How does one frame a statement like this? I’m torn between Hopeless Luddite runs for GOP nomination and Maligned politician unexpectedly reveals secret of happiness. And …. I’m really leaning toward Option B here:
In a discussion on NBC’s Meet the Press about the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a home-based email server while she was secretary of state, moderator Chuck Todd asked Graham, “Do you have a private e-mail address?”
Graham’s answer: “I don’t email. No, you can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one.”
He added: “I don’t know what that makes me.”
John McCain had said something similar to Andrea Mitchell a few days earlier. It’s worth noting, too, that Senators do not fall under the same disclosure rules as the executive branch. The Federal Records Act does not apply to them, nor to members of the House, or to governors either, although the latter may have disclosure laws at the state level with which to comply.
This could be a case of an older generation rejecting technology — remember that insinuation during the 2008 campaign, when the media anointed Barack Obama the hip candidate of youth for his familiarity with social media? Dave Weigel followed up with Graham in New Hampshire, who said that social media and e-mail becomes a replacement for personal interaction:
“What I do, basically, is that I’ve got iPads, and I play around,” Graham explained. “But I don’t e-mail. I’ve tried not to have a system where I can just say the first dumb thing that comes to my mind. I’ve always been concerned. I can get texts, and I call you back, if I want. I get a text, and I respond not by sending you a text, but calling you if I think what you asked is worthy enough for me calling you. I’m not being arrogant, but I’m trying to jealously guard myself in terms of being able to think through problems and not engage in chat all day. I’ve had a chance to kind of carve out some time for myself not responding to every 15-second crisis.”
That sounds just … sane, doesn’t it? If the Beltway-Big Apple media had that mentality, they might not have embarrassed themselves over Scott Walker the past couple of weeks. Graham essentially gives us a formula for perspective, rather than knee-jerk responses dictated by outside stimuli. And that would work great for someone at or near the top of the food chain, who has staffers with e-mails and Twitter accounts. For the rest of us, though … enlightenment remains a distant goal.
Besides, Hillary Clinton clearly wanted to use e-mail as Secretary of State, even going to the expense and trouble of setting up her own homebrew server. She just didn’t want to obey the law and provide the transparency that her position requires.
Graham makes another good point in this interview about Hillary Clinton:
The South Carolina senator said that the email issue raises important questions about Clinton’s communications. “Did she communicate on behalf of The Clinton Foundation as Secretary of State?” he asked.
Ron Fournier also connects the dots for National Journal:
Under fire, Bill Clinton said his namesake charity has “done a lot more good than harm”—hardly a ringing endorsement. One of his longest-serving advisers, a person who had worked directly for the foundation, told me the “longtime whispers of pay-to-play are going to become shouts.”
This person, a Clinton loyalist and credible source, has no evidence of wrongdoing but said the media’s suspicions are warranted. “The emails are a related but secondary scandal,” the source said. “Follow the foundation money.”
Is the foundation clean? Is it corrupt? Or is the truth in the muddy middle, where we so often find the Clintons? Due to the fact that Hillary Clinton chose to skirt federal regulations and house her State Department emails on an off-the-books server, even the most loyal Democrat can’t honestly answer those questions without an independent vetting of her electronic correspondence.
Without those emails, we may never be able to follow the money. Could that be why she hasn’t coughed up the server?
Oh, I’m pretty sure the server has already been Lernerized. Fournier and Graham may be right about what Hillary really fears about exposure being related to the Clinton Foundation rather than Benghazi, or perhaps both. That may well be why Hillary maintained seven or more separate e-mails through the Clintonemail.com server. The odds of us finding evidence of that would be somewhat similar to the world giving up e-mail for closer personal contact, though.