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The Risk of Billary

January 28th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

billary.gif

Hillary Clinton has been saying repeatedly
that she has been completely vetted, and that all the mud that can be dug up about her has been thoroughly mined. Not so for Obama, she says, implying that he likely has still-lurking dirt that the Republicans will use to cripple him, and with him the Democratic chances to regain the White house.

It’s a persuasive argument. Bill and Hillary are seasoned street fighters who, for years, have had leveled at them an usually virulent brand of partisan hatred not to mention the work of an obsessed and extremely well-funded Special Prosecutor. But still they’ve survived. Even prevailed. Thrived. Whereas Obama has never been through a vicious, balls-to-the-wall, digging through one’s garbage national campaign of the sort that he will face if he is the nominee.

However, reasonable as it might sound at first, in the end the argument is false—and, for the Democratic party, extreme risky if the Dems don’t want to see a McCain presidency. (That is, of course, if McCain does indeed get the nomination, as the smart money suggests he will.)

The problem with Hillary’s I’m-vetted-and-he’s-not thesis is that, of late much seems to suggest that there is a treasure trove of Clinton
secrets as yet unmined. In Sunday’s New York Times, Frank Rich is specific about several of the areas where people are already looking, one being the long list of big donors for the Clinton Library, a list that Bill Clinton has thus far been unwilling to make public:

Just before the holidays, investigative reporters at both The Washington Post and The New York Times tried to find out why, with no help from the Clintons. The Post uncovered a plethora of foreign contributors, led by Saudi Arabia. The Times found an overlap between library benefactors and Hillary Clinton campaign donors, some of whom might have an agenda with a new Clinton administration. (Much as one early library supporter, Marc Rich’s ex-wife, Denise, had an agenda with the last one.) “The vast scale of these secret fund-raising operations presents enormous opportunities for abuse,” said Representative Henry Waxman, the California Democrat whose legislation to force disclosure passed overwhelmingly in the House but remains stalled in the Senate.

The Post and Times reporters couldn’t unlock all the secrets.
The unanswered questions could keep them and their competitors busy until Nov. 4. Mr. Clinton’s increased centrality to the campaign will also give The Wall Street Journal a greater news peg to continue its reportorial forays into the unraveling financial partnership between Mr. Clinton and the swashbuckling billionaire Ron Burkle.

At “Little Rock’s Fort Knox,” as the Clinton library has been nicknamed
by frustrated researchers, it’s not merely the heavy-hitting contributors who are under wraps. Even by the glacial processing standards of the National Archives, the Clintons’ White House papers have emerged slowly, in part because Bill Clinton exercised his right to insist that all communications between him and his wife be “considered for withholding” until 2012.

And there’s more.

…Mrs. Clinton told Mr. Russert that “all of the records, as far as I know, about what we did with health care” are “already available.” As Michael Isikoff of Newsweek reported weeks later, this is a bit off; he found that 3,022,030 health care documents were still held hostage.


The bottom line is that, when it comes to the library donor list and other issues,
Bill Clinton is behaving like someone with things to hide. So can Hillary really claim that she and her co-campaigner huz are thoroughly and safely vetted?

No. It appears not.

PS: While we’re on the subject of the presidential primaries
, read Gregory Rodriguez Op Ed in today’s LA Times about Obama, the Clintons and the Hispanic vote.

Posted in Elections '08, Presidential race | 5 Comments »

5 Responses

  1. Woody Says:

    Oh, don’t be ridiculous. You and the major press are just now learning these things about the Clinton’s?

    For years, conservatives have been bringing up multiple scandals of the Clinton’s, but the press ignored them, you liberals made fun of them, and you still attack the special prosecutor as above. Now that it suits liberal America, you’re beginning to admit that we were on to something. Maybe we’ve been on to a lot more that you won’t admit, except, will you now admit, maybe, unlike before, that “character really does matter?”

    If Hillary had not been the First Lady, she would have been found guilty of perjury in her testimony about White Water and obstruction of justice by hiding the Rose Law Firm billing records. Hillary is as slimy as Bill, because they operate as one.

    This country can do a lot better than four to eight more years of the Clinton machine of deceit and destruction in the White House.

    Keep listening and keep digging until Hillary is exposed and defeated.

  2. Woody Says:

    Just found this. How did you miss this article in the LA Times?

    LINK: Is the right right on the Clintons?
    Hillary’s campaign tactics are causing some liberals to turn against the couple.

    Am I starting to sound like a Clinton hater? It’s a scary thought. Of course, to conservatives, it’s a delicious thought. The Wall Street Journal published a gloating editorial noting that liberals had suddenly learned “what everyone else already knows about the Clintons.” (By “everyone,” it means Republicans.)

    It made me wonder: Were the conservatives right about Bill Clinton all along? Maybe not right to set up a perjury trap so they could impeach him, but right about the Clintons’ essential nature?

    But the conservatives might have had a point about the Clintons’ character.

  3. Rebel Girl Says:

    I thought that the Rodriguez piece was right on.

  4. richard locicero Says:

    Bullshit. The Presidemtial records act doesn’t open records til thirty years after the end. but why should the WaPo cut the Clinton’s a break since the “Villagers” thought that Bill and Hil slimed “their Town!”

  5. Woody Says:

    I understand that Bill Clinton can allow the release of any of those records before the thirty years. It’s not like the health-care railroad involves national security.

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