Der Dolchstoss

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Raise your hand if you didn’t see this coming from a long way off:

White House frets return of ‘Clinton way’

They thought she’d changed. They thought maybe she’d picked up a little bit from them about how people respond to awkward secret arrangements and contrived ways of not telling the full story.

This has been a surprising two weeks for aides in President Barack Obama’s orbit as they’ve watched Hillary Clinton’s email mess unfold.

It isn’t that Obama and Clinton like or don’t like each other, or that their aides still have hard feelings left over from the 2008 primary campaign. In the White House, as conversations with current and former aides make clear, they want her to win — after all, so much of what they’ve achieved depends on her getting into the Oval Office to keep it going. The Democratic nomination is all but hers, the Republican field still looking weak to them, and they’re counting on her.

And now?

To sum up the feelings, all the way up to the highest levels: What. The. Hell.

With so much on the line, with so much time to prepare, she’s back to classic Clinton? She’s flubbing a campaign kickoff eight years in the making because she somehow thought that no one would ever care that she set up a secret email server? That anyone would then accept her word that it was OK that she deleted 30,000 emails even though the State Department had been asking for some of them? And then go silent again?

After all, 2008’s “Change you can believe in” campaign slogan wasn’t just a reference to George W. Bush. It was also about her, and the uneasy feeling many people had that with Clinton, something else was always going on.

Obama aides had had that feeling themselves, even after she joined the administration and their staffs tried following Obama’s and Clinton’s leads in building mutual trust, almost to the point of suspension of disbelief.


A lot of this has to do with what Obama aides refer to as a culture clash. The Clintons look for loopholes, they say, while Obama takes a special pride, particularly on transparency issues, in sticking to the letter of the law: a combination of cockiness that he’s right, so why not let everyone see how he got there, as well as a background awareness that any scandal would be a scandal for the first African-American president.

If your hand is raised, give yourself a dopeslap. Give yourself another if you think this came from some White House aide telling tales out of school. This story originated “all the way up to the highest levels” of the administration. This is a political hit job.

The Lannisters and the Starks got nothing on the Clintons and Obamas. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

Others have been given the green light to attack as well. Here’s David Corn at MoJo:

The Return of the Clinton Media Persecution Complex

It is, unfortunately, an old and all-too familiar story. A Clinton, meaning Bill or Hillary, does something wrong (or possibly wrong). The media pounces; the Clinton antagonists of the right hit the warpath. Immediately, the Clinton camp and its supporters accuse the media and the conservative Clinton Hate Machine of trumping up a story to thwart the noble Clintons. Clinton spokespeople go into war-room mode. Resentful reporters grouse (privately and publicly) about the heavy-handed operators and obfuscators of Clintonland. And the right claims this latest fuss is a scandal that surpasses Watergate. Rinse, repeat.

The latest iteration of this Clinton-media dysfunctional spin cycle was triggered by the Hillary Clinton email kerfuffle that exploded last week. The Clinton camp’s handling of the controversy was a sign that Hillary and her gang are stuck in the Whitewaterish 1990s when it comes to communications strategy, relying on always-be-combating tactics predicated on self-perceived persecution. It’s bad news for anyone hoping that Hillary 2016 has learned from the miscalculations of the past.


Of course, Clinton and her emissaries cannot admit mistakes were made. I’m not privy to their private thinking, but it’s not hard to imagine a bedrock principle within this crowd: Don’t concede anything; don’t give our enemies anything. For instance, a Clinton spokesman told me that her emails had been preserved within the State Department. But that was not true. Some emails were retained within the system: those to and from other State Department officials. But as the State Department acknowledged to me, emails between Clinton and people outside the department related to official business were not captured by the State Department system. So the Clinton spokesman was attempting to convey a false impression. That happens all the time in politics. But political reporters who have been in this game for a while will tell you that many Clinton folks tend to engage in such tactics more aggressively (and confrontationally) than the average political op. And that ticks off journalists and perhaps causes them to scoff at Clinton credibility. (Take a gander at this epic email exchange between Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines and Gawker—if you can make it through it.)

