In the wake of increasingly problematic questions about the Clinton Foundation and its various
fundraising charity endeavors, no one is surprised that the basically unopposed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is not addressing questions. She’s— how shall we say?— terrible at that. She’s supposed to bumble through answers, evade badly, charmlessly elide, and be wholly unrelatable.
But you know who’s not supposed to be terrible? Bill Clinton. He’s gifted. He’s smarter. He’s charming. And, this is the best he has to offer on questions about the Foundation.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy. That just hasn’t happened.”
“I don’t think that I did anything that was against the interest of the United States.”
You don’t think?
“Do you understand though that the perception itself is a problem?” McFadden asked.
“No,” Clinton replied. “I’m not responsible for anybody else’s perception.”
Well, that takes care of that.
“I gotta pay the bills.”
They’re broke, don’tcha know? This probably helps:
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) May 5, 2015
That last prompted a bad reaction from Chris Cillizza, not least of all because it’s reminiscent of Hillary’s “broke” gaffe:
Here’s the thing: I am sure the Clintons have big bills, as any couple would who live a lifestyle anything like theirs. But no one wants to hear about the big bills of a couple likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (Bill Clinton made $105 million from paid speaking gigs alone between 2001 and 2013.) It just doesn’t sit well. And it makes any attempt to portray Hillary as a “regular person” that much harder.
There’s no question that Bill Clinton can be an asset to his wife’s campaign. But as we saw in 2008, he can also be a problem — if he comes across as angry, self-pitying and out-of-touch. This NBC interview tilts in the latter direction more than anyone in Clintonworld would like to see.
This is the best they have to offer with the best messenger they have. No wonder Hillary’s not taking questions. She continues to benefit from not having a big competitor, but Bill’s performance doesn’t bode well for what her campaign will have to offer once it really does have to answer question on this drip-drip-drip story of cronyism and corruption.