Hillary’s trust bust

  • Saturday, July 11, 2015 8:19pm
  • Opinion

Hillary Clinton, during her CNN interview, said: “Well, people should and do trust me.” Oh please, Hillary. Even that answer can’t be trusted. Surely you know that every credible poll shows that a majority lacks confidence in your honesty. As a matter of fact, you even acknowledged that, blaming it, as you usually do, on “the kind of constant barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the right.”

That’s reminiscent of your depiction in 1998 of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

You were right then and you’re right now … sort of. Actually it’s half vast right-wing conspiracy and half your questionable conduct (as well as your husband’s) then and now.

But let’s not rehash the bad old days; let’s talk about the present, since now you’re asking the American people to have enough faith in your integrity for them to make you our president.

In 2015, there are the controversies over the secretive way you handled the accounting of your email while you were secretary of state — which, of course, was a public office.

Not only did you construct your own server, as opposed to using the government one, to do all your cyber conversations, but when it came time to turn over those communications, you and you alone — well, you and your lawyers —- decided by yourselves which ones you’d deliver. Not only that, but once you did, you erased the server.

Is it hard to understand why many wonder what it was you were hiding? Were there, for instance, emails concerning those foreign contributors to your family foundation, donors private and sovereign, who conceivably were seeking favors from you as secretary of state?

It’s not enough to respond to the questions about the Clinton Foundation, as you did in the CNN interview, by saying “how proud I am of it and that I think for the good of the world, its work should continue.” That’s not the point, as you surely know. The question is whether there was some chicanery going on.

All of that, of course, is off-message. You and your army of aides are trying to stick to the script and tightly rein in those pesky media people who aren’t necessarily bound by your organization’s rules. Actually, the better term is “FENCE in,” considering how your campaign’s enforcers literally set up a moving rope line to contain the news camera people who were trying to cover you as you marched in the July Fourth parade.

Set aside the question about whether you think the journalists are intruding, because as you put it: “I just have a different rhythm to my campaign. I’m not running my campaign for the press. I’m running it for voters.”

One could argue that the voters get their independent information from the press. Beyond that at the very least, the sight of the media people being herded like cattle is really a terrible optic.

It can’t help but raise questions about your contempt for a free press and also cause some people to wonder just what it is you don’t want people to see and hear.

Obviously you can’t let the camera people get in the way of your campaign events, but surely there is some middle ground between that desire and literally roping them. In fairness, things are never hunky-dory between news types and the people they are covering. But frankly, your people have gone way overboard.

Your best points in the interview had to do with your opponents, particularly your characterization of the Republicans as being the party of nastiness, personified by Donald Trump.

But you also have at least one opponent among the Democrats, Bernie Sanders, who is doing surprising well. Maybe a partial explanation for that is those in the party who believe you’ll have to do a better job of engendering trust to help the party keep the White House.

Bob Franken is a longtime broadcast journalist, including 20 years at CNN.

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