Let us put aside for a moment all the dubious assertions and seeming evasions laced throughout the news conference Hillary Clinton held earlier this week regarding her emails, home-based Internet server, and so forth. For a careful examination of such, read Mollie Hemingway’s close analysis.
Instead, focus for a moment on an underreported facet of this latest installment of the Clintons’ strange journey through American public life: The fact that “The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration.”
That centerpiece of the “vast Right Wing conspiracy,” the Washington Post, tells us that Algeria, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Australia, Norway and the Dominican Republic all gave money to the Clinton Foundation during Mrs. Clinton’s term at State. How the last-noted rather impoverished nation managed to give money to the Clinton Foundation surely is an intriguing story in its own right, but beyond the scope of this short article.
The Post says that “Foreign governments had been major donors to the foundation before President Obama nominated Clinton to become secretary of state in 2009. When the foundation released a list of its donors for the first time in 2008, as a result of the agreement with the Obama administration, it disclosed, for instance, that Saudi Arabia had given between $10 million and $25 million.”
Does this pattern of international beneficence to a former President and First Lady’s foundation – while the latter was the most senior diplomat in the federal government - not raise flags so enormous and so crimson that they practically blind any thoughtful observer? America’s Secretary of State is entrusted with the national security and vital interests of the United States – and anything that detracts from this focus should either be jettisoned or, if it cannot be, should prevent the person occupying or candidating for that position to leave it.
In a fashion all too consistent with her and her husband’s long history of ethical and legal lapses, Mrs. Clinton did national business with countries upon whom her family’s foundation was intimately involved. How could this involvement not affect her judgment about and relationship with these countries, and America’s relationship with each of them?
Watching Mrs. Clinton’s officious, imperious demeanor during the news conference should remind Americans of why so many of us were relieved to see the Clintons finally leave the White House in 2001.
As even one of New York Magazine’s resident liberal writers, Frank Rich, observed, “That it took Clinton as long as it did to respond to the rising chorus of these questions, and that she did so as defensively and unconvincingly as she did, is yet more evidence that she’s not ready for the brutality of a presidential campaign.”
She probably is not ready for such a campaign, true. And the seemingly endless supply of skeletons in the Clinton’s personal and political closet raise great concern. But apart from any of them, and based solely on her financial flirtation with foreign powers while Secretary of State, it is hard not to conclude that she simply is not, nor ever will be, ready to be President.