Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has long been compared to the likes of the infamous Richard Nixon. The disgraced Republican president and Clinton have disturbingly similar character flaws. The comparison is so strong that many are wondering if she will be elected, only to later be impeached. As odd as it may seem, Clinton has a personal link to the infamous Watergate scandal that resulted in the collapse of Nixon’s presidency. In 1974, the presidential hopeful was on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee as it conducted the impeachment inquiry of Nixon. Clinton’s uncanny behavior throughout her email scandal reveals that she and Nixon have alarmingly comparable personality defects. Has Clinton torn pages from Nixon’s playbook?
Early on some would have thought it absurd to compare Nixon and the former New York Senator. However, it has now become increasingly more real that she has much more in common than many are comfortable with. The Watergate scandal keeps resurfacing in the minds of Americans as the investigation into Clinton’s email scandal heightens. Nixon had been involved in several financial scandals throughout his career, but the worst of the disgraced president’s behavior occurred after he was sworn into office. Many within the Republican Party later admitted that he was elected despite ample evidence of questionable behavior.
Has Clinton torn pages from Nixon’s playbook as she heads closer to the Oval Office? While this is yet to be determined, Americans must admit they will be taking a risk by sending her to the White House in the 2016 election. In the current email scandal, Clinton deleted 30,000 of the 60,000 emails in question hoping the FBI’s technical experts would not be able to recover them. Similarly, during Nixon’s investigation, his tapes which recorded conversations in the White House had a mysterious 18 and a half-minute gap in conversation which had been erased by one of his staff members.
Bob Woodward, associate editor of the Washington Post, and Carl Bernstein handled the majority of reporting on the scandal that forced Nixon out of the White House. During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program Woodward said:
It, in a way, reminds me of the Nixon tapes. Thousands of hours of secretly recorded conversations that Nixon thought were exclusively his, that he was not going to give them – Hillary Clinton initially took that position: ‘I’m not turning this over. There’s going to be no cooperation.’
For those who are old enough to have witnessed that catastrophe, the former First Lady’s actions heavily mirror the former president. Hillary, just like Nixon, does not understand that the “crime” which sentences leaders in the mind of citizens is not necessarily the act itself, but the handling of the criminal behavior. It is very likely that the presidential hopeful mishandled a mistake which quickly turned into a scandal. The true disgrace is in the cover-up. It appears that Clinton has been tearing pages from Nixon’s playbook by mimicking his criminal behavior and dedication to secrecy.
Nixon later admitted that during his presidency he had become “almost a basket case” when it came to keeping things secret. He was guilty of hiding information from those who were a part of his staff when they should have been included. Clinton’s email scandal reveals the same strong character trait. The Democratic front-runner claimed she used the private server for “convenience,” when the most obvious reason is that she wanted to keep things hidden. To add insult to injury, the former Secretary of State deleted half of the emails, turned over the rest in paper form, then wiped the server clean.
Although Clinton’s scandal pales in comparison to Nixon’s, it is true that they seem to mirror the same character flaws. If Democrats turn a blind eye to the warning signs just as the Republican Party did in 1968 when they elected Nixon, they may add an unwarranted indelible imprint on the country’s history with damning effects. The question remains, “Has Hillary Clinton torn pages from Richard Nixon’s playbook?”
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
The Hill: Hillary and the ghost of Nixon’s past
Watergate Info: Watergate: The Scandal That Brought Down Richard Nixon
MSNBC: FBI formally confirms its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server
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