Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

And now: Three rules for understanding Hillary Clinton's words and deeds


This is your periodic reminder that, as awful as Donald Trump is, Hillary Clinton views the government as her own personal service.

This one doesn't rely on any questionable information from the likes of Wikileaks; it comes straight from the FBI itself. Here's the gist, via the Associated Press :

"A senior State Department official asked the FBI last year to help reduce the classification of an email from Hillary Clinton's private server, according to FBI investigative files that have been made public. It was to be part of a bargain that would have allowed the FBI to deploy more agents in foreign countries, according to the files."

That "senior State Department official" was Patrick F. Kennedy, the undersecretary for management who served during Clinton's entire tenure as secretary after first being appointed by George W. Bush. The story reflects very badly on Clinton on its face: While the email was sent in late 2012 (it described news reports related to the Benghazi attack), the request for re-classification wasn't made until last year. The context is obvious: Kennedy allegedly made his reclassification request in late June or early July 2015 , about a month after the AP reported that Clinton received classified information about the Benghazi attack on her private email account hosted on the unsecured server in her basement.

But the details are even worse. Back to the current AP story :

"According to the account in the FBI records, Kennedy proposed using an obscure provision under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act to keep the existence of the classified document from becoming public. By labeling the email unclassified but exempt under the federal records law, the State Department would have avoided criticism that its employees had mishandled classified files but still would have prevented the email's public release."

See that? They wanted to keep the information secret, but they wanted to avoid "criticism that its employees had mishandled classified files." You can almost hear the quintessentially Clintonian spin from State Department flaks: That information she emailed? It's not "classified." But no, you can't have it, because it's ... secret. Pretty nifty, huh?

One thing you might gloss over in the story is the reaction from the Clinton campaign:

"Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said the campaign had never been part of any such discussion about email classifications."

Of course "the campaign" wasn't -- because it didn't need to be. It had loyalists still in the government to do that kind of dirty work.

Not that Clinton waited until leaving office to mix her personal and official interests, as the recent reporting by ABC News about the lucrative contracts awarded to "Friends of Bill" over less-connected folks when State was coordinating relief efforts after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti -- and the tragic shortfall that remains there between what was promised and what was actually delivered. Billions were spent on the impoverished island, and yet fewer than 1,500 homes have been rebuilt in six years. There is, however, a luxury hotel there now. It is owned by -- no prizes for guessing -- a Clinton Foundation donor.

All of which means there is a corollary to the three rules for understanding what Trump says or does that I posted last week. Here are the three rules for understanding Hillary:

  1. First, last and always, Hillary Clinton is about becoming president. If she needs to call young black males "superpredators" in the 1990s  to help her husband win re-election, and then come back smiling to ask for their votes in 2016, she'll do it. She's not here for them, or anyone else. She's with her(self).
  2. Hillary wakes up every day asking herself, what do I need to say or do today to make sure I become president? True or false, principled or not: If it will help her move one vote closer to the White House, she will do or say it -- and that's been true of her for at least two decades.
  3. There are things Hillary believes in, but none tops her belief she needs to be president. Hillary is a true-blue progressivist. Her reputation as a moderate owes only to her willingness to adapt in the name of seeking power. This is why most Bernie Bros don't trust her devotion to left-wing ideas, and why most conservatives don't trust the rhetoric she's sprinkled throughout this campaign to attract those of us who won't back Trump. None of it is believable.

The old adage has been proven correct many times: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. One who has proved corrupt with the power she has been given shouldn't be given more.


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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.