Earlier today, IJ Review announced that they had discovered a long-lost parody made by Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1995, a nearly five-minute video that spoofed the film Forrest Gump. The video, originally made for the Gridiron Dinner that year, has actually been on YouTube for more than three years now, but it’s unlikely that more than a few people recall that it existed at all. It’s mostly just silliness combined with a turgid attempt to revive the HillaryCare argument — an odd laugh line, considering how they’d lost a 40-year Democratic domination of Congress less than a year earlier — but self-deprecating enough to surely have earned a few chuckles at the white-tie event for Beltway journalists.
On the other hand, one particular piece of advice might backfire in light of the Clinton Foundation and e-mail scandals. Claiming to have been Watergate’s “Deep Throat” leaker, Hillary Gump offers Robert Redford advice on how to sniff out the trail of scandal … “follow the money.” I wonder if any modern journalists are ready to take that advice?
Ron Fournier actually offered that same exact advice before Hillary’s disastrous presser yesterday. She didn’t get asked about the Clinton Foundation, but Fournier hears that the two are related, and points his media colleagues in that direction:
When she strode into the United Nations news conference to belatedly and dismissively address the email flap, Clinton was the presumptive Democratic nominee. She left the room still atop the heap, though no less embattled and discredited. “It was all so very yesterday,” New York Times columnist Frank Bruni writes. “And elections are about tomorrow. Yes, that’s a cliché, but it’s also the unassailable truth.” Less elegantly, I wrote that Clinton’s handling of the situation shows her to be “a pay phone candidate in an iPhone world.” …
Forced by House Republicans to acknowledge the existence of a rogue server, Clinton deleted more than 30,000 “personal” emails before giving the State Department a cache of emails she deemed to be work-related. How does she define personal? Emails about her mother’s funeral, for example, and her daughter’s wedding. No reasonable person would expect public disclosure of those kinds of emails.
Why it matters: Clinton could convince herself that emails about the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation are not government-related. After all, it’s a private charity. But it’s also a well-funded conflict of interest—the subject of multiple investigative stories exploring connections between donations and favors done for donors. You don’t have to be a Clinton critic to wonder whether the deleted emails involve pay-to-play. Democratic loyalists wonder, too.
Beware of Clinton spin. Her team is already trying to cast this as a brave fight to keep her private emails from public view. That’s a straw man. What she is doing is waging a fight to keep control of emails that were supposed to be in the government’s possession.
Follow the money. Because … corrupt is as corrupt does.
Addendum: Maybe Hillary forgot about this video, too. Had she shown up for a full press conference with this humble and self-deprecating attitude, pledged full cooperation, and given up the server, Hillary might have been far along the path to neutralizing this controversy. Instead, her arrogance and dishonesty made it even worse than her previous silence did. Makes one wonder whether this video in 1995 was Bill’s idea rather than hers.