Case in point: Lanny Davis. This Clinton loyalist has been in the news recently über-defending Hillary Clinton on the emails, and he’s been playing the same old cards: Everyone does it, she’s done absolutely nothing wrong, she’s been unfairly targeted by the media, yadda, yadda, yadda. This is not a new role for Davis. In the 1990s, when Senate Republicans were investigating fundraising improbities by the Clintons and the Democratic Party—such as fundraising at a Buddhist temple, offering White House coffees and overnights in the Lincoln Bedroom to big donors, and more—Davis was the White House lawyer who attended the hearings and tried to work the reporters covering the inquiry.

Though the Senate committee chaired by Republican Sen. Fred Thompson investigating the campaign finance scandal was hyping the case against Bill Clinton—suggesting that China had illegally funneled money to his presidential campaign—there were legitimate concerns about Clinton fundraising practices (when Terry McAuliffe was then the Clinton’s highly effective and prolific money chaser), as well as serious allegations about the excesses of the GOP’s money machine. Yet Davis, representing the White House, was hell-bent on denying any evidence of Clinton wrongdoing. It was absurd. There were days when the committee would reveal a memo clearly showing that the Democrats had done something untoward. In the hallway, Davis, in pitbull fashion, would insist with a straight face that the document did not say what it said, and he would self-righteously claim the GOP was wasting taxpayers’ money to wage this vendetta against the Clintons. Reporters soon began comparing him to Jon Lovitz’s SNL character, the pathological liar. (“Yeah, that’s the ticket.”) Anything Davis told us was totally discounted and dismissed. His reality denial discredited him—and, by extension, the White House.

At one point, I was talking to a Clinton aide working to develop the White House’s response to the investigation. Davis, I observed, was not helping them. He was alienating most everyone in the press. By refusing to concede any errors—even in the face of clear evidence—he was undermining White House credibility, generating ill will, and, perhaps worse, signaling that the Clintons didn’t care about the truth. Yeah, we know, this aide responded. But, he added, the Clintons were keen on Davis. They appreciated his moxie.

The Clintons survived that scandal. They had survived the Gennifer Flowers scandal, which was precipitated by a tabloid story that was probably more true than not but dismissed as trash by the Clinton gang. They had survived the Whitewater scandal, which had been triggered by a New York Times investigation (aided by Clinton foes in Arkansas) that Clintonites forever disparaged. They went on to survive the crazy Monica Lewinsky impeachment soap opera—which did reveal that there was a vast (okay, maybe not-so-vast) right-wing conspiracy set on demolishing the Clintons any way it could. And the whole damn media went along for that ride. But though the president had indeed received blow jobs from an intern in the White House and lied about it, the Clintons, as with the other scandals, still felt persecuted by their enemies and the media. It’s a bizarre relationship: (more or less) liberal Democratic politicians at cross swords with the media often slammed by the right as biased in favor of the left. (One theory thrown about by Clintonites during Bill’s presidency was that reporters were gunning for him because as the first Baby Boomer president he was a generational peer of many in the Washington press corps, and the scribblers and broadcasters viewed him with envy and, consequently, were suckers for the rightwing attacks on the couple.)

Will Hillary survive? The Clintons are nothing if not resilient. Their individual and mutual obituaries have been written and rewritten many times. So far they have endured, while many of their old foes have fallen.

On the other hand, if she walks away this scandal will vanish like a fart on a windy day.

Who is that mysterious smiling figure looking at Hillary's back??

Who is that mysterious smiling figure looking at Hillary’s back??

About Myiq2xu

If I had known this was the end of the world I would have brought refreshments.
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88 Responses to Der Dolchstoss

  1. She took the bait by even holding that press conference. It’s on her. It was obvious what they were doing. She hasn’t learned…

    • Lulu says:

      I can’t feel sorry for her. I’ve tried and I think she is slow witted. If she is this clueless she is not qualified to be prezzy. But for heaven’s sake turn Big Dog loose on their asses.

      • votermom says:

        Totally agree.

