Hillary Clinton: If You're Gonna Do It, Do It Right

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Hillary Clinton

In “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” Master Yoda famously said to Luke Skywalker:  “Do – or do not. There is no try.”

The statement is as profound as it simple. Somebody that Hillary Rodham Clinton respects and listens to needs to speak the exact words to her as urgently as possible. She needs to hear it. Do – or do not. There is no try, Madam Secretary.

Partisan politics aside, give credit where credit is due. Clinton is more than qualified to be President of the United States. No one can reasonably deny her political, financial, academic, organization, or professional credentials. Her health is not an issue. Nor is her age. Having said those things, there are cracks in the foundation upon which her rumored desire to run for the Oval Office in 2016 would be built upon. The cracks are small, but the cracks exist. The majority of them are self-made.

Consider this week’s controversy over Clinton’s e-mails during her tenure as Secretary of State in the Obama administration. A New York Times article lastTuesday revealed that Clinton used her personal e-mail account exclusively to conduct official State Department business.

Did the rules change after she stepped down? Yes. Was Clinton’s usage of her personal email accounts approximate to that of the Secretaries of State who preceded her in this digital age? Yes. Was Clinton’s preference to use her own email accounts illegal or unusual? No and no.

One of Clinton’s most vocal critics on this issue – presumptive 2016 Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush – is known to have previously done the exact same thing he’s attempting to barbecue Clinton for now: using personal e-mail accounts to conduct official business years old while he was Florida’s Governor.

To make matters worse, when Bush launched his superPAC in January, he released thousands of pages of e-mail messages from his tenure as Governor of the Sunshine State. The problem, however, was the personal information of his former constituents – names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, medical data, and private requests – were contained within Bush’s massive e-mail release. All that sensitive data was not redacted, and therefore, public domain.

The fact that many Congressmen and Senators on both sides of the aisle have done what Clinton did is beside the point. Clinton should have known better.

How could she not? In the seemingly eternal chorus of the GOP’s battlecry of Benghazi whenever Clinton is seen or heard anywhere, why go off-mission? Why take shortcuts? Why give her political rivals any fuel for the inevitable fires they seek to set at her feet? Is it pride? Is it hardheadedness?

Therein lies a hitch in Clinton’s giddyup the size of Texas. She seems, at times, to be allergic to course correction. To use baseball vernacular, Clinton’s political problem can be compared to a flamethrowing pitcher who inadvertently tips off the batters when his 98 mph fastball is coming – and watches helplessly as his fastball is crushed out of the park repeatedly.

But instead of working on his mechanics to stop indicating when the fastball is coming, that pitcher just focuses on throwing that much harder. The predictable result? More home runs given up and less opportunities for that pitcher to pitch.

There’s a lot of speculation in the media that Clinton did what she did for the sake of privacy. I’m sure there’s truth to that. The Republican Party genuinely fears the prospect of her running for President next year – mainly because it’s likely she would win if she did. Republicans need her to self-destruct. They want Clinton to decide not to throw her hat in the ring. That’s why she must be transparent at all times. That’s why she has to remain above all the sound and fury signifying nothing. There’s no security in secrecy.

President Obama proved that Hillary isn’t inevitable. Another glimpse of her vulnerability was seen this week.

Folks, Elizabeth Warren is looking more and more attractive as a candidate for President in 2016. She’s not even in the running. However, every obstacle in Hillary Clinton’s path – whether placed there by her enemies or herself – strengthens Warren's potential viability. The burning question remains: Is Hillary ready for Hillary? I think she needs a legitimate primary challenger on the Democratic side. VP Biden? Senator Warren?

Clinton’s husband, Bill, daughter, Chelsea, friends, and advisers need to have a chat with her, stat. No more self-inflicted wounds. Move up the official announcement. Either get in – or stay out.

Apparently, Madame Secretary still has some soul-searching to do. As my father told me in my youth, anything worth doing is worth doing right. Heed these words, Hillary: do – or do not. There is no try. There is no why. Yoda has spoken. And you know what? He’s right. Learn from the master.

 

 

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