In this clip from last night’s Democratic Party “town hall,” one can almost sense Chris Cuomo channeling his inner “Dr. Evil”: Toss me a friggin’ bone here. The CNN host all but set up an easy spike for Hillary Clinton when bringing up the e-mail scandal that has become the center of an FBI investigation. Rather than delve into the exposure of national-security information and the clear intent of the system to evade legitimate constitutional oversight of the State Department, Cuomo describes the whole mess as a “mistake,” and offers Hillary the opportunity to offer an apology.
And Hillary won’t even do that much. In fact, Hillary refused to agree that setting up a secret homebrew e-mail system was even “an error in judgment,” insisting that she didn’t do anything wrong … and proving Cuomo’s point about her refusal to admit “mistakes.”
CUOMO: On that issue, the Des Moines Register, as we said earlier, gave you an endorsement. Did it question your judgment, though, when it came to the email issue? They said, and you know this, but for the audience, in 2008 “when she says” – “when she makes a mistake she should just say so.” This weekend they said that’s a lesson that you have not learned. Yes, you apologized, but only when you needed to, not when you first could have. Fair criticism?
CLINTON: Well, I think that they’re – you know, look, I was delighted to get the Register’s endorsement. And it was a very generous one. And yes, I think that’s a fair criticism. You know I had no intention of doing anything other than having a convenient way of communicating, and it turned out not to be so convenient. So again, we’ve answered every question and we will continue to do so. But you know maybe being faster, trying to scramble around to find out what all of this means, I probably should have done that quicker.
CUOMO: You’re willing to say it was an error in judgment, you should’ve apologized…
CLINTON: No. I’m not willing to say it was an error in judgment because what – nothing that I did was wrong. It was not – it was not in any way prohibited. And so…
CUOMO: Not apologizing sooner I mean.
CLINTON: Well, apologizing sooner, as soon as you can. But part of the problem, and I would just say this as, not an excuse but just as an explanation. When you’re facing something like that you got to get the facts. And it takes time to get the facts. And so when I said hey, take all my emails, make them public. That had never been done before, ever by anybody. And so we’ve been sorting our way through this because it is kind of a unique situation.
I’m happy people are looking at the emails. Some of them are you know, frankly a little embarrassing…(LAUGHTER) You know. You find out that sometimes I’m not the best on technology and things like that. But look, I think it’s great. Let people sort them through. And as we have seen there is a lot of – you know a lot of interest. But it’s something that took time to get done.
“It takes time to get the facts”? Let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton set up this system just as she was getting confirmed as Secretary of State in 2009. By the time the existence of this server became known to Congress, she had been out of office for a year and a half — and it would take another seven months before she gave State the communications that rightly belonged in the archives all along. She had time to delete almost half of the messages on the server before complying with the Federal Records Act, which means that “take all my e-mails, make them public” is just a flat-out lie.
More than anything, though, this proves what the Des Moines Register noted about Hillary eight years ago, and noted again last week:
She is not a perfect candidate, as evidenced the way she has handled the furor over her private email server. In our endorsement of her 2008 campaign for president, we wrote that “when she makes a mistake, she should just say so.” That appears to be a lesson she has yet to fully embrace.
She doesn’t just refuse to fully embrace it. Hillary refuses to even accept a gift minimalization of the serial violations of federal law by a friendly media source when served on a silver platter. Almost a year later, Hillary still needs “time” for a snow job that almost no one’s buying any more, not even the friendlier media trying to gently nudge her into reality.