The respect she earned from visiting a record 112 nations? The admiration for the million air miles she logged in those four years, including those aboard that cavernous C-17 that’s now her signature image? Gone, replaced instead with reminders of the Hillary Clinton of years past, the first lady deflecting or obfuscating—sometimes for her husband, sometimes on her own behalf; sometimes it was impossible to discern which.
“This is not the launch they wanted,” said David Winston, a GOP consultant who worked for House Speaker Newt Gingrich in those earlier days. “Because of the way she’s done it, she’s let these things be the dominant issues.”
Call it squandered goodwill—made worse by the knowledge that these were unforced errors. The Clinton Foundation could have chosen to follow its 2008 “memorandum of understanding” with the Obama Transition Team to the letter. Former President Bill Clinton could have foregone taking speaking fees from clients with business before the State Department. Hillary Clinton could have conducted her official duties using official equipment and official email accounts—and then let career service professionals decide which emails were public business and which were not.