Hillary Clinton Is Ethically Challenged And Hasn’t Accomplished Much, Voters Don’t Seem To Care

Hillary Clinton is a deeply flawed candidate who might not even make a very good President. But that doesn't matter in the race for the Democratic Nomination, and she's probably going to be the next President anyway.

Hillary Clinton Awarded The 2013 Lantos Human Rights Prize

If the results of a Bloomberg Politics focus group of Iowa Democrats are any indication, Hillary Clinton is in the interesting position of being a candidate that a lot of people have doubts about but whom they’ll vote for anyway:

Iowa Democrats are rallying around Hillary Clinton with pragmatic enthusiasm, acknowledging distaste and concern over some of her tactics and ethics while embracing her strengths, experience, and policies heading into the 2016 presidential election.

A focus group of 10 Democrats—five women and five men—assembled this week in Des Moines by Bloomberg Politics and Washington-based Purple Strategies was mostly willing to look past Clinton’s paid speeches, her Wall Street ties, the controversy over her use of private e-mail while secretary of state, and her refusal so far to weigh in as a candidate on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that has turned many Democrats against President Barack Obama.

Despite her perceived flaws, the group’s participants indicated that they believed Clinton represents the Democrats’ only hope of holding on to the White House.

Participants repeatedly praised Clinton’s experience, especially on foreign policy, though none was able to name any of her accomplishments as the nation’s top diplomat. Most said they’re willing to live with the things about her they don’t like, either because they like her on balance or don’t see a viable alternative, especially with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren passing up the race.

“She’s a bad mama-jama,” said Kiendra, 36, a librarian. “She’s a strong, competent woman. She knows what she’s doing. She’s not afraid to step up. She’s not afraid to take advice and she’s not afraid to say, ‘No, I don’t want to do it that way. I’m going to do it this way.'”

Kiendra rejected any suggestion that Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, think they can operate by a different set of rules from other people. “I think they just play the game well,” she said.

“She’s not perfect,” said Charlie, 24, a graphic designer. ”She’s been in the eye for a long time, in the public’s eye, and you’re going to have some stuff on her. But she has great policies and she knows how to get stuff done.”

“There’s definitely some trust issues there,” added Bill, 55, a chef. “But like everybody else has said, her record pretty much speaks for itself. She is eminently qualified to run this country, and I think she’d probably do a pretty good job.”

Ryan, 38, an event planner, said he prefers Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as an alternative to Clinton. “I just think that she’s a career politician. I mean, I really don’t see her doing anything different than what Obama did, which is promise us all these things but then be like, ‘Well, I’m really not going to push it too hard.'”

Ryan said he was troubled by Clinton’s response to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. “I mean, she completely hid behind it and just didn’t discuss it. And I would really like to see the next president actually be more forthright and actually be more outspoken and been like, ‘Listen, we made a mistake. This is where we went wrong.’ And just completely own it. But we don’t have politicians like that any more.”

Al, a teacher who described himself as over 65 without specifying his age, said there is something about Clinton that gives him pause. “It’s hard to put my finger on it,” he said. “It’s just, I don’t think we would get along that well.” At the same time, he said, “I think she’s very smart” and “I admire her. I admire her husband.”

Perhaps the most interesting part of the exchange came when the participants were asked to name something that Clinton actually accomplished as Secretary of State:

While the group agreed that Clinton possessed the experience and policy positions required to be elected president, the participants were less confident when it came to naming the former secretary of state’s actual accomplishments.

“I really can’t name anything off the top of my head,” said Ryan, the event planner.

Following a brief silence, a 22-year-old student named Amanda added, “I honestly can’t say I followed along [with] everything that was going on.”

If Clinton had an opponent for the Democratic nomination that had an impressive resume, say a sitting or former Governor with a solid track record of success or a Senator with a long list of legislative accomplishments, this might be a problem for her. In that sort of situation, the challenger would be able to argue that they are more experienced, more accomplished, and better suited to the job of President than someone who, after eight years in the Senate and four years as Secretary of State, leaves voters struggling to name something that she’s actually accomplished. Of course, that isn’t the field of challengers that Clinton faces in the 2016 race. She’s dealing with people like Bernie Sanders, an admittedly long-serving legislator who is pretty much just a political gadfly, Martin O’Malley, whose time as Mayor of Baltimore and then Governor of Maryland leaves much to be desired, Lincoln Chafee, who is essentially a political nobody, and Jim Webb, a former one-term Senator. None of these candidates can credibly make a case against Clinton based on experience and accomplishments. Add in the fact that she is the wife of a very popular former President and a woman, and you have all the reasons why Hillary Clinton is a prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination for President.

It’s no real surprise, of course, that Democrats are big fans of Hillary Clinton. The more interesting question is whether the things about her that these Iowa Democrats essentially dismiss as irrelevant — the questionable ethics, the lack of real accomplishments, etc. — will matter to that vast swath of largely independent voters that will decide the outcome of the election in states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. Early indications seem to be that the answer is no. Recent polling, for example, has shown little impact on Clinton’s overall numbers from either the email scandal or the allegations involving the Clinton Foundation. Yes, her favorability numbers have taken a hit but that was likely to happen over the course of the campaign as a natural course. While it’s still too early to say anything definitive, the head-to-head matchups between Clinton and any of her potential Republican challengers continue to show her in the lead. In no small part, this is likely due to the fact that Clinton has been around for so long that most Americans have already made up their mind about her, and new allegations aren’t likely to have much of an impact on an opinion that has been forming since 1991.

