have never read about an embittered employee, not even one in her outer circle. I read about how devoted she is to her staff, how she never missed a birthday, anniversary, or an important event. You can call that good staff support. I call it humanity. This alone spoke volumes to me. By all accounts, she and Bill raised a fine daughter.
Hillary should have been president, but for the “but fors.” But for lukewarm support from Bernie. But for five million less votes from blacks than Obama in 2012. But for those emails. But for third-party candidates: Johnson and Stein. Most importantly, but for Russian meddling.
Five strikes and you’re out. To take out Hillary, it took five strikes, and the New York Times — a perfect storm.
Still, she earned three million more votes than Trump. In other countries, it is called “the vote.” In the United States, it is called the Electoral College, one of the most archaic systems in our world. I am incapable of explaining the Electoral College to my foreign friends.
Hillary will be a footnote in history. She deserved better.