Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hillary is Honest

As Kevin Drum notes, few people know more about the Clintons than Jill Abramson:
Abramson has followed Bill and Hillary Clinton for more than two decades, first in the Washington bureau of the Wall Street Journal, then at the New York Times, where she eventually became Washington bureau chief (and even later, executive editor). Her perch gave her an unrivaled view into Hillary's actions.
And what does she say about them?
I would be “dead rich”, to adapt an infamous Clinton phrase, if I could bill for all the hours I’ve spent covering just about every “scandal” that has enveloped the Clintons. As an editor I’ve launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation and her marriage. As a reporter my stories stretch back to Whitewater. I’m not a favorite in Hillaryland. That makes what I want to say next surprising.

Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.

The yardsticks I use for measuring a politician’s honesty are pretty simple. Ever since I was an investigative reporter covering the nexus of money and politics, I’ve looked for connections between money (including campaign donations, loans, Super Pac funds, speaking fees, foundation ties) and official actions. I’m on the lookout for lies, scrutinizing statements candidates make in the heat of an election.

The connection between money and action is often fuzzy. Many investigative articles about Clinton end up “raising serious questions” about “potential” conflicts of interest or lapses in her judgment. Of course, she should be held accountable. It was bad judgment, as she has said, to use a private email server. It was colossally stupid to take those hefty speaking fees, but not corrupt. There are no instances I know of where Clinton was doing the bidding of a donor or benefactor.
Progressives who think that Hillary is some kind of crook are accepting a right-wing lie. If Bernie Sanders were honest, he would tell his followers that.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Sadly, millions of Americans will never be exposed to Ms. Abramson's account, and millions more who do come across it will flatly dismiss it as the work of a shill, the product of a conspiracy, the gender bias of "an ignorant woman", or some other bullshit notion.

To dredge up a term from the 90s, people don't want facts, they want sound bites.