Yesterday John noted Hilary Clinton’s descent in the polls. “Voters can’t stand Hillary,” he opined. Who loves her?
At NR, Brendan Bordelon takes a look at the released Hillary Clinton emails in the context of the current controversies. Brendan notes that the vast majority of the 3,500 e-mails released so far were sent or received by just four members of Clinton’s inner circle at State: Cheryl Mills, Bill Clinton’s lawyer during his impeachment trial, who became Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff; Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide, who became her deputy chief of staff; Jake Sullivan, a foreign-policy adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential run, who became her top foreign-policy adviser at State; and Philippe Reines, Clinton’s long-serving Senate spokesperson, who became a senior adviser.
Brendan reviews the email with an eye to answering the question how these trusted advisers let her get into the perhaps unfixable fix in which she finds herself. Brendan finds that her trusted advisers are sycophants concerned with feeding her ego and bucking her up. Seldom is heard a discouraging word:
E-mails between Clinton and her personal advisers…were brimming with fawning praise for the secretary. Dozens of times, Mills forwarded messages from State Department observers and lower-level staffers congratulating Clinton on a successful speech or media appearance. “A little positive reinforcement to pass on to the S,” read the subject line of one March 28, 2009 e-mail, in which a University of Southern California lecturer called her trip to Mexico a “stunning success” and “jaw-dropping.”
Mills also forwarded an April 30, 2009 message from Paul Begala, a former Clinton adviser. “I gave Sec. Clinton an A+ in our dopey CNN report card last night,” he wrote. “So did Donna Brazile. The only two A+’s all night.” Clinton would sometimes ask her staff to print the more effusive commendations. E-mail after e-mail shows how top State Department officials were kept from dealing with Clinton directly, instead being rerouted to the members of her inner circle.
Many other e-mails contain news reports or editorials complimentary of Clinton’s tenure. “Andrew Sullivan with the Hillary love,” read one e-mail from September 16, 2012, which included a positive op-ed from the Boston Herald. “Higher ground is where all great solutions and triumphs are found and scaled,” wrote Roy Pence, a Clinton-family friend included on the e-mail chain. “HRC, once again, is taking people there.” A perusal of the documents revealed no e-mails highlighting negative media coverage of the secretary.
Some of the e-mails show an apparent desire to bolster Clinton’s confidence in the shadow of President Obama. In one especially effusive e-mail, Reines praised Clinton’s July 26, 2009 appearance on Meet the Press. “You threw a perfect game — or at least a no hitter,” he wrote, saying her performance proved “you’re in a class all your own (including the President who became enmeshed in the Gates incident.)” While not officially a State Department employee, Clinton shadow adviser Sidney Blumenthal attacked President Obama while simultaneously congratulating Clinton. “I don’t know about details of Obama’s plan, but you looked terrific at the speech,” he wrote on September 11, 2009. In an August 22, 2011 missive lauding Clinton for presiding over the fall of Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi, Blumenthal struck out at the “flamingly stupid ‘leading from behind’ phrase,” which an Obama White House official had used to describe the intervention.
At times, Clinton’s inner circle seemed aware of the lengths they’d go to buck up their boss. “Your arrival in Kabul landed the front page picture in the NYT and sparked an on-line poll in Huff Post about your coat. At last check, its favorability rating is 77 percent,” wrote Crowley in a rare direct message to Clinton on November 19, 2009. Reines, CCed on the message, quickly wrote back. “Now I know why Huma has been at a computer all day clicking the mouse incessantly,” he quipped.
What a crew. What a pathetic character.
JOHN adds: I have reviewed a fair number of the Hillary emails that have been made public, and this is consistent with my observation. I would add this: Hillary herself virtually never says anything. Her aides send her press clippings, and occasionally Hillary responds with “Please print.” Now and then she will participate in scheduling a meeting. Otherwise, nothing. As far as the email traffic discloses, Hillary as Secretary of State was a complete cipher.