There is no evidence so far that Hillary Clinton retained any classified information when using a personal email whilst Secretary of State but that now questionable decision has proven more than enough for the Republicans to suck her right back into the Benghazi nightmare.
In his scathing polemic of the Clintons ‘No-One Left To Lie To’ the late Christopher Hitchens described the political duo as operating thus: “...the exploitation of mammalian sentiments by reptilian people”.
It is a brilliant summation of the calculations of many at the top echelons of politics.
While the Clintons certainly have no mortgage on such behaviour, their modus operandi appears to be based on whatever is good for them is naturally good for America and so they, warts and all, deserve to be calling the shots.
Hitchens has never been a fan of the Clintons, and he is not alone if measured by the volumes and column cms dedicated to the voracious quest for power of the strategic alliance that is Bill and Hillary.
Were he alive today Hitchens would be neck deep in nasty picking over the entrails of the email saga Mrs Clinton has, all by herself, landed in.
And he would not be alone because the Clintons, respected and adored by many also evoke a loathing amongst writers, journalists and of course the Republicans.
The revelation that Hillary, while Secretary of State, used a personal email server and not a state classified address was like Benghazi heaven for Republicans.
In a thinly veiled attempt to make sure Benghazi and Clinton's response to it doesn’t go away any time soon, House Speaker Boehner is expected to this week announce a second investigation into Clinton’s email practices.
As with Bill when caught out, Hillary let the issue bleed for too long before addressing it, and when she did the presumed Democrat challenger for the 2016 White House treated it as a pesky little matter that was clearly irritating her and which she has sorted. End of story.
A long ago formed belief that the media is out to get her quickly became evident...the sentiments of which were captured in a cartoon depicting Clinton emailing herself and copying herself a number of times into the message “see they are out to get us”.
This belief has spawned a climate of paranoia within Team Clinton and amongst her faithful in Hillaryland. Much energy is devoted to keeping prying eyes - even of the legal variety as in the prosecutor of the long ago Whitewater scandal - off Clinton files.
Once cornered the Clintons can slip into the passive-aggressive combo of populist/bully depending on the audience.
A source for Daniel Halper’s ‘Clinton, Inc.’ claimed “if you fucked up and was found out by (Bill) Clinton, you got a promotion. If you fucked up and were found out by Hillary, your throat was slit and you were left on the tarmac with no ticket. It was brutal.”
Hillaryland is a fortress and well known as such, ruled by a woman who is very adept at presenting as either superwoman or, as in the wake of her husband’s sexual dalliances, victim.
Many female politicians face both overt and covert sexism and Clinton is no exception despite her fierce intellect and obvious capability.
She never throws in the towel and engages a formidable knowledge of federal government to reposition herself in order to thrive as she did when she lost the nomination to Obama in 2004.
She might have, as Newt Gingrich condescendingly liked to say, married Bill because he was going to be someone, but there’s no doubt he is someone because of her. Not quite the ‘behind every successful man is a stunned woman’, but not far.
Hitchens and others who have studied Team Clinton find them to be people who are un-critical of themselves, devoid of reflective capacity and see fault for embarrassments and misfortunes invariably lying with others.
The press conference Clinton called to explain the email situation was classic.
Silly old me thinking it was convenient and efficient to have just one communication device, but hey folks, I have turned over 55,000 pages of email data which is in the public domain and work related. The 31,830 emails I have deleted were private and personal....Chelsea’s wedding arrangements, yoga schedules, notes to Bill and so on.
Nothing to see here. I have done nothing wrong and just to prove it I have determined what you need to see in order to agree with me and move right along.
Democrats desperate for Hillary to be anointed, have been quick to point out the key presumptive candidate from Republican political royalty, Jeb Bush, also used private emails for public business...oh and former Secretary of State Colin Powell did so too and none of his emails have survived for historical purposes.
So the big question is will this latest Clinton blunder which plays right into the hands of the Benghazi-obsessed Republicans, taint her bid?
It shouldn’t in and of itself, and it is almost certain she will not face charges of retaining classified information without authorization...but at this high stakes politics there is also the smell test.
Some who understand US federal government, the job of Secretary of State and its secrecy requirements, have questioned publicly the claim that in four years Clinton never sent classified information via email.
This adds to a tangible sense that she’s covering up something.
Voters will ultimately determine if she can be trusted and whether her close-to-the-surface hostility is reasonable because her integrity is being questioned.
After all her staff have provided a plausible case stating she viewed all classified material in hard copy in the office, when traveling availed herself of staff secure laptops and Blackberrys and communicated with foreign officials in person or on secure phone lines.
Democrats need this issue to go away soon, but Republicans do not and they have the power to make it linger.
Hilary Clinton will be a formidable opponent once the Republicans finally select a candidate from their dangerously large list of contenders. Cannibalism of the Republic brand is again likely if most decide to stay in the race and duke it out for as long as possible.
Clinton has more than just the pull of potentially the first female President working in her favour.
She has already run a tough campaign for nomination losing ultimately to Obama. Before that she was a successful Senator and a solid (rather than standout) Secretary of State.
The gift-with-purchase Clintons can raise extraordinary amounts of campaign cash, and Bill is widely considered a campaigner extraordinaire with a major desire to be back in the big house. When he is hungry for something he goes after it.
This email debacle could seriously hurt Hillary’s bid.
More likely though is it will provide valuable training in the sort of scrutiny she will for sure face if she is the Democrat’s candidate.
Why that is so important is the Democrats don’t appear to want to put her through a primary race, but equally they don’t appear to have a Plan B should Hillary Plan A sputter to a halt before it officially begins.