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Winning the Messaging Battle, Part I

Nothing Left To Lie About

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Willie Sutton famously said he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” But he clearly had a compulsion.

In his book “No One Left To Lie To,” Christopher Hitchens deconstructed Bill Clinton’s compulsion to lie. If he were alive today, my friend would have a field day with Bill’s wife.


Lying is breathing for the Clintons. Secrecy is favored above all. When the truth would do, they lie – seemingly only to see if they can get away with it.

When there are potentially serious consequences, they lie. When there is nothing at stake, they lie. Jon Lovitz should sue them for stealing his Tommy Flanagan character.

The lies about the secret server and threats to national security or the pay-for-play years at the State Department are somewhat understandable – there are serious consequences should the truth ever come out. When your future plans, and prison, are potentially on the line, BleachBit-ing your server when its contents are under subpoena is a gamble a lot of people would take.

And it paid off for Hillary. Just like all the other lies have paid off for the Clintons.

When you’ve been getting away with it your whole life, why wouldn’t you keep doing it?

What has changed is not the frequency of the lying but the purpose. Pleading ignorance to a friendly FBI on what you can and can not remember is one thing; claiming to be “overheated” on a cool summer morning is something else.

When Hillary Clinton passed out, then needed to be propped up like a broom against a wall by her staff and security detail, her campaign first denied anything had happened. Then, the campaign said she was merely overheated and would be fine.


Were it not for a civilian filming her carcass being dragged and slung into her van, the first story might have stuck and the second almost certainly would have.

After hours of liberal journalists rushing to recount their own brushes with “overheating” and anchors (particularly MSNBC) beclowning themselves about her “long sleeves” and blistering temperatures in New York on Sunday morning (it was breezy in the high 70s with low humidity, for the record), the campaign paraded Hillary out of her daughter’s building to wave and hug a young girl. All was well.

But it wasn’t all well because it wasn’t at all true.

Later in the day, the Clinton campaign forced its journalist allies to scrap all their hard work yet again when it announced she had pneumonia. They lined up to declare her “brave” for “powering through” to continue to campaign.

So was Hillary dehydrated, sick, tired or simply too hot? Yes and no. And maybe.

It doesn’t matter, really. What matters is the lie. If any of those stories were true – and it’s safe to assume none before the pneumonia story were – they’d have stuck with them. The truth, after all, is much easier to remember, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s believable.

But the stories weren’t true. And instead of going for truth, they were going for believable. The evidence – that video, along with the fact no one else in the large crowd at the memorial even seemed to be sweating – took the viability from that lie.


The pneumonia story can’t really be refuted, so the third time was the charm. The press could demand to see X-rays from Friday, which is when the campaign claims Clinton’s doctor diagnosed her. They could ask when she saw the doctor Friday, and where, and how she was able to do all of this while attending campaign events. You know, fact check the claim. But they aren’t going to do that.

They could ask how her doctor managed to not only diagnose her without anyone noticing, but also declare her to not be contagious at the same time, especially when we’re told pneumonia has spread throughout her campaign.

So somehow everyone around her was spreading and catching pneumonia, and not only did the press not notice them dropping like flies, or catch it themselves, Hillary managed to catch a non-contagious version of it. They could ask, but they won’t. The media has its own compulsion – wanting to believe whatever her campaign tells them.

Whether it’s a lie matters less than the fact that only true believers buy any of it. No rational person hears three different explanations, all asserted as the truth at the time, and thinks they’re finally being leveled with.

That’s how the Clintons are; they lie like they breathe – as a reflex. It’s like a muscle they must exercise to prevent atrophy, and they’re running out of “heavy lifts” to lie about, so they lie about anything.


What responsible adult would seek refuge at her daughter’s apartment with two young children while stricken with pneumonia that caused you to pass out only minutes earlier? It’s not an accident Hillary is about as believable as a candidate as Jared from Subway is as a babysitter.

All politicians lie; we know this. But they’re usually lies of overpromising. The Clintons, particularly Hillary, lie because it’s how they’ve gotten into power, how they’ve maintained it, how they’ve gotten rich. It’s not second nature; it is her nature. It’s a compulsion. That’s how to explain so much effort being expended to cover what we’re told was really nothing. If the truth is so innocuous, you don’t work so hard to shield it.

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