The following is an excerpt from Rob Garver | September 27, 2015 | Thefiscaltimes.com |
When it comes to dealing with political scandal, Bill and Hillary Clinton are past masters. The two have fought their way through more partisan attacks, media attention and public opprobrium than any ten politicians most people can think of. And always, when the smoke has cleared and the wounded been carted from the field, they’ve been left standing, bloodied but defiant.
Over the years, the Clintons have developed a signature defensive strategy perhaps best described as “deny and retreat.”
Confronted with a scandal, their first step is to dig in deep and deny that they have done anything wrong at all. It’s a natural stratagem, considering the large numbers of attacks on Bill, Hillary or both that have been woven from whole cloth. Think Vince Foster’s suicide or the Whitewater controversy.
The fallback is an admission of culpability in some minor breach of public trust or a failure of character, combined with adamant assertions that the larger complaints leveled against them are terribly overblown and politically motivated. The obvious examples here are the Gennifer Flowers scandal and, more recently, the controversy over donations to the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments.
When the Clintons get to the last ditch, it comes down to a question of attrition – can they hold out in the focus of the public eye until their attackers eventually make themselves look like wild-eyed zealots focused less on justice than on personal vengeance? The Lewinsky scandal and the Starr Report that followed are the textbook case here.
However, there’s a strong argument that the ongoing scandal over Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state and her subsequent resistance to handing over its contents after her use of a non-classified communications system was exposed is qualitatively different from previous Clinton scandals.
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