Speaking specifically about the accomplishment issue, Chris Cillizza makes this point:

But is this actually a bad sign for Clinton?

Not really. While it contributes to the Republican argument that her job experience is more hollow than it seems on paper and makes for good ad fodder,  Clinton’s experience, generally, is still a plus for many voters. As one focus group attendee said later in the discussion, ”I mean, it’s either going to be that or Scott Walker … she’s not perfect, but she’s been in the eye a long time.”

And, not being able to name specific things politicians have done isn’t that unusual for the average voters.  Quick, name something that John Kerry has done as Secretary of State. Right. Think Iowa Republicans could do much better naming significant things Jeb Bush did as governor or Marco Rubio has done in the Senate?

That last point is probably the most important one. When the General Election comes around, the Republicans are likely to be running a candidate with a resume of accomplishments not much better than Clinton’s. Yes, Jeb Bush served two terms as Florida Governor, but he hasn’t been in office in eight years. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul are all first term Senators with legislative records that aren’t much more impressive than Barack Obama’s was in 2007. Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and John Kaisch are all sitting Governors, of course, but each of them has as many warts on their record as they do accomplishments. With these types of candidates running against her, is Clinton really going to have to worry very much about arguments about what she has and hasn’t accomplished? I don’t think so. Finally, it’s worth remembering that Republicans tried playing the experience card in 2008 against Barack Obama, and we all know how that one turned out. I’ve had conversations online over the past year with several conservatives who seem convinced that this “accomplishments” issue will be fatal for Clinton. While I agree that there’s pretty much nothing about her time at Foggy Bottom or in the Senate that stands out, and very little to indicate whether or not she’d made a good President, it strikes me that they are putting far too much faith in an argument that they already tried once with a candidate with a far thinner resume than Clinton’s,  and failed spectacularly.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tony W says:

    This irrational HDS is getting a little boring, to be honest….

  2. wr says:

    So this panel of voters responds to the candidate in the most mature and realistic way possible — they acknowledge her flaws, but weigh those against her strengths and see her as the best choice at this point in time.

    And yet, is there any doubt that Doug will continue to refer to her as The Queen, and to anyone who supports her as a mindless partisan?

  3. Jack says:

    This just goes to show that Democrats would vote for Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, etc., to keep a Republican from becoming president. They don’t care what happens afterward as long as it’s a Democrat that is doing it.

    All ISIS has to do is put a (D) behind their name and Democrats would line up to elect them to office.

  4. wr says:

    @Jack: Well, there’s a good chance that ISIS would do less harm to this country than one of the Republican candidates.

    But you might want to read the article instead of just Doug’s heavy-handed headline. These people are weighing pros and cons and finding more of the former than the latter.

    Consider how people like you whine about “Obamabots” and “The One,” I’d think you’d appreciate a realistic approach to a candidate.

    But since that would require you to think, I guess not.

  5. Jack says:

    @wr: HRC has done more low down dirty dealing than Shaft! Admit it. You want a criminal to be president.

  6. wr says:

    One more thing about the question that Doug finds so telling — I think if you asked any group of voters what any secretary of state has done, if they were honest they’d give the same answer. All we see is the SoS flying around meeting with people. What they actually do once they’re off the plane is generally private conversations and negotiations, for which the president will get the credit or the blame.

    It’s kind of like pointing to the name of a “producer” in the credits of a film and asking members of the audience what she does. It could be a lot, it could be a little, and it could be just about anything — and we have no way of knowing.

  7. wr says:

    @Jack: “HRC has done more low down dirty dealing than Shaft!”

    Ah, we’re back to the Jenos argument: “I don’t care that not a single accusation against her has ever proven to be true. I say she’s a crook, and my hate for that scary woman is far more important than the actual truth.”

    Dude, if that’s all you’ve got this many months out, it’s over for your team.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    If the results of a Bloomberg Politics focus group of Iowa Democrats are any indication, Hillary Clinton is in the interesting position of being a candidate that a lot of people have doubts about but whom they’ll vote for anyway

    That last point is probably the most important one. When the General Election comes around, the Republicans are likely to be running a candidate with a resume of accomplishments not much better than Clinton’s.

    I honestly believe that no minds can be changed when it comes to an opinion about the Clintons. Essentially, the Clintons have been the subject of investigation, insinuation, allegation, and conspiracy for the better part of 3 decades. It is all out there, nothing is new.

    Unless Darrell Issa comes up with a picture of Hillary running an ISIS meeting, or Hillary carving Vince Foster’s tombstone, I will be voting for her if she’s the nominee. I care about who makes the next nominations to the Supreme Court more than I care about the alleged transgressions of Hillary Clinton.

  9. Jack says:

    @wr:

    Dude, if that’s all you’ve got this many months out, it’s over for your team.

    And they called Nixon a crook. Nixon was an amateur compared to Hillary.

    Well, there’s a good chance that ISIS would do less harm to this country than one of the Republican candidates.

