Coming your way: The Hillary Clinton (Off the Record) Award Tour

posted at 12:01 pm on October 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Is it awards season already? It is for Hillary Clinton, although it’s difficult to determine why.  Her four-year tenure as Secretary of State didn’t produce any significant new diplomatic agreements,, featured an embarrassing and sycophantic moment with Russia and a “reset button,” mishandled the Arab Spring everywhere but especially in Egypt, turned Libya into a failed-state breeding ground for terrorists, and lost the Benghazi consulate and four Americans as a direct result of it.

But hey, what difference at this point does it make for people who want to produce their own sycophantic Kodak moments with Hillary?

When Sir Elton John bestowed his foundation’s first Founders Award on Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday night, it was ostensibly meant to honor her work combatting AIDS. But it came at a moment when everyone seems to be honoring the former secretary of state for something.

This summer, the American Bar Association gave her its highest honor for her work as a lawyer. The National Constitution Center feted her work as a public servant. Save the Children gave her an award for . . . helping save children. Last week, Clinton flew to London to receive yet another award — this one a scroll signed by Queen Elizabeth celebrating her work as a diplomat.

In all, Clinton has racked up at least 15 awards in the nine months since she left the State Department, with more to come at the same time she is weighing a presidential campaign in 2016. Her supporters say the accolades are well deserved. But it also appears that Clinton has figured out how to leverage the awards to her political advantage, just as the groups honoring her benefit from having the would-be candidate promote their causes.

The awards circuit has effectively become Clinton’s pre-campaign campaign, allowing her to speak out on issues of her choosing and cement ties with key Democratic constituencies — all with little apparent political risk.

One way to reduce that political risk is to turn public awards ceremonies into off-the-record events.  Erik Wemple, who has begun to make a project out of the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton, reports that her team demands that her hosts for public speeches ensure that the press can’t record her remarks.  However, that might end up backfiring on her:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) is riding a compelling Hillary Rodham Clinton story. It’s not so much about her quite-possible presidential run. Nor is it about the Clinton family’s foundation. Nor Benghazi. It’s about how Clinton is attempting the impossible: Turning a speech into something approaching an off-the-record occasion.

This morning, the former secretary of state was in Atlanta for a speaking engagement before the National Association of Convenience and Fuel Retailing (NACS). As the AJC reported yesterday, members of the media were barred from the session. Today it reported that a “cone of silence” had descended on her remarks. “Convention officials banned all video and sound recording, social media, and naturally, journalists,” wrote the AJC’s Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway.

Bear in mind that these are public events. This is a conference that the organizers would love to have the media publicize, under normal conditions.  In the abnormal conditions, Hillary’s speech got plenty of attention anyway, but it was a Republican state official that provided it:

No ears reported any mention of whatever 2016 ambitions Clinton might have. But state Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, said the former first lady dropped a huge hint. “I know she’s running for president now, because toward the end, she was asked about the Osama bin Laden raid. She took 25 minutes to answer,” Taylor said. “Without turning the knife too deeply, she put it to [Vice President Joe] Biden.”

Time and time again, Taylor said, Clinton mentioned the vice president’s opposition to the raid, while characterizing herself and Leon Panetta, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as the action’s most fierce advocates.

Wemple wonders why Hillary and her team set themselves up for this kind of spin:

The Erik Wemple Blog is unfamiliar with the work and reputation of Georgia State Rep. Tom Taylor. He could well be the keenest and most objective state rep in all the country. But wouldn’t Clinton and her friends and her supporters and the reporters covering her prefer to have a simple video or audio recording so that one individual’s recollection doesn’t drive our understanding of the speech.

Here’s another question: why are all these groups so anxious to throw accolades at Hillary Clinton at all? Does she discount her speaking fee if she gets an award?  Better yet, does anyone believe that the toadying impresses anyone?  It sounds like the Nobel Peace Prize in modern times — it’s a shower of attendance awards that make both the giver and recipient look more and more petty by engaging in the practice.


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Her only hope is to keep the entire Rat field clear. They don’t go for well-known people who weren’t VP.

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I bet everyone in attendance had to sign a Nondisclosure Agreement.

Or is that just when people die?

Odie1941 on October 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The Hill to die on?

