From Jonah Goldberg:
In the wake of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s fairly disastrous press conference at the United Nations on Tuesday, there’s only one conclusion shared by all parties: This was not how it was supposed to go.
This was supposed to be the month Clinton led with her chief selling point: her gender. She had put together a whole “I Am Woman, Hear Me Bore” speaking tour in which women’s issues — particularly the women’s issues that poll well among women who care a lot about women’s issues — would be the main subject.
The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation unveiled a big foofaraw over Hillary’s “No Ceilings” campaign. What a wonderfully convenient theme for Mrs. Clinton’s massive and mysterious foundation, given that smashing the “highest glass ceiling” — i.e., the presidency — is the central rationale of her planned presidential bid. It was just a coincidence that the tax-exempt foundation with her name on it happened to be rolling out a big light show on that very subject during the rollout of her presidential campaign.
It was all carefully scripted, because everything Hillary Clinton does is carefully scripted. Normally, that’s a figurative expression. But with Clinton, when things are carefully scripted, they are literally carefully scripted.
On Monday, Hillary had a “No Ceilings” event at the Clinton Foundation. After her opening remarks, the Associated Press reported, she declined to take any questions. “When she sat down to lead more informal conversations with invited speakers, participants appeared to be reading from teleprompters.”
I’ll give the AP reporters a pass on this odd locution, since they at least conveyed the truth to the reader. But for the record, a dialogue between people on a stage in which they read from teleprompters is not an “informal conversation” — it’s a play.
The trouble for Clinton is that, despite all of her preparation, all of her coordination, the world is going off her script. And for a woman who thinks off-the-cuff speaking is switching from her prepared remarks to her prepared notecards, that’s a scary place.
That is surely why she set up her own private Internet server. Four times at the U.N., Clinton said she had created her “home-brew” e-mail system simply for “convenience.”
“I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two,” she said.
Never mind that it’s much easier to set up two e-mail systems on one device than it is to set up a whole dark server hidden from the government. And leave aside that a woman who travels with a very large entourage on non-commercial flights could probably manage two devices.
I’m sure she’s right. She set up the server for convenience — but not the convenience of sparing her the load of an additional four-ounce phone. When you want to hide what you’re doing, a private server is definitely the way to go.
Hillary has only two comfort zones: deep in a bunker or high on a pedestal. Drag her out of the former or knock her off the latter and she’s at sea.
In her very brief press conference Tuesday, she essentially admitted to the transgression she’s been accused of for the past week. She admitted to deleting thousands of e-mails. She turned over the public e-mails she deemed safe to give to the public and kept the rest, saying they were private, anointing herself to be the sole arbiter.
“I fully complied with every rule that I was governed by,” she said. And: “I have no doubt that we have done exactly what we should have done.”
This hints at the attitude that binds her and her husband: the belief that they are governed solely by what they choose to be governed by and what they do is right because they have done it.
The problem for Hillary is she can’t sell it. That’s why she prefers everything to be scripted. For example, Mrs. Clinton needed to tell the public not to ever come looking for any more e-mail from her, including the allegedly private ones she chose not to share. So she claimed they no longer exist.
“At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal e-mails — e-mails about planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends.”
Clinton’s vast marketing division has been toying with rolling her out as the “Grandmother in Chief.” Well, here’s a tip: Grandmothers save that kind of stuff.
From Mark Steyn:
I’ll be talking about today’s Hillary Clinton press conference later tonight with Sean Hannity on Fox News, but it was an amazing performance. Amazingly wooden and unconvincing, of course, but in a sense that was part of its brazenness. Its sheer implausibility underlined her central message: Yeah, and what are you gonna do about it?
Most political figures would be terrified at having to advance this thin a defense in public:
Oh, well. I didn’t have a government email address because I didn’t want to be forced to carry “two devices”. Who’d she get that one from? Bill? “Aw, honey, you know I couldn’t possibly be email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, and all the rest, because I’d have to have 12 different devices. And, if I had 12 different desktops on the desk, there’d be no room for the intern, would there?”
But apparently it’s easier to set up your own email domain on a personal server at your home than ask a State Dept underling if there’s anybody there who can figure out how to get two email addresses on one “device”. And apparently your reluctance to carry two “devices” trumps anything so footling as the law. And, in any case, you said on camera just two weeks ago that you had an iPhone and a Blackberry.
Hillary announced today that she’d deleted everything other than the 55,000 pages of emails she handed over to the government. And, while 55,000 sounds like a lot, it boils down to fewer than 38 a day for a four-year term. The average person in work has over 120 business-related emails a day. So Hillary’s 55,000 sounds a little on the low side. Happily for her, she handed them over to the feds as print copies only, so Trey Gowdy is going to have to wait until some State Dept minion has scanned them all in in a searchable form before he can enter search terms like “Benghazi”.
The risibilty of these defenses is the point. To reprise one of my favorite Theodore Dalrymple quotes:
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.
That’s why all this stuff is coming out now. If Hillary can get away with something so obviously and uniquely and intentionally wrong, and that compromises national security to boot, and for which she offers nothing but the most laughable explanations, then she will have set the rules for the next 18 months. If she can make the court eunuchs of the media and the Democrats’ own base complicit in this absurd and unconvincing lie, they’re hardly in a position to complain about all the others in the months ahead.