    So when they kill all liberals, LGBST((XHFOWPX) who knows what this group calls themselves these days)), and demand all women undergo a clitorectomy and swaddle themselves head to toe in there mother’s drapes while being their person haram…it’s nice to know that liberals think they will do less harm than Republicans.

  10. grumpy realist says:

    Well, when it gets down to “sleazy” vs. “bat-sh*t crazy”, I know which side I’m going to choose.

    It’s not just SCOTUS, either. It’s global warming, bee colony collapse, the decaying infrastructure of the US, the continual drop in funding for basic science and technology research. When the Republicans run anyone who addresses any of these problems besides sticking his fingers in his ears and chanting “doesn’t exist, is the Will of God, GO BOMB IRAN!” then I might let my anti-Hillary distaste impact my voting habits.

    But as long as the Right is running people who insist that anthrax and rubber tires are a suitable dinner choice, fuggetabahtit.

  11. Franklin says:

    @grumpy realist:

    It’s not just SCOTUS, either. It’s global warming, bee colony collapse, the decaying infrastructure of the US, the continual drop in funding for basic science and technology research.

    I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. I’d mention mass extinction as well.

  12. DrDaveT says:

    @Tony W:

    This irrational HDS is getting a little boring, to be honest….

    I think of it as being like the “Motivational Thought of the Day” on that company daily newsletter that nobody reads — except with a bit of “probably going to need a restraining order at some point” squick.

  13. edmondo says:

    When you say “Clinton” and “ethically challenged: in the same sentence, isn’t that redundant?

  14. LC says:

    James — if you are reading this, I am BEGGING you, start banning some trolls (we got to Hitler in the third comment!) and bring on some new writers before 2016. Doug’s shtick is already incredibly tired.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    Doug Mataconis is suffering from Hillary Derangement Syndrome and readers are seeing his credibility drain away.

  16. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: Dude, if we continue to have bee colony collapse, we’re not going to have any FOOD.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  17. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s how much this is bullshite: as a lawyer Doug would laugh at this b.s. if he were in court. But insinuation and guilt by association and any other McCarthyite tactic is just fine so long as he’s attacking Hillary.

  18. Todd says:

    It really is about what the alternative would be. I’m not a fan of Hillary Clinton, but I will vote for her over any of the potential Republican nominees, because on virtually any issue where I think Clinton is “weak” and/or I might not agree with her, the Republican alternative is almost invariably worse.

    This is what cracked me up during President Obama’s first term, when Conservatives were attacking him over his bombing in Libya, saying he’d gone too far … the guy that we could have elected instead was at that very moment on TV advocating for “boots on the ground”.

  19. JohnMcC says:

    @Jack: And she’s cooler than SUPERFLY!

    she’s a bad mama-jama
    just as fine as she can be
    she’s a bad mama-jama
    just as fine as she can be

    her body measurements are perfect in every dimension
    she’s got a body that’s sho nuff gettin attention
    she’s poetry in motion, a beautiful sight to see
    I get so excited viewin her anatomy

    My friend Jack, you are so COOL
    Shaft
    Ha!

    Dam shame for you that nobody on the Repub side gets even close to Ms Clinton.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_presidential_race.html

  20. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Amen to that. I have such a hard time trying to get this concept across to people; they’re all super excited they’re not getting stung as much or don’t really get the whole food cycle. We’re so screwed if it keeps getting worse.

    I can’t accept gifts directly from my clients due to conflict of interest so I ask anyone who’s grateful for a job well done to donate to Heifer, especially the bees. It’s not much but something is better then nothing…..

  21. wr says:

    @Jack: “So when they kill all liberals, LGBST((XHFOWPX) who knows what this group calls themselves these days)), and demand all women undergo a clitorectomy and swaddle themselves head to toe in there mother’s drapes while being their person haram…it’s nice to know that liberals think they will do less harm than Republicans”

    And yet, when a Republican runs on essentially that platform — oh, Huckabee didn’t actually demand the murder of liberals, only that government troops use guns to force them to read his favorite book, and Linday Graham only said he’d use drones to murder American citizens who thought the wrong way without singling out liberals — then the TeaTards all rally around him screaming “Religious freedom!”

  22. MikeSJ says:

    Hillary’s going to win the presidency because Mediocre is better than Stupid. Compromised is better than Crazy. Sleazy is better than Dangerous.

    Whatever negatives Hillary carries the Republican will be far worse.

    Tax cuts that will break the bank, new wars that will be an unending disaster, torturing of innocent people, ridiculous anti-gay actions, destroying ACA plans which will result in tens of thousands of Americans dying.

    No thanks, I’ll be voting for Hillary.

  23. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: That’s what I did for my college roommate and her mother: their Xmas gift was a donation of several beehives.

    Now if I could just get off Heifer’s mailing list….

  24. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:
    “So when they kill all liberals, LGBST((XHFOWPX) who knows what this group calls themselves these days)), and demand all women undergo a clitorectomy and swaddle themselves head to toe in there mother’s drapes while being their person haram…it’s nice to know that liberals think they will do less harm than Republicans”
    ———————————
    … and of course, as you seem to suggest, they’ll spare their natural allies – the Republican Party.

