Bill Clinton was asked about the Clinton Foundation in a recent interview. He didn’t shy away from the conversation.
It was classic Clinton: smooth operator employing his noted charm with a splash of indignation and a “who me?” innocence. All that was missing was the wagging finger:
“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.”
And about those lucrative speeches:
He also said he would continue to deliver speeches for which he is paid six figures during his wife’s presidential campaign because “I gotta pay our bills.” Clinton asserted that he had “taken almost no capital gains” over the past 15 years — a claim that does not jibe with public tax returns.
Clinton is so well practiced in the art of deception that it’s fascinating to watch the dishonesty just roll off his tongue. In his world, truth is malleable and can be shaped and finessed into whatever the moment demands. No one does this better than Clinton. And it doesn’t even matter if facts disprove his claim. He’s risen above those stubborn irritants. But don’t judge him too harshly: he wants you to know that he gives a lot of that speech money to… his foundation. The man is a giver. Any number of women could probably confirm that.
Additionally, Clinton, the perpetual victim, showed his sense of the absurd as he suggested – what else – a vast conspiracy was in play:
Clinton suggested his family was the victim of a double standard. “People should draw their own conclusions. I’m not in politics,” he said. “All I’m saying is the idea that there’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true.”
He added later, “There has been a very deliberate attempt to take the foundation down.”
This morning Carly Fiorina announced her run for the presidency:
“Yes, I am running for president,” Fiorina told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “GMA.” “I think I am the best person for the job.”
She also made use of the opportunity to take a few shots at Hillary:
“She clearly is not trustworthy, about a whole set of things,” Fiorina said this morning. “She peddled a fiction about [Benghazi, Libya] for a month, she hasn’t been transparent about her server and her emails, and now we see now all of these foreign government donations to the Clinton Global Initiative.”
What she’s got: High-level executive and management experience from her tenure as head honcho of Hewlett-Packard; private-sector bona fides bolstering her economic message; compelling secretary-to-CEO professional biography; history as a breast cancer survivor, which marks her as tough and relatable to many women; all but certain status as the only female in the GOP field, which allows her both to stand out and to cudgel Hillary Clinton in ways that might seem sexist coming from any non-female rival.
What she lacks: National name recognition; a significant record of public service; a winning record in electoral politics; policy chops on any topic unrelated to job creation and regulation (and substantive detail on those); convincing answers to questions about her ouster from HP; a clear and plausible early-state strategy.
She may not be top-tier and she may be running for VP, but I like Fiorina and think she’s one to keep an eye on. I also like that she isn’t afraid to go after Hillary and say what needs to be said. Of course, it’s still pretty early in the game.
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