Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus sadly offers a 21-year-old story that says a lot about Hillary Clinton, presumptive candidate and Washington insider.
Referring to Mrs Clinton’s week-long silence on the subject of using a personal email address when she was secretary of state, she describes her “exasperation, sadness and a strong sense of deja vu”.
And then she explains herself and this is what is so sad and disturbing about everything to do with the Clintons.
Ms Marcus writes: “It’s exasperating because it’s all so unnecessary. Accepting Clinton’s asserted reason for relying on private e-mail, why does she get to play by different rules than other senior government officials, who juggle two devices? Why, understanding what a big target she is, knowing that her records were being sought, weren’t she and her aides more careful about compliance?”
She says it’s sad because Mrs Clinton is “a strong presidential candidate — smart, disciplined, hardworking, experienced, sober-minded.”
But finally, the killer story from 21 years ago. Ms Marcus recalls listening to Mrs Clinton, “in a demure pink sweater set (she) held a marathon news conference to handle questions about her commodities trading, Whitewater investment and assorted other matters.” She recalls her saying “One of the things that I regret most is that my sense of privacy . . . led me to perhaps be less understanding than I needed to of both the press’s and the public’s interest, as well as right, to know things about my husband and me. . . . I’ve always believed in a zone of privacy. And I told a friend the other day that I feel after resisting for a long time I’ve been rezoned.”
Ms Marcus says that “back then, Clinton chalked up her difficulties to ‘our inexperience in Washington.’ What’s the excuse now?”
That is a very good question. In fact, that is the question.