CHARLOTTE, NC, August 22, 2016 – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faces ethical hurdles as we head down the stretch for the 2016 elections.
In New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait, believes Clinton is unaware of the severity of her reputation problems (Hillary Clinton’s Ethics Problems Are Worse Than She Understands). However, given Clinton’s longevity in the public arena and the controversial “scandals” throughout her career, it is difficult to believe that she does not grasp her predicament.
A more likely scenario is that the political insider Clinton has eluded punishment for so long that she truly does believe she is above the law.
In an effort to pre-empt future “conflict of interest” challenges from opponents, the Clinton Foundation has announced that it will stop accepting donations from foreign entities or corporations if she wins. It’s a small consolation but hardly a conclusive proposition.
As Chait points out, “wealthy individuals, or corporations passing their money through foundations, can still use Clinton Foundation grants as chits.”
What Clinton’s bold offer to not accept contributions from foreign entities does is appeal to low information voters who will regard the gesture as another example of her overwhelming generosity and humility by sacrificing her own interests.
The Clintons have come a long way from coffee klatches and renting out the Lincoln bedroom and the media will reinforce Clinton’s sincerity in the effort and the true story will go unreported..
Using Clinton’s own words, “At this point, what difference does it make?” The Clinton’s have already amassed multi-millions of dollars since leaving the White House as “paupers.” Temporarily limiting the Clinton coffers might decrease their wealth but it certainly would not diminish their luxurious lifestyle.
Chait breaks it down in a lengthy but easily comprehensible paragraph, “in the eyes of their enemies, the Clintons are criminals on a world-historic scale; in the eyes of their supporters, innocent victims of a massive smear campaign. The reality is that their venality is rather ordinary.
There’s a reason the term politician is synonymous with lying, calculation, and ambition — these are common qualities for politicians.
The Clintons are common politicians, motivated in general by a desire to implement policy changes they think will make the world a better place, but not immune to trimming and getting rich in the process. None of their behavior is disqualifying, given the number of elected officials, presidents included, who have done the same. Neither does it justify it.”
Perhaps Chait would have been better served to add that “so far none of their behavior is disqualifying,” and that “chances are high that none of it will be.” For those reasons alone, Mrs. Clinton believes she is immune and invulnerable.
According to Chait, “the risk that Clinton’s tainted image will defeat her is small but real enough to merit concern. The much larger risk is that her lax approach to rule-following and ethical conflicts will sink her presidency.”
Clinton has been at the political game for a long time and her alliance with her husband has made them a powerful team. They thrive on the pressure of controversy and scandal.
The next six to eight weeks will be a tightrope for both Clintons and who can say what surprises may pop up in a campaign that has been dominated by one unexpected event after another? Is there any reason to believe the jaw-dropping events will suddenly disappear between now and November?
The real question is which test of political incredulity will resonate most at the polls and for which candidate.
Whether Hillary Clinton is just plain sloppy in her ethical maneuvers or a conniving mastermind who believes deep down that she is unbeatable no matter what her opponent does, she, on the surface at least, portrays an image of confidence despite being unconvincing…even to her supporters.
Mrs. Clinton’s resume reads like a list of incredible accomplishments until you dig deeper into the details and learn how unremarkable it really is.
There have already been eight years of underachieving over-achievement in the White House. As Donald Trump asked recently, “Elect me. What have you got to lose?”
The Clintons have mastered the art of deception and they paint the canvas of deceit better than anyone.
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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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