  25. David M says:

    So the choice is between sleazy and unaccomplished and wants to end the ACA and unaccomplished and sleazy who will protect the ACA? How is anyone remotely confused as to why sleazy and unaccomplished aren’t the important parts of that comparison.

  26. stonetools says:

    What exactly did Abraham Lincoln accomplish before becoming President ? ( OK, he participated in some debates). What great things did FDR do as governor of NY? What were Saint Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments before governor of California? (For that matter, what were his accomplishments while being governor?)
    You can deprecate Hillary’s accomplishments, but compared to other Presidents of the past, her resume looks pretty good.
    Now when you compare her to the denizens of the Republican clown car, Hillary looks like a world beater. Donald Trump? Ben Carson? Bobby Jindal? Rick Perry? Ted Cruz? Once you put HRC in that context, you get why Democrats have no problem selecting Hillary. And that’s before you even touch the overwhelmingly important fact that the Democrats are the party of sane policy, whereas the Republican program is pretty much batsh!t crazy for top to bottom.

    As to corruption, The Republican candidates are being funded by a river of secret money from the Kochs, Adelson, and various billionaires. You can try to pretend, Doug, that there’s nothing happening there but good pure free speech but everyone knows that’s BS. The media can get at Clinton’s public records, but not (as yet) at the Koch’s funding of Scott Walker.They are working on it, though and when the revelations start, it won’t be pretty.

    Here’s a good start on Rubio, though:

    As Mr. Rubio has ascended in the ranks of Republican politics, Mr. Braman has emerged as a remarkable and unique patron. He has bankrolled Mr. Rubio’s campaigns. He has financed Mr. Rubio’s legislative agenda. And, at the same time, he has subsidized Mr. Rubio’s personal finances, as the rising politician and his wife grappled with heavy debt and big swings in their income.

    Now, with Mr. Rubio vaulting ahead of much of the Republican presidential field, Mr. Braman is poised to play an even larger part and become Mr. Rubio’s single biggest campaign donor, with an expected outlay of approximately $10 million for the senator’s pursuit of the White House.

    A detailed review of their relationship shows that Mr. Braman, 82, has left few corners of Mr. Rubio’s world untouched. He hired Mr. Rubio, then a Senate candidate, as a lawyer; employed his wife to advise the Braman family’s philanthropic foundation; helped cover the cost of Mr. Rubio’s salary as an instructor at a Miami college; and gave Mr. Rubio access to his private plane.

    The money has flowed both ways. Mr. Rubio has steered taxpayer funds to Mr. Braman’s favored causes, successfully pushing for an $80 million state grant to finance a genomics center at a private university and securing $5 million for cancer research at a Miami institute for which Mr. Braman is a major donor.

    This billionaire has bought and paid for Rubio, who has rewarded him courtesy of Florida taxpayers, and you are worried about Hillary’s speaking fees? Man, this has become like a sick joke now, Doug. Time to tell your masters at America Rising that this stuff ain’t working.

  27. David M says:

    Who on the GOP side is more accomplished? Especially given how much power the executive has to make foreign policy decisions…

  28. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Now if I could just get off Heifer’s mailing list….

    Oh, dear God, yes. I was happy to give to them, but they’re like 974 alumni associations on steroids.

  29. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Here’s how much this is bullshite: as a lawyer Doug would laugh at this b.s. if he were in court.

    But Doug is no longer a “lawyer in private practice” so that’s pretty irrelevant.

    Apparently he gave up practicing law to take up attacking Hillary Clinton full time.

    But to the point, Doug tells us that ten people in Iowa think Hillary is “ethically challenged” and has no accomplishments in her career and we should care.

    The truth is if you read the article he links none of the ten participants say any such thing. Quite the opposite actually.

    It’s an interesting enough article I suppose. It’s handy to try to get a feel for how democratic voters in Iowa feel about the presumptive nominee.

    But Doug’s pretzel logic and honestly pathetic attempt to spin the article to Hillary Clinton Is Ethically Challenged And Hasn’t Accomplished Much, Voters Don’t Seem To Care is something we should all have come to expect from him by now.

    It’s a pretty flimsy drum but that won’t stop him from banging on it every single day.

    Between that and James informing us all that a guy who doesn’t believe in evolution is demonstrably brilliant has to make one question the utility of OTB these days.

    Because they are both beginning to look demonstrably desperate trying put lipstick on the pig that is today’s GOP.

  30. KM says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Now if I could just get off Heifer’s mailing list….

    I have a PO Box and a email or two specifically for things like this. I get nothing in my real email inbox or home addy I don’t want – I learned my lesson early on with the Red Cross. All the blocked numbers on my phone are there because you donate as O- and they hound you like paparazzi. I get that these places only thrive if they actively pursue donations/money but I can’t help but wonder how many people are turned off by the aggressive behaviors and how many more lives are poorer because of it.

  31. Jeremy R says:

    “Hillary Clinton Is Ethically Challenged And Hasn’t Accomplished Much, Voters Don’t Seem To Care”

    You came to that conclusion simply from watching that hack Halperin ask 10 people leading questions based around the current beltway media consensus narrative?

  32. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: Exactly. It especially annoys me when I donate with instructions in BIG RED FLAMING LETTERS to NOT PUT ME ON YOUR MAILING LIST and they STILL do.