It’s not what difference does it make, turned into who gives a flip.

MontanaMmmm on October 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Save the Children gave her an award for . . . helping save children.

Funny that. Pro-abortion activist gets award for sparing children. Children who didn’t have the chance to live, let alone to fight another day.

Happy Nomad on October 16, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Joe Biden as the Dan Akroyd Santa in Trading Places…

Roy Rogers on October 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Her only hope is to keep the entire Rat field clear. They don’t go for well-known people who weren’t VP.

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Are you saying Biden has the advantage? God help us.

Fenris on October 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Her only hope is to keep the entire Rat field clear. They don’t go for well-known people who weren’t VP.

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

I wonder if Biden realizes that he probably isn’t even second on the list of potential candidates. I put him at third behind Clinton and Christie even though Biden comes first alphabetically.

Happy Nomad on October 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

It’s all part of the mutual tongue-bath / anointing of the libs’ President-in-Waiting.

When I read above about Elton John’s award, my first thought was wondering why Bush didn’t get it for all that he promoted in Africa.

Then reality set in and a quick search reveals that Sir Elton makes the reason for the award really obvious:

The pop star told the Associated Press before the event of his hopes that Clinton runs for president in 2016.

“She’s a great human rights campaigner for people of colour, for people of sexual orientation,” he said. “She’s made our fight easier by being such a staunch supporter of Aids and for people’s human rights.”

Drained Brain on October 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

I for one would have loved a miniseries on all her many accomplishments because Diane Lane is smokin hot

John the Libertarian on October 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Marketing genius…Bill Clinton is a marketing genius.

He supporters hang on every “award”, and others see that as an actual accomplishment.

To beat her will be almost impossible, given that we tend to eat the candidate that has the best chance…

But, we will diss someone because they stammer in a debate, or that 30 years ago someone accused them of something that was never proven, or that they said 20 years ago and out of context…

Yeah, sorry but the odds are, Hillary will be out next president, deal with it…as pathetic as it sounds.

right2bright on October 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Ambassador Stevens was scheduled to present Killary with an award too but he was unavailable.

Bishop on October 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Are you saying Biden has the advantage? God help us.

Fenris on October 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM

I wonder if Biden realizes that he probably isn’t even second on the list of potential candidates. I put him at third behind Clinton and Christie even though Biden comes first alphabetically.

Happy Nomad on October 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM

There is one element of NextInLine™ in the Rat Party – sitting/ex-VP. Other than that (and McGovern, though he placed a distant third in the chaos of the 1968 convention after entering the race after all the primaries and caucuses had concluded), since 1960, they have gone with somebody even the wonks barely heard of 4 years prior. Who, other than the wonks, heard of Jimmy Carter in 1972, Bill Clinton in 1988, or Teh SCOAMT in 2004?

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

But yeah we’re going to be stuck with this human tree stump for at least one full term because the GOP will give us Christie or some other turd as their nominee.

Bishop on October 16, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Who, other than the wonks, heard of Jimmy Carter in 1972, Bill Clinton in 1988, or Teh SCOAMT in 2004?

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I agree with you about Carter but Clinton and the lazy stupid coward were already “somebody to watch for” in 88 and 04 respectively. The Dems bench is pretty thin right now. Hillary is the sentimental favorite, Christie is probably their best hope, Biden is nobody’s first choice.

Happy Nomad on October 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I for one would have loved a miniseries on all her many accomplishments because Diane Lane is smokin hot

John the Libertarian on October 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

I heard Pres. Clinton was taking acting lessons and wanted to play himself in the mini-series

SmallGovtGuy on October 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Breaking: Cave over the budget begins in the Senate.

Hard to tell if anybody will still be alive by the time the GOP decides to fight instead of surrender. Surrender weasels gloat.

Happy Nomad on October 16, 2013 at 12:27 PM

by being such a staunch supporter of Aids

Wow, that’s not something I would want to be known for. And, I’m sure it’s not what Sir Elton meant. But, for those who actively promote the “homosexual agenda”, that’s effectively what they are.

GWB on October 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I heard Pres. Clinton was taking acting lessons and wanted to play himself in the mini-series

SmallGovtGuy on October 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Given that the mini-series was going to be about her Watergate-era lawyer years that would have been interesting. I guess he’d make a pretty convincing Tip O’Neil.

