Hillary Clinton doesn’t seem to care about getting caught cheating again. And she isn’t handing over that private server she set up to keep her actions from Congressional oversight committees, the president and the American people, whom she ostensibly served as Secretary of State, anytime soon. Why would she? Mere mortals who defy the letter and meaning of laws requiring transparency for high government officials have their careers ended, pay fines, and face jail terms. But even if White House enforcer Valerie Jarrett leaked the story, as the New York Post reported, and regardless of what millions of Americans conclude from this lawless behavior, it won’t affect the outcome of her campaign for the presidency.
Unless, for the first time in her life, she checks her ambition and bails, Ms. Clinton will get the Democratic nomination, becoming the first woman to head a national ticket. Democratic voters are set to overlook every bit of chicanery, corruption and criminal behavior on the part of Miz Hilly. A CNN poll last week had her barely down among Democratic voters after current revelations of law breaking. As the week proceeded, her numbers dropped in other polls. But her party has no Plan B. So they’re stuck.
Nevertheless, Hillary Rodham Clinton will not be elected President of the United States. Never. Not if Hell freezes over. In the binary gut calculation as to whether a candidate is electable or not, she is not. This is true even apart from the likelihood of a swing to the GOP after the disastrous past six years.
If Ms. Clinton were electable, she would have been elected in 2008. That was her year. She looked good. She was solid and energetic. She had become her own person. She hadn’t actually accomplished anything as New York’s junior senator. But she had made friends and allies, and cast votes that made her palatable to centrist voters. She had not yet screwed up the long awaited Arab Spring as secretary of state, or failed to design even one notable policy, strategy or doctrine for the use of American power in a world spinning out of control. She hadn’t yet been caught bald-facedly covering up death, failure and the backing of dubious potential allies in Libya. She hadn’t spent four years flying around the world talking on a Blackberry that, she now claims, was too hard for her to use appropriately. Monica Lewinsky had not yet resurfaced to remind us of of Hillary’s utilitarian, often sexually humiliating marriage to Bill, or the ugly hypocrisy of her rhetorical, abstract commitment to “women,” while destroying the lives and reputations of the actual women with whom her husband cavorted.
In the 2008 Democratic primaries, she was obviously superior to John Edwards and the junior Senator from Illinois, who, as Ms. Clinton once put it, had merely ‘given a speech,’ by way of qualification.
Many of my liberal women friends were disgusted in 2008, when Ms. Clinton lost the nomination to Barack Obama. They saw their party’s rejection of the more experienced, better-known woman as blatant sexism, proving that Americans didn’t trust women to lead.
I sympathized. But upon reflection, it was Ms. Clinton, not “women,” whom Democratic primary voters rejected. They rejected her because they didn’t want to live with her as president. They chose a charismatic stranger, rather than she whose machinations, lies, and lack of discernible conviction were far too familiar. Inevitably—to our detriment—she lost.
Six years later, looking tired and sounding petulant at a press conference to explain the illegal server, Ms. Clinton remains unelectable. She is still a scheming, entitled woman who has never known how to hide her belief that she knows best and should be in charge. She thinks so little of us that she doesn’t bother to craft plausible lies. More than half the country sees this plainly every time she speaks.
Career-wise, H-Rod is a high-grade time-server, who has held high offices, sat on boards, flown around the globe and accomplished nothing in particular. She is exceptionally greedy for money, despite having chosen and succeeded at what is sentimentally called “public service,” and more accurately understood as the pursuit of power.
It’s hard to forget that story, told by the Arkansas state troopers, about Bill and Hillary fighting over her desire to put a pool in the Governor’s mansion, at taxpayer expense, in the nation’s second poorest state. Bill thought it unseemly. Ms. Clinton screamed, “Everyone else has one.”
Remember the fraudulent Whitewater real estate deals, and the famous commodities trade, in which Ms. Clinton “invested” $1000 with a friend who magically turned it into $100,000? And young Mrs. Clinton’s frugality in donating Bill’s used underwear to Goodwill—and taking a tax deduction of a dollar a pair?
Now, with a net worth around $100 million, the Clintons’ income comes through the Clinton Foundation. The ex-president collects hundreds of thousands of dollars speaking to shady businessmen and corrupt third world regimes, among others. The fact that the Secretary of State of the United States found it acceptable to go hat in hand to kings, despots and oligarchs to beg for her family operation boggles the moral sense. It is disgraceful. That it doesn’t generate universal disgust is a legacy of … the Clintons. We are inured to the way they have sold the American presidency by taking money that guarantees access and perhaps future favors. It’s a safe bet that emails on the private server confirm such deals.
America has known Hillary Clinton for 24 years. We met her in 1991. She dresses better these days, and has an air of command. But there are no hidden depths left. She is a political animal, through and through. Elevating her to higher office won’t unleash wisdom, original ideas, or more grace than we’ve seen this quarter century.
Finally, on the ‘first woman’ matter, HRC graduated from Wellesley College in 1969, 45 years ago, at the height of social revolution. She was ambitious and radical. But as a feminist she lacked the courage of her convictions, or she wouldn’t have pursued power through marriage, especially one so sexually humiliating.
Today’s world is peopled with women who graduated in those decades, and pursued serious careers. They have deep experience in the professions, business, and politics. We have female Senators and Governors, who built their own political operations, have measurable achievements, and honest bank balances. A few have wartime military experience. None has faced multiple hearings over legal and ethical lapses. One of them will be the first female president.
Ms. Clinton had a good run. She isn’t the future.
Lisa Schiffren is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s forum, and a sometime GOP speechwriter