Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Grillin' Hill

In regards to the Hillary Clinton email scandal, Republican strategist Rick Wilson conveyed a message to GOP politicos tempted to pounce on this story.

Let’s try something new: maintain message discipline, hold focus and keep an eye on a bigger objective than your daily press release, social media hits or email fundraising drops. This is about her, not us, so unless GOP elected and opinion leaders are smart and subtle, and execute with the right timing and tone, she wins. Try for once to play the long game and help Hillary Clinton take on water.

You can sense the Clintons are on the back foot; her now-infamous tweet and promises of transparency last week were nothing more than rehashed Clinton stalling tactics from the 1990s, when there were only a handful of media outlets and a relatively hermetic press culture. It was as stale as a faxed statement, three days late in the era of always-on social media. That won’t work today, if we’re smart. She’s blowing this; let’s help.

Two days after Wilson penned that advice, Mrs. Clinton made her first public statements regarding her using a personal email domain for all electronic correspondence as Secretary of State.

The wannabe-Democratic president said at a press conference that she ‘did not choose to keep’ anything that was official government business after she was asked to hand over her records to the State Department.

She broke her silence after days of mounting questions over her email arrangements, which included keeping the messages on a private server at her home in New York that is protected by the Secret Service.

Ummm.....once again Mrs. Clinton still seems to be in a 20th century mindset. You see, hackers don't need access to the physical server to extract information. That thing could be in Fort friggin' Knox and it wouldn't make a bit of difference.

Clinton explained that she used a personal email address so that she didn't have to carry around two phones or devices. 'I saw it as a matter of convenience. It was allowed. Others had done it,' she said during the Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Again, technology has advanced to the point of someone being able to have multiple email addresses on one device. Sheesh, Rick Wilson wasn't kidding when he said Mrs. Clinton is "blowing this."

What today's presser also showed is that Mrs. Clinton comes nowhere near the adeptness of her husband in how to handle the press corps, something at which the folks at Buzzfeed took notice.

In the end, this does nothing to deter Mrs. Clinton's intentions to run for president in 2016. In fact, I'm reading that the official announcement of her candidacy will take place on or around April 1. Make of that what you will.

I think the key aspect of this is it's being covered by outlets like CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, none of which are exactly right-of-center hubs. If that kind of coverage persists as investigations into Mrs. Clinton's activities endure, Republicans, as Rick Wilson pointed out, shouldn't have to aid in the implosion.

Wilson concluded his piece thusly:

It’s vital to have a plan, to execute it with discipline and proceed against Clinton with a measured pace and tone. Speak more in sorrow than in anger. Don’t make it all about Benghazi (they’re expecting that) or the record-keeping laws (boring). Touch on those selectively, but focus instead on the grave national security risks that her amateur-hour email server shenanigan posed and more broadly what this says about the Clinton culture. Her team can yammer on about the legality of it all, her motivations or the traffic content, but the moment this becomes about the Chinese, Iranians, Russians or even just random hackers reading the email (classified or not) of the Secretary of State, it’s a new ballgame.

I encourage you to use the smarmy D.C. construction of “I just want to work in a bipartisan way for good, transparent government and to protect national security secrets from the Chinese, Russians, and other threats” that the Acela Media claims to worship. Republicans have heard the hard ideologues on the left use it a million times while grinding their teeth in frustration. Avoid making wild claims about either the substance or political outcomes of investigations. Reduce expectations, rather than raise them. Don’t let one single member of Congress or leader be the only face in the room; the Clintons love to demonize a single target, so vary your portfolio. Be persistent. Be serious. Be smart.

This is a golden opportunity to thwart the Clinton dynasty once and for all. Don't blow it, gang.


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