    (Dear God–I’ve finally managed to get off ACLU’s spam list. Donated $100 back in 2007, never responded again, and it’s only last year that they finally gave up on me.)

    And yeah, this is why I donate to fewer and fewer organizations. If after my donation you put me on your spam list, I cross you off no matter how moral and righteous and good-thinking your raison d’etre is.

  33. David M says:

    I’ll answer my own question:

    Less or Equally Experienced GOP Candidates: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Donald Trump, Scott Walker

    More Experienced GOP Candidates: Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum

    More or Equally Ethically Challenged GOP Candidates: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul

    Less Ethically Challenged GOP Candidates: Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, George Pataki, Bobby Jindal

    I’d say Hillary Clinton compares favorably, and is probably the best candidate out of that entire group. Unless of course Lindsey Graham’s candidacy isn’t a joke.

    Edit: …apparently I should have read all the way to bottom of Doug’s post and realized this was his conclusion as well.

  34. ElizaJane says:

    I don’t know why everybody is just shrugging their shoulders and saying “so she has no accomplishments.” She was a perfectly competent senator who got things done for NYC after 9/11 and never made an idiot of herself grandstanding for some lame, loopy cause as seems to be de rigeur in order to be a “serious” Republican senator. She was also a fine Secretary of State. She worked hard to repair the international status of the USA after the Bush administration. There were solid reasons why she was the most admired woman in the country during those years. Moreover, she has a family charity that has actually done good for people in need.

    We seem to have simply forgotten about all that. Why??? If the Republicans had a candidate who had ever, ever been in such a strong national position, had demonstrated so much competence and engendered so much respect, they would never forget it or let anybody else do so. But the Democrats are always equivocating and apologizing and letting the Republicans own the narrative. If the Dems let a Republican win the White House, they will completely deserve what they get.

  35. Barry says:

    @David M: “Less Ethically Challenged GOP Candidates: Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, George Pataki, Bobby Jindal”

    Lindsey Graham dreams of executions without trials. And he didn’t make/stay a Senator for years without playing the game.

    Ben Carson hawked fraudulent medical claims.

    Carly Fiorina took $100 million to destroy a company, and wouldn’t spend 0.5% of her wealth to pay the salaries of her campaign staff.

    Jeb Bush is (a) a Bush and (b) a governor of Florida. He’s on numerous corporate boards and made a lot of money with no honest reason.

    Pataki – dunno.

    Jindal is busy selling LA to the highest bidder, and destroying it at the same time.

  36. David M says:

    @Barry:

    I was trying to be generous to the GOP candidates, as most of that list were so ridiculously unqualified to be President that it didn’t matter.

  37. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    HRC has done more low down dirty dealing than Shaft!

    Proof?

  38. Andre Kenji says:

    Hillary Clinton is not Ted Cruz nor Jeb Bush. That´s enough.

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Be careful. If you ask @Jack for proof he takes it as a personal attack and starts threatening you and throwing scat around the room.

  40. aFloridian says:

    Doug,

    I think we all get that you don’t like Hillary. I personally believe this headline is one that is beneath the blogging standards at OTB. If one of the other authors wrote this it’d be titled…wait…they’d never have shared this, but if they had it wouldn’t have been titled this.

    I don’t want to vote for Clinton. I don’t want to vote for Bush. I thought the ’90s were over. It’s more than that, of course, but where is my ethically sound candidate full of legitimate conviction that does not thrive on ignorance or demagoguery (coming from either side, that last one, although the GOP does seem to have the proudly-ignorant market cornered these days.

    I agree with the other posters – some new writers are needed (I’d love to see Michael Reynolds do some writing here, especially to give the place some balance, but he probably writes enough) – Doug’s … output… is appreciated, because the rarity of posts from other authors would have driven down traffic by now, and I think many of us come here for comments as much as anything) but it’s becoming a one man show, and everyone knows his views so well that on something like Hillary Clinton his words have become harping. It’s one dimensional. And the ultimate crime of blogging – it’s boring.

  41. Argon says:

    Bernie is getting my primary vote if I close to vote Democrat this time.

    I’d take Hillary over any GOPer at this stage. We need someone reasonably sane running the machinery of the government and choosing Supreme Court justices.

  42. An Interested Party says:

    I’ve had conversations online over the past year with several conservatives…they are putting far too much faith in an argument that they already tried once…and failed spectacularly.

    That is rather rich coming from you, as you are also failing spectacularly at convincing anyone of anything other than the fact that you really, really, really don’t like Hillary Clinton…

  43. @michael reynolds:

    Am I only allowed to post adoring tributes to the awesomeness of HRC?

    I’m sorry man, but if you can’t admit that the Clinton’s are sleazy then you’re blind.

    They’re sleazy, the Republicans are stupid. And I’m fed up with the whole process.

  44. ElizaJane says:

    Even though I disagree with you, Doug, I enjoy your posts. They provoke a lot of good discussion. Thanks for bearing with us all!

  45. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Am I only allowed to post adoring tributes to the awesomeness of HRC?

    Exactly. That is clearly the only conceivable alternative to posting a daily redundant whinge about her sleaziness. You have clearly studied your Aristotle, and mastered the Woody Allen version of it.

