“Hillary papers” show ruthless, ambitious First Lady

posted at 8:01 am on February 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

And … so? The Free Beacon gets a genuine scoop with its blockbuster report from Alana Goodman, one which paints Hillary Clinton in a not-terribly-favorable light. Even her friends and political allies found her ambition a bit off-putting, it seems. Then again, those qualities haven’t exactly been a state secret since, oh, HillaryCare:

The papers of Diane Blair, a political science professor Hillary Clinton described as her “closest friend” before Blair’s death in 2000, record years of candid conversations with the Clintons on issues ranging from single-payer health care to Monica Lewinsky.

The archive includes correspondence, diaries, interviews, strategy memos, and contemporaneous accounts of conversations with the Clintons ranging from the mid-1970s to the turn of the millennium.

Diane Blair’s husband, Jim Blair, a former chief counsel at Tyson Foods Inc. who was at the center of “Cattlegate,” a 1994 controversy involving the unusually large returns Hillary Clinton made while trading cattle futures contracts in the 1970s, donated his wife’s papers to the University of Arkansas Special Collections library in Fayetteville after her death.

The full contents of the archive, which before 2010 was closed to the public, have not previously been reported on and shed new light on Clinton’s three decades in public life. The records paint a complex portrait of Hillary Clinton, revealing her to be a loyal friend, devoted mother, and a cutthroat strategist who relished revenge against her adversaries and complained in private that nobody in the White House was “tough and mean enough.”

For those looking for nuggets of embarrassment gold from the Clinton Era, this is pay dirt. But it’s really limited to that era, which ended more than thirteen years ago, an era for many that seems oddly positive in comparison to reality today. Other than an insistence on single-payer as the ultimate solution for health-care reform — which was also hardly a secret at the time — very little of this will have much relation to the current political atmosphere. One has to wonder whether Clinton nostalgia might overwhelm any meager demerits this trove earns Hillary, given the contrast in economics between the two periods.

Or perhaps Paul Begala is right, and no one will much care what kind of an operative Hillary was fourteen years ago:

That’s not entirely true, but it’s at least true in relation to the long-ago behavior of Hillary Clinton. Besides, why spend a lot of time focusing on her time as First Lady, when we have the still-relevant example of her incompetence as Secretary of State? She started off her four-year run as America’s top diplomat by sucking up to Russia with a reset button that blamed all of the problems between the two countries on George W. Bush, only to continuously get upstaged and outplayed by Vladimir Putin. Hillary ended it with the disaster in Libya, culminating in the sacking of our diplomatic facility in Benghazi and the loss of a US Ambassador and three other Americans, all without any effective response whatsoever.

The problem with Hillary isn’t her cut-throated approach to politics. It’s that she’s incompetent. We’re better off focusing on that more recent and vivid history than in revisiting the nostalgic past of the Democratic Party.

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