posted at 1:21 pm on September 9, 2016 by John Sexton
The Washington Post’s editorial board says it’s time for the media to stop talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails and start talking about more important things, like her canned talking points. Here’s the opening of the editorial that appears in Friday’s paper under the headline “The Hillary Clinton email story is out of control.”
Judging by the amount of time NBC’s Matt Lauer spent pressing Hillary Clinton on her emails during Wednesday’s national security presidential forum, one would think that her homebrew server was one of the most important issues facing the country this election. It is not. There are a thousand other substantive issues — from China’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea to National Security Agency intelligence-gathering to military spending — that would have revealed more about what the candidates know and how they would govern. Instead, these did not even get mentioned in the first of 5½ precious prime-time hours the two candidates will share before Election Day, while emails took up a third of Ms. Clinton’s time.
So the Post’s take is that it’s a waste of time talking about her email when there are important issues like China’s behavior in the South China Sea to discuss. This is such an important issue that it barely rates a mention under the National Security tab of Clinton’s website:
Hillary will work with allies to promote strong rules of the road and institutions in Asia, and press China to play by the rules—including in cyberspace, on currency, human rights, trade, territorial disputes, and climate change—and hold it accountable if it does not, while working with China where it is in our interest.
But if you’re wondering what she would have said had she been asked, it probably would have sounded like this:
Not enough? You can see her making almost the same statement in this AP clip. Do you feel like you know more about her now? Can you judge her fitness for office based on her ability to recite a statement about a topic most American know nothing about? Probably not.
There are certainly more important issues in the world than Hillary Clinton’s email server but few are as revealing of her core personality. Her statement on the South China Sea will have been massaged and considered by a team of subject matter experts. It will change as the circumstances change. But the email story is pure, undiluted Hillary. It doesn’t just tell us what she can remember about various topics, it tells us who she is.
And what the email story tells us is that Hillary is both secretive and dishonest. Just look at the number of lies she has told about this topic over the past year. Many of them (but not all) have been pointed out by the Washington Post itself. Read through a few of those fact checks. Do you feel like you know more about Hillary Clinton and how she operates now? You should and it should worry you.
Here’s the bottom line: If you want to know what a Hillary Clinton presidency will really look like you won’t find that on her website or in her recitation of canned talking points about important topics. On the other hand, a close look at the email story is very revealing. In the long run, her character is going to matter more than her ability to state positions.