  46. DrDaveT says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    They’re sleazy, the Republicans are stupid.

    …and at least as sleazy. That’s the part you don’t seem to recognize at all. You are more offended by Hillary Clinton doing something marginally potentially prone to vague improper influences than you are by Republican candidates being outright purchased. That’s… not healthy.

  47. C. Clavin says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m sorry man, but if you can’t admit that the Clinton’s are sleazy then you’re blind.

    Same question I posed to Jack…proof?
    Unsubstantiated accusations from the opposition is all I see.
    Prove me wrong….

  48. C. Clavin says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m sorry man, but if you can’t admit that the Clinton’s are sleazy then you’re blind.

    1,946 commitments to social change in the world valued at $63 billion “which have already improved nearly 300 million lives.” That’s almost 5 percent of the Earth’s population.

    Those sleazy f’ers.

  49. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    OMG…I asked for proof…I’m such a sycophant!!!

  50. MarkedMan says:

    I’m curious as to the financial aspect of this blog. I assume add revenue is based on hits. And I wonder if James apportions the spoils based on whose post got the hits. Which might create an incentive to, say, find something that generates a lot of hits and post it over and over…

    Still, unless something has really changed it’s hard to believe the ad revenue would amount to more than beer money…

  51. An Interested Party says:

    And I’m fed up with the whole process.

    Certainly gobs of cash being poured into the elections helps to continue that process…surely you are opposed to that, right? Well, if you are really as fed up with the whole process as you claim…

  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “Sleazy” is not a word you’d tolerate for a minute in a courtroom or a legal brief. In the mouth of an attorney it’s a word that means “I don’t have any facts, just emotion.”

    And you don’t have any facts. You don’t even have any charges. You just have your dislike. It’s plain in your word choice, in your slippery evasiveness when it comes to actual facts. You know: facts. Like, “She broke this law and that law.” Not only can’t you tell us she broke a law, you can’t even come up with a law she might have broken.

    Make a case. Then deploy “Sleazy.” Because when you can’t tell us what law she might have broken, let alone that she did, then your definition of “sleaze” is indistinguishable from dislike. Otherwise your curly-haired man-crush should be subjected to the very same scorn. After all, isn’t it. . . sleazy. . . that Rand Paul won’t disavow his father who published an openly racist newsletter?

  53. Tillman says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m sorry man, but if you can’t admit that the Clintons are sleazy then you’re blind.

    I have to apologize. I’ve been confusing your calling them sleazy with you calling out an appearance of sleaziness, completely forgetting that sleazy means “contemptibly low, mean, or disreputable.” Which means calling them sleazy is just another way of saying they have a bad reputation, and reputations are often built as much on appearance as substance. Based on the goods you’ve posted about them — a faux scandal about email servers and a rather nonexistent one about donations to a charitable organization somehow influencing a multilateral intragovernment negotiation on a uranium deal — the appearance you want to depict is at best a misleading one. This leaves you needing something of substance.

    That piece by Marshall at TPM I linked to some days ago talks about this particular quality of the Clintons, and I’ll again source to him:

    Part of what is endless and exhausting about the Clintons is that they really do always push it right to the line. We’ve seen it enough times to know they’re generally smart enough and careful enough not to go over it. Indeed, one of the paradoxical benefits of the endless and frenetic investigations of the Clintons in the ’90s is that these probes stand as an unintentional proof that there’s no real goods there to find. One of the countless committee investigations and special counsel inquiries would have found it. But, as I said, they push it right up to the line.

    Your every-other-day posts about the sleaziness of Hillary Clinton are saying the same thing Marshall is there: she’s related to or involved in doing so many shady things, she must have done something wrong. Where Marshall brushes it off, noting somebody would’ve found something by now given all the investigation, you just want to keep digging.

    So, we’ll take for granted Clinton’s sleazy. Not really, but to you, sure. The Republicans are just stupid? Why? Because they can’t capitalize on Clinton’s sleaziness without brandishing their own? See, that would make a great blog post. “The Clintons Are Sleazy, but Republicans Can’t Use That.” And then you’d go into the political posturing and gaming that’d go into it, throw in the identity politics fact that she’s a woman so standards are slightly different, point out the donations to her charity along with the dark money of the “credible” Republican candidates…there’s a post I want to read and debate in the comments over.

  54. @michael reynolds:

    This isn’t a courtroom, Michael.

    I also recognize that you and many of the other commenters here disagree with me. Indeed, I anticipated that while I was writing the post.

    Nonetheless, I stand by what I said and I stand by my assessment that, while the Clintons may be skilled politicians they are nonetheless people I would not trust in any circumstance.

  55. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Doug channeling Jenos to boost hits/comments for ad revenue?
    Please say it ain’t so.

  56. David M says:

    The allegations against the Clintons are probably being ignored due to the Republicans crying wolf over every little thing during the past two Democratic Administrations. They just aren’t credible anymore, so evidence or no, they aren’t going to make a case.

  57. bill says:

    she’s a woman, a democrat and her husband cheated on her. she’s the quintessential “victim” and can do no wrong. plus, we had a black guy prez, now it’s time for a woman- how bad could that be?

  58. Grewgills says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Which of the Republican candidates do you find less sleazy?

