Does anyone remember a guy by the name of Gary Hart?All The Truth Is Out
For those that insist on making me feel old, he was a Presidential candidate from a few runs back. Told the press 'I've got nothing to hide, go on and follow me around.' Got caught with someone who wasn't his wife in his townhouse. Seen his political career lately? No. He basically disappeared from the scene for a couple of decades. (He got appointed to an ambassador position in 2014, and that's the extent of things.)
Now, look at the stuff being reported about the current election. The reports in the news should have torpedoed a number of careers, and I'm not even limiting this to one particular person.
- go and Google that, and give it a read. For a quick rundown on it, it's a book by Matt Bai (one of my more favorite Stewart-era Daily Show guests) that talked about the Gary Hart scandal and how it changed dealing with politics in America. The quick and dirty thesis is that before it happened, personal foibles and other such things only came to light in the press when they were unavoidably public - such as an incident where the police pulled over a Congressman and a stripper jumped out of his car. That changed with Hart.
What is it that really makes people dislike Clinton?
There's three things for me.
A is something I mentioned already. She's a habitual (if not compulsive) liar. I can understand her lying about scandals like what happened with her private e-mail server. But she's lied, lied repeatedly to the American people, and lied about things that don't matter
. Her name origin. The state of her finances. The length of the Benghazi investigation (she said it was the longest Congressional investigation in history). Between that and her tendency to flip-flop, I don't trust her to do what's in the interest of America more than I can throw the Capitol Building.
B is...I would like to say Bill, but that would be inaccurate. Technically
, it's the fact that both the Clintons are walking scandal machines. Monica Lewinsky. Paula Jones. Whitewater. Benghazi. Hillary's private server. Bill's use of the IRS to attack groups and persons that opposed his policies. Hillary's theft of White House property (just because you returned them does not mean you did not steal them, Hillary!). The Clinton Foundation. I can go on. To use the phrase that Bill did back in the 90s, you get two for the price of one. The list of scandals that trail both the Clintons is longer than the Keystone Pipeline, when just one or two
would be enough to destroy nearly any other candidate! Gary Hart and John Edwards were forced out - both their election cycle and
public life in general - as a result of theirs. Do we really want
the possibility of an administration that spends more time in front of the Senate trying to answer for their questionable actions than fixing the problems facing the American people?
C is that Hillary's entire career feels fake. She was the First Lady of both a former governor and a former President - yes
, technically true, but she wouldn't have had that experience if Bill hadn't gotten elected. It wasn't like she went out and got the positions herself, they were gotten for her on behalf of another person. But I tend to be on the laxer side of writing off people who criticize me for saying this, so let's go post-First Lady days.
Her Senatorial position in New York: Daniel Moynihan announced later in 1998 that he would be retiring and thus would not seek re-election. Candidates started coming out of the walls looking for the job - the presumptive Republican nominee was Rudy Giuliani, since he'd hit his term limit as mayor of NYC. Now, keep in mind that his position is considered the second toughest governance position
in the US, only superseded by the President. Rick Lazio (the guy who ended up in the actual election), who had served in the House for the entire Clinton administration, ended up being the 'other guy' for the Republicans. On the Democratic side, you had Nita Lowey and Carolyn Maloney, both NY House Reps (Lowey since 1989, Maloney since 1993, both still there today); Andrew Cuomo, who at the time was Secretary for Housing & Urban Development; and Carl McCall, NY state comptroller under Mario Cuomo (Andrew's Dad) and George Pataki.
Four months after Moynihan announced his retirement - and four days after Bill's impeachment proceedings ended - Hillary announced that she was considering running for the position, and most of the rest of the Democratic field cleared out of the way for her, principally because state party officials worried that nobody
had the 'star power' to match Giuliani. This despite the fact
that Hillary had never lived in NY, nor had ever been involved in NY state politics. In order to address these charges, a house in Chappaqua was bought - costing $1.8 million
(this house is half of why I consider any statements about Hillary being 'broke' when she left bull), and she moved in January of 2000.
The campaign was pretty pitched, up until Giuliani had to drop out in May of 2000 for mostly medical, but also some personal issues. Lazio became his replacement in the race, and we all know the story from there. It's worth nothing that in the year leading up to
Giuliani's dropout, Quinnipiac polls had them within single digits - usually within margin of error - of each other. Given that Hillary won with only 55% of the vote against the relatively unknown Lazio, it was quite possible that if Giuliani hadn't dropped out, he could have won.
Jump forward to 2008, where she loses in the nomination campaign to Obama, who then elects to make her his Secretary of State, in an obvious move to prepare her for this very race, 8 years later
. In short - every position that Hillary has managed to claim in her political career has been claimed because of, to use the Tennessee Williams line, "the kindness of strangers." First Lady - lucked into because she married Bill. NY Senate seat - was considered for the job primarily for her celebrity, which she wouldn't have had without being a Clinton. Secretary of State - given a cabinet position by the nominee.
There's plenty of ways to interpret this particular chain of events, but knowing what I know now, I'm leaning towards calling it 'returns on dues paid' by the Democratic establishment.