Op/Ed: The Bag Lady
(WASHINGTON - May 8, 2008) - Tuesday’s primary results from Indiana and North Carolina all but render any discussion about Senator Hillary Clinton a moot point. But despite her long-shot bid at the Democratic nomination, Clinton is still fighting away, and her supporters continue to believe she is the right man – err, woman – for the job. The fact is that she will lose this race to Senator Barack Obama, she would have lost to Senator John McCain, and she would do well for her political and personal future to drop out of the race as quickly and gracefully as possible and start hoping for a Vice President call from Obama. All that aside, I still have to wonder, why oh why do all the Clinton supporters seem to forget who this woman really is???
I’m not referring to Clinton’s strange stance on foreign policy issues and specifically the war in Iraq, nor am I referring to her weak opinion on fair trade or immigration. What I am talking about is the baggage this lady carries around since the beginning of her career.
The fact is that she will lose this race to Senator Barack Obama, she would have lost to Senator John McCain, and she would do well for her political and personal future to drop out of the race as quickly and gracefully as possible and start hoping for a Vice President call from Obama.
You may have never heard the story of Hillary Clinton’s unique skill to trade cattle. Yes, cows. Clinton invested $1,000 in the animals in 1978 and sure enough, turned that 1k into 100k ten months later. Obviously there were no conflicts of interest, bribery, or other wrong-doings involved; generating a $99,000 profit return from cattle trading is a most common endeavor for a young attorney.
Later while working as an attorney at Rose Law Firm, Clinton’s work was scrutinized by investigators and prosecutors for possible conflicts of interest involving the Clinton’s notorious Whitewater scandal. You remember Whitewater; this was a private business investment made by the Clintons in the 1970’s that has followed them around ever since. Although the Clintons were never charged with wrongdoing, their sketchy land purchase and subsequent dealings with the convicted McDougals leave a lot to be desired. And it runs right up to the Travel gate and Lewinsky scandals.
Travel gate you may forget, is the scandal that started in 1993 and ended in 2000 when Independent Counsel Robert Ray issued his final report, stating that Hillary Clinton had made factually false statements but that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute her. Basically Travel gate was when the Clintons had seven long-term employees of the White House travel office fired so they could install their friends in the vacant jobs and let them reap the reward of the White House travel business. When word came out what happened, the newly hired Clinton associates were forced to leave and most of the fired employees were reinstated.
Wherever you stand on Travel gate, you have to wonder why a1993 memo from David Watkins, the White House director of Administration at the time, to White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty was written stating Hillary’s involvement in the firings. According to Watkins, Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster regularly informed him that “the First Lady was concerned and desired action. The action desired was the firing of the Travel Office staff.”
Kenneth Starr, the second prosecutor of the Whitewater scandal and first prosecutor of the Lewinsky trial, never found anything to prosecute Hillary Clinton with, but you can bet he believed she committed wrong-doings somewhere along the line, perhaps and most likely, more than once.
My bringing up these past scandals is no way meant to smear her name – because heck, she already did that herself. The point is to remind folks out there that when considering a person for the highest office in the world, one must look at his or her entire background, biography, and belief system. Clinton’s supporters have seemed to zero in on her recent work and forgotten just how much baggage this lady carries. But if she were to find a way to steal this nomination from Senator Obama, you can bet that the Republicans are standing by to unleash her past like a tidal wave. Many people wonder why Rush Limbaugh has an all out assault on Obama and consistently ask his listeners to support Clinton in these Primaries. Well Limbaugh and other conservative pundits know the incredible amount of baggage that Senator Clinton has and just can’t wait during the general election to remind people about the real Hillary. On the other hand, Senator Barack Obama in comparison to Mrs. Clinton is clean as a whistle.
Mrs. Clinton’s baggage is the reason she has such high negatives in this election year, which dates back to her days as first lady of Arkansas. Though Senator Obama is often criticized for the fact that the American public knows very little about him, we can also see the outcome of one’s fate when the public knows too much about the candidate. Mrs. Clinton’s fate was sealed in this election year long before she ever announced her candidacy for President of the United States.