It used to be that the name of Clinton was in the news headlines for some sexual act that it’s patriarch Bill was denying. Lately though, it has been Hillary Clinton that is surrounded by scandal. Recently Clinton has been in the news regarding her use of a single private email account to send and receive state and federal correspondence. This controversy has many wondering how damaging this will be should she run for the democratic nomination to run for President of the United States.
Clinton admits freely that she used a private email account run off of the Clinton’s own private server for the use of private emails and those of a more sensitive nature. Clinton opted to refrain from using a government email account because it’s easier to monitor one device than it would be to monitor two. It is now known that among the private emails she deleted were plans for Clinton’s daughter Chelsea’s wedding, her mother’s funeral plans, and Clinton talking about a yoga routine. While deleting such emails is not a heinous action by any means, since she used the same email account for different purposes what is as yet unknown is if she was discussing matters that were not of a private nature and the government simply does not know it. This is what has prompted the handing over of upwards of 55,000 pages of email sent and received from Clinton’s private email account.
In a statement made via Twitter, Clinton said, “I want the public to see my emails, I have nothing to hide. The state has said the emails will be released to the public after review, and will happen as soon as possible”. This shows a level of transparency on Clinton’s part that has been vacant in many other politicians, but some wonder if this is just a publicity stunt to relieve pressure being put on the former first lady. After all, she insists that the server used by her and her husband will remain private, and no access will be given to see what activity has gone on through it. What does Clinton have to lose by making such a server available to investigators?
While Clinton supporters worry that this email scandal will hurt her chances in the upcoming presidential election, there have been many times where scandals showed no effect on the outcome of elections.
When George W. Bush ran for his second term of presidency, information was made public as to his family’s ties to the Middle East along with allegedly having personal ties to terrorists. Despite this and the controversy surrounding the “Florida Recount” in the 2000 election, not to mention the events of 9/11, Bush went on to win his second term at president against Jon Kerry. This goes to show that scandals do not always destroy a person’s run for president.
What has been important in the eyes of many over the past few years is how popular culture reacts to such scandals that become public. Political satire is commonplace among comedians, but few tend to get their voice heard by the public masses like Jon Stewart does. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is one of the most watched comedy shows in our nation’s history. What is important to remember is that just because someone says something funny, that does not mean what has been said is untrue.
Speaking about the need to locate and review Clinton’s emails, Stewart commented on the NSA’s collection of people’s personal date saying, “Don’t we have a place in Utah that collects all of our emails no matter what? Why then do we have an archive problem? Is it a matter of trying to talk to them but they do not return your calls either?” With statements like this coming from a figure who has been labeled a “hero of the common man,” it goes to show that this has become an issue for laymen and professional political analysts alike.
While Clinton has focused the past few days on equal rights for women, this email scandal has only just begun. There is no way yet to know what the content of her private emails she had deleted actually was. So far, it seems as though the public must take the word of Clinton as being truthful; until they have further reason to assume otherwise. When a jury is instructed by the court to have something stricken from the record, or are told to “dismiss what you’ve just heard,” the bottom line is that one cannot put out of memory information that has come to pass. The bell has been rung. The question is no longer “can this affect Clinton’s run for president,” but how much will it effect her run for president. Only time will tell.
By Benjamin Johnson
Photo by Steve Rhodes – License