  59. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: Because when you can’t tell us what law she might have broken

    I will freely admit that I am perhaps a bit harder on Bill Clinton than is entirely fair.

    However, the standard for Hillary Clinton and any other Presidential candidate ought to be a hell of a lot higher than “she hasn’t been convicted of any felonies.”

    Mike

  60. stonetools says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    At this point, Doug, after having read the article to the end and having thought about it, I realise I may have been a bit hard on you. I actually agree with your conclusion that running against HRC’s accomplishments won’t work. But I’m going to ask again how is Clinton any more sleazy than , say, Rubio.

    Is taking secret PAC money really more pure than being a highly paid speaker? How so?
    Why is running a major charitable foundation and soliciting contributions from rich people worse than having a billionaire as your patron and paymaster, and rewarding that billionaire by government favors?

  61. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    Right now the standard seems to be guilt by insinuation which is hard to take from Doug who supports every new corruption of politics. We live in a corrupt system and it’s getting more corrupt every cycle. But to repeat the obvious: Hillary has not been shown to have done anything wrong.

  62. stonetools says:

    @MBunge:

    However, the standard for Hillary Clinton and any other Presidential candidate ought to be a hell of a lot higher than “she hasn’t been convicted of any felonies.”

    Well, what should the standard be then?
    “Never been falsely accused of any financial wrongdoing?”
    “Never been hounded by their political enemies?”
    “Never been the victim of hysterical unfounded allegations?”

    Look, I understand the purist impulse. I understand the dream of hoping for an unabashedly liberal candidate that is honest and true, that is untainted by any connection with big money and Wall Street, yet who has the reputation, connections, and fundraising capability to win in November 2016. Unfortunately, such a person does not exist. What we have is HRC and a couple of other people that the Republicans would love to run against.
    Look, we liberals have to keep our eyes on the prize here. We need to win the Presidency, not run the purest candidate . I sure as hell do not want to be a principled loser and then watch President Scott Walker appoint Janice Rogers Brown to the Supreme Court.

    Time to dust off TBogg:

    Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.

    You don’t live there.

    Grow the fuck up.

    Yup.

  63. stonetools says:

    Please release my comment from moderation. (I didn’t clean up an expletive in a quote).

  64. KM says:

    Don’t want Hillary as POTUS because you feel she’s sleazy? Fine. Then run someone better to win, for God’s sake.

    Honestly. This is not a hard concept. In an election, if your candidate is not the better choice to the voter, you lose. You can whine, pontificate, insinuate and try and explain it all away but if it comes down to A vs B, there can be only one. Pick somebody who will be that one – elections 101. But you don’t have one. And it burns, gets under your skin to the point you drop all attempts at civility and objectivity to start posting juvenile crap like “Her Majesty”. If she is the best of a bad lot, who’s fault is it for running piss-poor options to the “sleazy” lady?

    Doug, you’re aware you’re throwing a temper tantrum, right? It is not Hillary’s fault, with all her human peccadillos and faults, the GOP and it’s candidates suck. It is not your fault, with all your human peccadillos and faults, the GOP and it’s candidates suck even if one can argue you have far more influence over where that party goes as a voter then she does as the opposition. The GOP is headed for rock bottom and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

    I’m going to offer the same advice I did on the Baltimore threads. Put down the keyboard, step back, and think about what you are posting. If you’re posting out of frustration and lashing out, you lose the respect of your readership and the entire conversation goes downhill. We like hearing from you, we want to see your opinions and takes on issues of the day. We don’t want to watch you self-destruct and tank any respectability you have because you let your irrationality take over. It’s ok to not like Hillary, just try not to be 5yrs old about it, alright?

  65. Barry says:

    @MBunge: “However, the standard for Hillary Clinton and any other Presidential candidate ought to be a hell of a lot higher than “she hasn’t been convicted of any felonies.””

    We aren’t saying that; we’re saying that if you and yours have complaints, bring bring both valid complaints and evidence.

  66. C. Clavin says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    It seems to most everyone here that your opinion is based on a litany of false accusations…in other words the terrorists have won.
    A steady drip of false aspersions have conspired to form your views for you. It doesn’t matter to you that none of them have ever been proved. It’s like watching commercials over and over again and being convinced your life cannot possibly have value until you get a new Apple Watch. You’ve been conned.

  67. C. Clavin says:

    @Tillman:
    Marshall’s point is valid, as is Jon Chaitt’s…that the Clinton’s are dis-organized and greedy.
    Well, so am I. That doesn’t disqualify me for the Presidency.
    Lot’s of other things do…but not that.

  68. grumpy realist says:

    Look, Doug–we get it. A lot of us also have similar frustration that you do about the Clintons—yeah, you might not be able to prove anything, but couldn’t they at least have been more careful and less sloppy about their sleeze?

    And the fact is–it’s not going to matter. Hillary is now like a battleship. The Republicans have been accusing her of EVERYTHING for the last 20 years, from murder to Benghazi to lesbian sex orgies in the White House. Ridiculous stuff.. And since they’ve been doing nothing but hurling these crazy accusations for so long, there’s really nowhere left for them to go. Even if there WERE something, I betcha that a sizable percentage of the US populace would shrug its shoulders and say “eh, you’ve already punished her for something she never did, so now she gets a freebie.”

