It feels like the 1990’s.
Hillary Clinton unofficially kicked off her 2016 presidential campaign yesterday, fielding seven questions on the subject of her controversial use of a personal email account while serving as Secretary of State. If Secretary Clinton thought that by taking a few questions she could put the media firestorm to rest, she was sadly mistaken. As I expected the brief press conference raised more questions than it answered.
Here is what she told us.
She elected to use only her personal email account to conduct official government business because she felt it would be more “convenient” than maintaining both a government account and a personal account.
All of her emails were stored on a personal server which was located in her home. The server had been set up for President Clinton’s use. There had not been any security breaches of the server. The server would remain private.
At the request of the State Department she and her staff had vetted all of her 62,320 emails and had turned over the work related emails (30,490) to the government. She said that the government had already received most of the work related emails (approx. 27,500) because they were communications with state department officials and therefore already archived on government servers. The remaining 31,830 emails were deemed to be of a personal nature and deleted.
She had gone “above and beyond” that which she was required to do as respects the preservation of her emails.
Vintage Clinton! Here are the facts! Nothing to see here! Let’s move on.
As a government official you are allowed to use your own personal email account for your communications provided you archive them on a secured government server. There is only one reason to store all of your emails on a private server in your own home…and it’s not convenience. It’s because you want sole control over the content and to the parties made privy to that content. Secretary Clinton made herself the sole arbiter of what would and would not be released to the government. That doesn’t speak toward convenience…that speaks to transparency and playing by one’s own set of rules.
The average Joe in Whoville, Kansas probably doesn’t give a dam about the content of Secretary Clinton’s emails. But when he goes to the voting booth he will take into consideration the character of those asking for his vote. This goes to character and a method of doing business. And if you are at this moment the odds on favorite to be the next President of the United States then character and transparency are reasonable topics for discussion.
Watching yesterday’s press briefing I could not help but harken back to the Clinton years of the 90’s…to Whitewater and “Tradegate” and “Travelgate” and Lewinsky. To the days when you were certain that Clinton’s were being less than forthcoming…and you were just as certain that they would get away with it. So as I watched I kept asking myself: “Do we really want to go through this again…do we want to spend the next two to ten years doing this again?”
It feels like the 1990’s. Let the conspiracy theories begin.