Op-ed: The insincere Clinton campaign

  • By Rich Lowry
  • Wednesday, October 19, 2016 5:43pm
  • Opinion

The website PolitiFact jumped all over Rudy Giuliani earlier this year when he said, “Hillary Clinton is for open borders.”

It spent about 700 words sifting through the evidence, and ended up rating the former New York City mayor’s claim “false.” Now we know that PolitiFact blew its call because it lacked access to the most important datum — Hillary Clinton’s real view.

For that, it would have had to be present at one of her paid speeches at a major financial institution, in this case the Brazilian bank Banco Itau. In May 2013, Clinton told her audience at the bank, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” Ding, ding, ding — there’s the magic phrase, in Hillary’s own words.

The excerpt from Hillary’s speech comes courtesy of the massive WikiLeaks dump of pilfered emails — probably by Russian hackers — from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The hack is, to say the least, not the way to achieve sunshine in our politics or government, but it is illuminating insofar as it illustrates how progressives think and talk in private — i.e., about how you’d expect.

The frank advocacy of open borders is now so radioactive that even the open-borders editorial page of The Wall Street Journal will no longer associate itself with it (once upon a time, the paper routinely called for an open-borders amendment to the U.S. Constitution). Talk of open borders has consequentially retreated behind closed doors. In public, everyone so inclined favors “comprehensive immigration reform,” which always includes higher levels of legal immigration and fig-leaf enforcement measures, as a step toward the unmentionable — and almost certainly unachievable — goal.

A faux cosmopolitanism is a thread running through the WikiLeaks emails. If you think Clinton aides root for terrorist acts not to be committed by Muslims, lest political and policy complications ensue, you’re right.

Hillary aide Karen Finney sent John Podesta an email in December 2015 about the San Bernardino shooting. She wrote “damn,” and forwarded a tweet from MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes relating that one of the shooters was named Syed Farook. Podesta lamented that it wasn’t instead a journalist named Syed Farook reporting on a shooting by Chris Hayes, who has a much more convenient, Irish surname.

If you think Clinton aides sneer at conservative Catholics and consider them retrograde, you’re right.

John Halpin of the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, formerly headed by Podesta, wrote his boss and Jennifer Palmieri in 2011 that conservatives are attracted to Catholicism for its “systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations.” Palmieri, now a spokeswoman for the Clinton campaign, chimed in that those on the right embrace Catholicism as “the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion.”

A certain highhandedness and bad faith pervades the entire Clinton campaign. Hillary Clinton was perfectly comfortable with the globe-trotting financiers throwing six-figure speaking fees at her, but then had to turn around and shovel boob bait for Bubba at her party’s inflamed left-wing activists, who hate those very financiers and their views on trade, among many other things.

The Clinton campaign’s predicament was captured in microcosm by spokesman Brian Fallon. In September 2015, he worried about an op-ed attacking the Keystone Pipeline that, he notes, had already been extensively edited and re-edited. As secretary of state, Clinton had, reasonably enough, indicated she’d likely support the pipeline, and now she was coming out against it. Will her newly aggressive opposition, Fallon wondered, “be greeted cynically and perhaps as part of some manufactured attempt to project sincerity?”

Yeah, probably — like much of what she says and does. Such was Clinton’s manifest weakness in March 2016 that a friendly liberal columnist sent a worried email to John Podesta. “Right now,” the columnist warned, “I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump.” Sounds right. It always pays to be lucky, rather than good — or sincere.

Rich Lowry can be reached via e-mail: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

More in Opinion

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Hard to fill positions?

Paying poverty wages to support staff, secretaries and custodians is unacceptable yet routine behavior by our district

A copy of the State of Alaska Official Ballot for the June 11, 2022, Special Primary Election is photographed on May 2, 2022. (Peninsula Clarion staff)
Choosing a candidate – Who will best represent us in D.C.?

Voters are encouraged to do homework before casting a vote

Tourists watch as one of two cubs belonging to an 18-year-old sow black bear crosses the path between groups of tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tourists have pushed us to critical mass in parts of Juneau

I don’t go to the glacier in the summer now to hike or watch bears.

Sens. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, left, and Robert Myers, R-North Pole, read through one of 41 amendments submitted to the state’s omnibus budget bill being debate on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Monday, May 9, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: The Alaska Senate’s foolish gamble

“All these conservative people just spent all our money”

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. (logo provided)
Point of View: A few ideas for Mental Health Awareness Month

What are some things you can practice this month and subsequently apply to your life?

Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes. (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: 1 candidate dined, 47 to go

By Alex Koplin Last month, I wrote a satirical piece for the… Continue reading

Smoke from the Swan Lake Fire impairs visibility on the Sterling Highway on Aug. 20, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Alaskans should prepare for wildfire season

Several past large fire seasons followed snowy winters or unusually rainy springs

Most Read