You could say it all depends on how you define “lie.” Or that it’s hell to have a public record.
Either way, Hillary Clinton’s vast resume of, shall we say, inconsistencies, is the dog that caught the car and won’t let go. A viral video collection of her comments on various subjects over time is bestirring Republican hearts.
To those who’d rather vote for a reality show host than a Clinton, the video confirms what they’ve long believed. For independents and Democrats, it’s a reminder of how often Clinton has changed as required by the political moment.
Most of the highlights would be familiar to anyone who follows politics but the juxtaposition of these ever-shifting views is more jarring than expected. This video, inartfully titled “Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight,” clarifies blurred recollections and recasts them in an order that, among other things, reminds us how long the Clintons have been around.
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If you’re looking for a fresh face or an anti-establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton isn’t it. But neither are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, both of whom have been haunting the public square nearly all of their adult lives.
Presumptive nominees Clinton and Trump are equally egregious in their misstatements, if in very different ways. Clinton is measured, poised, concentrated and studied when she revises her history. Trump just says whatever tiny thought penetrates his prefrontal cortex where inhibitory functioning is obviously kaput, blurting absurdities and bromides.
Lacking a policy record to defend or reverse, Trump gets to gloat and sneer at his female foe.
Clinton’s record is something else. She promises a continuation of President Obama’s policies, even though she rejected many of them in 2008. The candidate who hates NAFTA almost as much as she now despises Wall Street is captured in several clips praising NAFTA.
A review of her bizarre accounting of landing in Bosnia under sniper fire in 1996 is almost entertaining. Film footage reminds us she and daughter Chelsea calmly walked from the plane, posed for photographs with students there to greet them, and shook hands with a little girl.
No news here, just a rehash of history. One web author who posted the video – sent to me by several readers – says it would be impossible to vote for Clinton after viewing the video. This may or may not be true given the alternative, but a refreshed memory does invite fresh consideration of Clinton’s character.
On questions of honesty and trustworthiness, Clinton consistently polls low, including among Democrats, which partly explains Sanders’ support. His economic plan may be fantastical, but at least he’s honest!
Well, maybe. With Clinton, there’s no maybe.
Clinton has been in public life long enough to have made some honest mistakes and even changed her mind a few times, which aren’t sins. But trustworthiness requires honesty, which often begets forgiveness.
After all these decades, Clinton still wants everything every which way. Her lengthy tenure as a public figure has become her greatest obstacle. This isn’t only because of her lack of forthrightness, but also because, having lived under such intense scrutiny for so long, she seems incapable of allowing herself the ultimate dodge: She’s human.
A person who can admit to mistakes, express genuine remorse, apologize for errors of judgment or failures to act, and who revises history only in the service of truth – that person could become president of the United States.