      • fif says:

        I was wondering where Bill is in all this. I think it would be hilarious if she just says “I’m out.” Who the hell would want to be part of this circus anyway? The whole system is too far gone for anyone to be effective anymore.

        • Lulu says:

          I would like for Big Dog to be giving talks or statements on why Bronco’s ME policies and actions are shit. And dangerous. And people are dying because of it. But Hill is tied up in it and has so far kowtowed to the WH for her own ambition. I don’t like it and hope they realize it is over, kaput. And they have lost respect by a lot of people like me. They should be ashamed.

        • 49erDweet says:

          True, but irrelevant to the ego driven mind of candidates who care not that they’re in over their heads. Doesn’t matter.

  2. Myiq2xu says:

  3. I realized early on that this was a hit job in the manner of the Journolistic variety. There were too many stories , all so similar, no investigation, just hints of wrong doing and scandal. Then no words from any democrat in her defense have been published except Colin Powell’s admission that he too used private email. Thats just been a blip and I bet somebody told him to shut up.
    The fact that she took all these Obamaites into her staff is just plain stoopiid. If she doesn’t realize that Obama is gunning for her now, she’s toast.

    • votermom says:

      If she really wanted the Dem nomination, it was stupid of her to take the SoS job in the first place. A lot of us were saying so even back then. Better to stay in the Senate and be at a distance as Obama’s inevitable blunders occur.
      I hope the financial rewards of the SoS job were worth it for her.

    • fif says:

      Axelrod & Gibbs are both out there bashing her…sinister, sinister people.

      • leslie says:

        Sinister. That’s the word I was looking for this morning when, once again I emphatically turned off the radio when bronco’s name/voice came on. Sinister is a perfect descriptive.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        Look Squirrel 😛

  4. HELENK3 says:

    Hillary is disingenuous.

    this article brings up some good points we should remember

  5. HELENK3 says:

    nobody read the e-mails before deleting them. So how did they know what to delete?

    • Lulu says:

      Because everyone is completely honest with the title of their emails. For example most of mine to family are “Howdy, howdy, howdy” then followed by a recipe. See? It’s easy. Especially while you are Sec of State. /S/

  6. votermom says:

    OT The perfect way to handle one of those IRS scam calls

  7. Myiq2xu says:

  8. HELENK3 says:

    stolen from no quarter

    when will Hillary’s e-mail scandal reach the level of the Nixon tape scandal?

  9. fif says:

    The irony is unbelievable. Obama’s people are lecturing the Clintons on transparency, really? It’s fascinating to watch how the media suck-ups have justified, rationalized, ignored, suppressed etc. every unsavory detail in the Obamas’ lives and careers since Day 1 and they are on this like a pack of wolves. Eugene Robinson, the NY Times, MSNBC…the puppet masters like to pick their people in power and the mouthpieces are getting their marching orders from someone.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I wonder who gave the Associated Press (destroyer of Sarah Palin) permission to go after Hillary ? They should have pounced on 9-11-12 then maybe Romney could have won.

      It’s always been about Benghazi for me, all those unanswered questions, like where the hell were Hillary and Obama that night ? And that stupid video excuse….. argggh.

  10. HELENK3 says:

    majority of Americans do NOT trust Hillary Clinton.
    that feeling she brought on all by herself with her actions

  11. HELENK3 says:

    off topic

    this news blurb made me laugh

    Svalbard islands discourage visitors for freezing solar eclipse next week; hotels full, polar bears on prowl – @Reuters

  12. DeniseVB says:

    If not Hillary 2016, then who ?

    Makes sense a Tim Kaine or a Mark Warner (both former pretty popular Dem govs, now Senators).

    I just heard O’Malley’s name mentioned. How’d he do in Maryland?

    Jim Webb has an exploratory committee up, but we all know he hates being inside the DC bubble. (I give him a strong YES on that alone 😉 )

    Warren, Biden, Kerry? Ugh, just NO !

    Cuomo? How’s NY doing ? So I give him a NO.

    Somewhere there’s got to be a “Bill Clinton” ready to pounce ? Otherwise, the Dems are in really big trouble (unless the GOP runs Jeb).

