Like the Nixon tapes, the “Hillary Papers” — actually the papers of Hillary’s close friend and confidant, the late Diane Blair — tend mainly to confirm what we thought we already knew about a highly public figure who has been in the limelight for decades.
Take, for example, Mrs. Clinton’s reaction to the Lewinsky scandal. Blair wrote this after listening to the First Lady on the subject:
[Hillary] is not trying to excuse [Bill Clinton]; it was a huge personal lapse. And she is not taking responsibility for it. But, she does say this to put his actions in context. Ever since he took office they’ve been going thru personal tragedy ([the death of] Vince [Foster], her dad, his mom) and immediately all the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them.
In other words, Clinton’s political adversaries — that vast right-wing conspiracy — are partly to blame for his sexual indiscretions. Is anyone surprised that this was her take?
Or consider her stance on “single payer” health insurance. Blair recounts:
At dinner, [Hillary] to [Bill] at length on the complexities of health care—thinks managed competition a crock; single-payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare.
Yet, as the Washington Free Beacon points out, in an interview with the New York Times when she ran for president in 2008, Clinton said:
You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single payer system.
Again, is anyone surprised at the dishonesty and opportunism? This, after all, is the same person Robert Gates heard say she opposed the 2007 Iraq surge because she couldn’t let Barack Obama get to her left on the issue. (Note the double cynicism here: if the surge had failed, Clinton wouldn’t have said that her opposition was other than merits-based, and it’s not clear that the statement to the contrary that Gates heard her make was honest).
There’s much more of interest in the Hillary Papers, but the pre-existing record is more damning, as we expect to have many occasions to point out.