Happy Nomad on October 16, 2013 at 12:29 PM

So she ain’t in no ways tah-erd anymore?

Rational Thought on October 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM

When Sir Elton John bestowed his foundation’s first Founders Award on Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday night, it was ostensibly meant to honor her work combatting AIDS.

What exactly has she done about AIDS?

I suppose not sleeping with Bill does potentially help keep it from spreading.

Bitter Clinger on October 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I agree with you about Carter but Clinton and the lazy stupid coward were already “somebody to watch for” in 88 and 04 respectively. The Dems bench is pretty thin right now. Hillary is the sentimental favorite, Christie is probably their best hope, Biden is nobody’s first choice.

Happy Nomad on October 16, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Which is why I said, “other than the wonks”. They learned from the 1972-1976 cycle to identify somebody from left field, talk amongst only themselves until after the election, then push the hell out of the chosen one.

I also forgot to mention, who had heard of Tank Dukakis in 1984 or Jean Kerry in 2000?

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM

I guess the Award depicting Ambassador Stevens being
Analized isn’t crafted yet??

ToddPA on October 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I for one would have loved a miniseries on all her many accomplishments because Diane Lane is smokin hot

John the Libertarian on October 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Not so much after she puts on the required below-the-waist fatsuit and greases up her hair, crosses her eyes and puts on the coke-bottle glasses.

slickwillie2001 on October 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

We may as well get used to her. At this point she will be the next President, followed by Corey Booker and God knows who else.

Jack_Burton on October 16, 2013 at 12:36 PM

We may as well get used to her. At this point she will be the next President, followed by Corey Booker and God knows who else.

Jack_Burton on October 16, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Puke.

VegasRick on October 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

When Sir Elton John bestowed his foundation’s first Founders Award on Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday night…

Ponder that for a moment and tell me why you think the West is NOT dead.

Cleombrotus on October 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Not so much after she puts on the required below-the-waist fatsuit and greases up her hair, crosses her eyes and puts on the coke-bottle glasses.

slickwillie2001 on October 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Which, ironically, would make S(l)ick Willie (the ex-President, not you) even more attracted to her.

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I find it amusing that everyone (including me) seems to take it for granted that Christie is a Democrat.

Fenris on October 16, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Everyone wastes time with Clinton.

She couldn’t get the nom in 2008 after eight years of GWB. How the hell could she get the nom in 2016 after eight years of Obama?

You guys sure haven’t learned much about the left wing crazy. Who, control what the Dems do now and they hate the Clintons.

They will just trot out another HISTORIC candidate in 2016 and the media will swoon. A replay of 2008.

Moesart on October 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

This summer, the American Bar Association gave her its highest honor for her work as a lawyer.

What work? Aside from her role in Watergate, which was essentially nothing but legal research, has she ever done any actual work as a lawyer? If she ever did, was it any more substantive than what lawyers across the country do every day?

The National Constitution Center feted her work as a public servant. Save the Children gave her an award for . . . helping save children. Last week, Clinton flew to London to receive yet another award — this one a scroll signed by Queen Elizabeth celebrating her work as a diplomat.

Never mind. Obviously this has nothing to do with her work in the real world.

There Goes the Neighborhood on October 16, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Some times when I read about our government, I wish the Japanese had taught us about Seppuku in stead our teaching them about corrupt representative government which ignores the constitution and lesser laws.

burt on October 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

REMEMBER BENGHAZI, B….H!

GarandFan on October 16, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Hope the Dems have a “plan B” in case Hillary bows out. Reason, among several, is Benghazi, and then there is Bill.

Amazingoly on October 16, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Corrupt Alinskyite feels comfortable knowing the Corrupt Liberal Media harsher back.

RdLake on October 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM

See

You

Next

Tuesday.

1921 C DRUM on October 16, 2013 at 6:44 PM

How did we get here?

Kenz on October 16, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Meahwhile in heaven, Vince Foster and Chris Stevens share a drink and just shake their heads silently.

Kenz on October 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Hasn’t the ‘I got OBL meme been used up? Why the award from the Bar Assn? Does she even have a law license?

Kissmygrits on October 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM