By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
While some liberal commentators may continue to dismiss the coverage of Emailgate as “nonsense,” and a “fake scandal,” the fact remains that Hillary Clinton’s ongoing lies regarding her exclusive use of private email while serving as Secretary of State constitute just more of a long trail of deceptions reaching back to her youth. In 2008 Accuracy in Media published a column by the now-deceased Jerome Zeifman, the Democratic Party’s general counsel for the Watergate investigation. I had several conversations with him in his final years.
Zeifman was openly critical of Mrs. Clinton. Having worked with her during the formative years of her career, he had tremendous insight into her early character, which continues today. “Eventually, because of a number of her unethical practices I decided that I could not recommend her for any subsequent position of public or private trust,” he commented for AIM in 2008.
Some have said that Zeifman “fired” Mrs. Clinton; but she was let go as one of a number of staff no longer needed. But as Zeifman said back in 1998, “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her.”
Mrs. Clinton’s unethical practices during the Watergate investigation included “erroneous legal opinions,” “efforts to deny Nixon representation by counsel,” and a general “unwillingness to investigate Nixon,” according to Zeifman.
The Democratic strategy of the time was to “keep Nixon in office ‘twisting in the wind’ for as long as possible” so that Republicans could not reclaim legitimacy, and so that a Democrat could gain the presidency, he wrote. Such cold political calculations ignored the damage that President Nixon was doing to the country in favor of acquiring political power.
“According to her boss, Democrat Jerry Zeifman, Hillary met with Teddy Kennedy’s chief political strategist—a violation of House rules,” Ben Shapiro recently wrote for Front Page Magazine. “She then manipulated the system to avoid investigating Nixon, hoping he’d stick around long enough to sink Republican election chances in 1976, letting her boy Teddy into the White House.”
Yet Mrs. Clinton is involved with The Clinton Foundation, and likes to present herself as an idealist. For example, her most recent press conference to address concerns about Emailgate was held in the United Nations building right after she finished a speech on women’s rights.
Back in 2008 Ron Rosenbaum of Slate Magazine called this ongoing dichotomy “Hillary I vs. Hillary II.” The first Hillary is an “idealistic believer in helping and healing children,” he writes. The second is a Machiavellian, which Rosenbaum cast as an “idealistic Machiavellianism, the use of complex tactical manipulation to achieve noble idealistic goals.”
Which is why up to $16 million in taxpayer funds will have been sent to the Clintons by Election Day of 2016, with some of it allocated to the “salaries and benefits of staff at his family’s foundation,” according to Politico on March 12. “But scrutiny of the act—and of the vast financial empire built by the Clintons—is poised to intensify as questions mount about the family’s commingling of personal, political, government and foundation business,” it reports.
Like so many in the media, in 2008 Rosenbaum refused to accept the rotten core—that Mrs. Clinton might have actually been cynical and politically calculating at such an early age.