    And it really doesn’t work when you can turn around and point out that any realistic “crime” that Hillary has been accused of can be applied in spades, to a large percentage of the Republican candidates.

  69. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “Look, I understand the purist impulse. I understand the dream of hoping for an unabashedly liberal candidate that is honest and true, that is untainted by any connection with big money and Wall Street, yet who has the reputation, connections, and fundraising capability to win in November 2016. Unfortunately, such a person does not exist. What we have is HRC and a couple of other people that the Republicans would love to run against.”

    In addition, as has been repeatedly pointed out, the particular issue that Doug is down on is more ethical than the one he strongly supports (secret bribes).

  70. Barry says:

    @grumpy realist: “Look, Doug–we get it. A lot of us also have similar frustration that you do about the Clintons—yeah, you might not be able to prove anything, but couldn’t they at least have been more careful and less sloppy about their sleeze?”

    Shorter: ‘We can’t prove anything, but that’s just proof of how evil they are’.

  71. anjin-san says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Am I only allowed to post adoring tributes to the awesomeness of HRC?

    I ask again, how old are you? 15?

  72. anjin-san says:

    It’s no real surprise, of course, that Democrats are big fans of Hillary Clinton.

    Ummm. Where are you getting this? I have developed grudging respect for Hillary. She’s smart, she works hard, and she wants to make our county a better place. Compared to the GOP candidates, that makes her look like a cross between Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.

    Run a decent Republican candidate for President against Hillary, and they would have a decent shot at my vote. But we both know that is not going to happen.

    Sorry Doug, but you recent output is very weak. You might want to look in the mirror before you blame your readers.

  73. Moosebreath says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “Am I only allowed to post adoring tributes to the awesomeness of HRC?”

    There’s a middle sitting around here, feeling excluded.

  74. ElizaJane says:

    On the latest Washington Post headliner story about the Clinton Foundation’s income, there are well over 3000 comments, virtually all of them strongly negative about her. NOBODY defends the Foundation. Nobody talks about what the Foundation actually did, only that it got lots of money and is therefore sleazy. The lie about only 15% of its money going to charity has become an unassailable truth. And people are obsessed with Bill Clinton’s speaker fees in a way that nobody was with Mitt Romney’s low-tax millions.

    I’m not saying that this is anything but CDS; but I am saying that the Democrats are letting the Republicans own the narrative here, big-time. And I don’t know what is wrong with the Clinton campaign. Why are there no spokespeople around talking about the relief the Foundation provided to Haiti, or their women’s health initiatives, or anything? They make it way too easy for people to label the Foundation as a campaign slush fund because nobody knows anything else about it.

    Honestly, the Democrats are idiots.

  75. grumpy realist says:

    @Barry: I think Josh Marshall (quoted above) hit it pretty well on. The Clintons do seem to like to take everything just up to the edge. It’s not illegal, but it’s in the grey area. An example I’m thinking of is the set of pardons Bill Clinton gave during his Administration. Nothing illegal, but there were some pretty stinky individuals in that gaggle of pardons and there was quite an odor of quid-pro-quo around some of them.

    Bill could have–but didn’t–pardon only people where everyone said “yah, this is a miscarriage of justice” and come away with having given a totally different impression.

  76. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “Bill could have–but didn’t–pardon only people where everyone said “yah, this is a miscarriage of justice” and come away with having given a totally different impression.”

    So basically you believe that an outgoing president should refuse to pardon someone he believes deserves to be set free if there’s a chance his political opponents will use that to smear him?

    I think the Clintons figured out a long time ago they’re going to be attacked no matter what they do, so they do what they feel is right and ignore the attacks.

    On the right, this is considered “sleazy.”

  77. Mannning says:

    If you vote for sleaze and very, very grey and some really black areas, that is exactly what you are going to get for 4 to 8 years. On the plus side— there is no plus side. Just more of the same we have had from the present crowd, with another probable $4 to $8 Trillion added to the national debt and a very sick foreign affairs situation, especially with regard to Iran, Iraq and ISIS. Meanwhile, our schools are sending out students seeped in the indiscrimination meme that ensures their failure as informed citizens, 60 million unemployed and small business sectors inundatedwith reporting requirements and burdensome benefit rules to cope with. Then, too, the open borders will ensure that illegals will race in to suck up the lower paid jobs, and with no common sense solutions in sight.

    Welcome to disaster 102 forthcoming!

    May God help America.

  78. DrDaveT says:

    @Mannning:

    If you vote for sleaze and very, very grey and some really black areas, that is exactly what you are going to get for 4 to 8 years.

    OK, I promise not to vote for Marco Rubio.

    Can you be more specific about what you consider “some really black areas”? Let me guess — Benghazi!!1!1 ?

  79. Mannning says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I paint habitual liars black. We have observed a web of lies from HRC, both by commission and omission. She let stand the false attempts to mask the Benghazi situation, for instance, undoubtedly with the concurrence of Obama. But the lies go way, way back, such as being under sniper fire in Bosnia, or being dead broke when leaving the WH, etc, etc. Brian Williams would be proud of her abilities.

  80. Mannning says:

    @DrDaveT:

    One down and 13 to go!!!