Hillary Clinton’s Past: Is It Fair Game? Yes

Placing yourself in the public eye prompts others to try to unearth unflattering parts of your past. This is true for political candidates and, to a lesser extent, their spouses. Children are off limits though (or should be).

With talk of Hillary 2016 spilling off the tongues of fawning Democrats (and those in the media), some have raised the question of whether or not we should look into her past. Furthermore, which portions are fair game:

  • Her efforts while on the inquiry staff during the Watergate investigation?
  • Before Bill Clinton’s first term either as Governor or as President?
  • Her role as First Lady?
  • Her record in the U.S. Senate?
  • Her accomplishments (or lack thereof) as Secretary of State?

The question of “fair game” is one jockeyed about in large part due to the Clinton name and the baggage it carries: The Lewinsky Scandal. To recall that drama places Hillary squarely in the forgotten spouse category, perhaps showing her to be weak, and shifting focus from her independent accomplishments of recent years. I am not jumping on a bandwagon saying that the very nature of that subject should define her, but I do believe her reaction to such a crisis should. After all, no one can forget her claim that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was the reason behind Bill’s misfortunes.

Here’s an idea:

Let’s treat Hillary how the liberal media has refused to treat Republican candidates.

We should focus upon relevant issues, rather than frivolous smears and tangential accusations. Some examples are in order.

First, you might recall the October 2012 story of Mitt Romney’s garbage man, whose forgotten service to his employer at the La Jolla, CA mansion was supposed to tug at our 99 percenter heartstrings. How heartless could that rich bastard Romney be? Or perhaps we should dredge up the questions that surrounded Trig Palin, Sarah Palin’s son with Down Syndrome. Was the baby actually hers? Was he actually Bristol’s child? The newborn should never have been discussed. But unfortunately, he was.

These so-called “issues” are distractions. We need to be honest about how we should scrutinize candidates. Hillary has been a lawyer — an inquiry staffer during Watergate, a governor’s wife, the First Lady, a Senator, a 2008 Presidential candidate, and the Secretary of State.

Is this all fair game? Definitely.

If you recall Hillary’s 2008 White House run, you will notice the lack of desire to clearly define “off limits” as it related to her past. The desire to elect the first black president largely overshadowed Mrs. Clinton’s run. Now that Obama’s days on the job are dwindling, the desire to place the first woman in the Oval Office is at an almost fevered pitch — and this is only 2014.

For the left, she should be the great crusader claiming her rightful place as commander-in-chief in the war on women. She’s cracked the glass ceiling, after all. Attempts to slow her momentum or change the view of her are more closely noticed by the left, because they have a second point to make. In 2008, the objective was to battle racism and prove that Americans would elect a black man. Up next is placing a woman in office, regardless of her record or lack thereof.

As the mainstream media readies itself for her potential run, they will, as always, seek to diminish the importance of the facts associated with her past. I encourage Republicans to focus upon the substantial, however, as opposed to the subjective and emotional. Emotions sway, but change. Facts sway, but, being facts, will remain. Facts are plenty in researching Hillary’s past and these should be the focus in vetting her as a 2016 Presidential candidate, should it officially come to that.

Here are but a few examples which showcase the person and candidate of Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Watergate:  Jerry Zeifman was part of the counsel during the 1974 inquiry. As was reported in the NY Post in 2003, he exclaimed that Ms. Rodham had “ethically flawed” procedures. According to Zeifman: “During my 14-year tenure with the House Judiciary Committee, I had supervisory authority over several hundred staff members. With the exception of Ms. Rodham, Doar and Nussbaum, I recommend all of them for future positions of public and private trust.”

First Lady of the United States: A 1993 task force led by Hillary to look into health care resulted in Hillarycare, which was a dismal failure. Although Congress was controlled by Democrats, the popularity of the reform bill never fully materialized and was discarded. In addition, Hillary was a well traveled first lady and almost took on the role of faux diplomat during her time as FLOTUS.

United States Senator: As Senator, Mrs. Clinton voted against two major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, although both passed. According to U-T San Diego, Hillary said at a 2004 fundraiser: “Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you. We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

Secretary of State: As the country’s chief diplomat, Hillary set about to be a repairer (and apologist) of sorts. A January 2009 L.A. Times article quoted her regarding the new administration: “There’s a great exhalation of breath going on around the world as people express their appreciation for the new direction that’s being set, and the team that’s put together by the president to carry out our foreign policy goals. We have a lot of damage to repair.”

The most defining moment during her tenure as Secretary of State occurred in September 2012. The attacks in Benghazi, Libya killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Questions still abound and investigations continue regarding the mistakes made and requests ignored in responding to the attacks (although some have said it doesn’t make a difference now).

Regardless of the Democratic nominee, the Republicans must counter with facts even though a scandalous and uncertain revelation may be more tantalizing a retort. I’m satisfied with sticking to the past according to Hillary.

The actual past of her career and person. The past she is aware of and cannot escape from. The past that is fair game, and the one which will set the foundation for a potential run.

That foundation is a shaky one, as Hillary well knows, for she laid each brick.