    • Dora says:

      I live in New York. Cuomo gets a big NO!!

    • Erin says:

      O’Malley is nothing special. An indication of how well he has done would be the fact he failed to get his Lt Gov elected.

    • NewOrleans says:

      My family & friends are tired of hearing it, but I’ve been saying for years Hillary would never be the nominee in 2016. It will be Deval Patrick or Cory Booker. Dems will simply regurgitate the same playbook they used to get double wins for Obama. They’ll be guaranteed 90+% black support as well as the usual suspects (white elites, gays, etc) and they think the results will be the same. Everyone who disagrees with anything they say will be considered anti-(fill-in-the-blank). You know, the same old song-and-dance we’ve been subjected to since 2008. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      • elliesmom says:

        Deval Patrick did such a good job as Governor of Massachusetts, the bluest state in the nation has a Republican governor again, and so far at least, he and the Democratic state legislature are in full cooperation mode. I know that doesn’t disqualify him to run for president, but the idiots here would be more excited about Elizabeth Warren. If there’s going to be a push for Patrick, it’s going to start out of state, I think.

    • Mt.Laurel says:

      O’Malley was so bad Blue Koolaid/Obot central Maryland elected a Republican to take his place.

  13. HELENK3 says:

    I had to share this

  14. HELENK3 says:

    if this is what is teaching our kids, our tax money is being used in the wrong places

    • Myiq2xu says:

      I’ve lived in California all my life and I learned not to pay too much attention to the far left, which includes most UC and CSU faculty and students. They have been like that since the Sixties.

      • DeniseVB says:

        They always seem to make the news though !

        • 49erDweet says:

          They go to five hour group meetings in sauna baths to figure out ways to make the news. Klown is right. They’re like our crazy uncles and aunts. We know they’re there, we just don’t pay them that much attention. We leave that to the breathless press. THEY are the ones that need something to do, so there, we fixed it.

  15. Myiq2xu says:

    Those shoes do not go with that dress.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      And neither does that body. Sorry.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I clicked on the link to see the front of that dress OMGerd ! What was she thinking?

      • Somebody says:

        You made me click too Denise…….headsmack!! I don’t know what the hell she was thinking, exactly where would one wear a dress like this?? A semi-nudist colony? I couldn’t imagine wearing anywhere at all. Apparently some star wore a very similar dress on the red carpet, did this woman have some premier to attend, LMAO!

      • Myiq2xu says:

        There are some fashions that only look good (if they look good at all) on a few people in a few circumstances – like on a supermodel at a fashion show or red carpet event.

        I cannot imagine the circumstances where an average woman would want to wear that dress in public. Anytime you move you would be in danger of a “wardrobe malfunction”.

        • DeniseVB says:

          I wish the “feminists” would attack the fashion industry for false advertising. Nothing you see in professional print is real. Models are custom fitted, use lots of double-stick tape and still need photoshopping/airbrushing to create the “perfect” image. Same with male models, but guys don’t care about stuff like that, but they sure like looking at the wimmins in those ads 🙂

      • Underwhelmed says:

        The same thing early American Idol audtioners are thinking, I guess. Hey, I’m going to be the next Kelly Clarkson! (or in this case, I’m going to look like a size minus triple 0 model in this dress!)

        Never under-estimate a human’s talent for self-delusion.

  16. HELENK3 says:

    Benghazi documents obtained by Judicial Watch belie Hillary’s no classified e-mail claim

  17. Mt.Laurel says:

    I received an email addressed informally “Good morning Ladies and Gents” for a social mixer for preceding an upcoming conference (that I am not even attending – but I guess they figure you might spring for parking and a drink if not the outrageous registration fees).

    Anyway, a short time later there are several replies dissing them for using the restrictive and insulting “gender binary”.

    So now Ladies & Gentleman is an insult? Is this just I lala DC and other enclaves of idiots or did I miss the memo .

  18. Dora says:

    The rumor that Putin died is being denied.

    Putin biographer: He’s not dead ­ but chaos is brewing in the Kremlin

Comments are closed.