Why are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama silent about Harvey Weinstein?
It’s a damn good question. Last week I pointed out that some Democratic officeholders seemed ready to rid themselves of Weinstein’s money, but Weinstein was particularly close to the Clintons and has donated to them for decades. He was a bundler for Hillary’s 2016 campaign which might explain why the Clinton’s weren’t eager to jump on this right away, but even after he has been fired, Hillary hasn’t said a word. From CNN:
Representatives for the Clintons have not responded to comment for this story, and Obama’s office declined to comment…
Longtime Hillary Clinton aides have been confused by the former secretary of state’s silence on the issue, questioning — in private — why she has not weighed in at all.
Weinstein has long been a Clinton donor with ties to the political family. Weinstein was one of many from Hollywood who donated to Bill Clinton’s legal defense fund in the 1990s, a Washington Post report from the time stated. More recently, the Clintons rented a home next to Weinstein in the Hamptons in 2015, and Weinstein served as a connector between Hollywood stars and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign…
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been outspoken on the issue of sexual assault, also has not appeared to make any public statements about Weinstein since the report came out, and the Biden Foundation did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
It really is striking that the candidate who said “dignity and respect for women and girls” was on the ballot last November has nothing to say about Weinstein now. The hypocrisy is glaring.
Which brings us, finally, to the other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.
A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.
Bill Clinton offered get-out-of-jail-free cards to a whole army of sleazeballs, from Jeffrey Epstein to Harvey Weinstein to the foreign donors to the Clinton Global Initiative.
There really is something to that thought experiment. If Clinton had won, Weinstein would very probably have already been to the White House several more times by now. His name would be in the paper’s celebrating Hillary’s win. If that were the case, would some of the women who went on the record with the NY Times have done so knowing it could potentially hurt President Clinton?
Even if the story had been published, the left would likely have pushed back harder because of the White House connection. Seeing that progressive backlash, maybe some of the women who stepped forward to offer follow-up accounts of Weinstein’s behavior would decide to lay low. Maybe without those accounts, Harvey keeps his job and even keeps visiting the White House (after a decent interval). The whole thing really could have gone down very differently or perhaps not gone down at all. But now that it has, where is Hillary Clinton?
Addendum: Here’s Harvey Weinstein praising “my friend” William Jefferson Clinton a few days after the election last year (scroll to 2:40 if this doesn’t start there automatically):