White House aides have been watching Hillary Clinton's handling of her email controversy with concern, worried that the Clinton way of doing things could be returning, writes Edward-Isaac Dovere in Politico.
The Obama administration seemed caught off guard that Clinton had kept a secret email server during her tenure as secretary of state, and that she had deleted 30,000 emails that she said her staff deemed personal.
Even supporters on the left
found her days of silence, followed a weak performance at a Tuesday press conference, hard to swallow.
The White House has distanced itself, as has California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Even supportive liberal commentators such as MSNBC's Ed Shultz wanted Clinton to clear up the issue so Republicans wouldn't be able to make an issue of it.
The press conference did little to convince anyone, with Gawker tweeting immediately afterward that it was "B.S."
The opinion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. isn't any better, Politico noted.
"To sum up the feelings, all the way up to the highest levels: What. The. Hell," Dovere wrote.
White House staffers naturally want Clinton to win the presidency in 2016 to continue President Barack Obama's policies. And Democrats have up to now seen her as a shoo-in not only for her party's nomination, but also to beat what they see as a weak Republican field.
But they also fear Clinton may be bringing more of the same back to the White House as they watch her unfolding email saga.
She not only maintained all her email communications as secretary of state on a private email address on her own server kept presumably at her home, she also decided which of her 60,000 emails were private and which were public, and turned over paper copies of those she chose to give to the State Department.
She says she deleted the private emails and won't turn over her server to be examined by a neutral party because it contains private communications between her and former President Bill Clinton.
White House staffers see this as more of the same obfuscation from Bill Clinton's years as president, according to the Politico piece.
"After all, 2008’s 'Change you can believe in' campaign slogan wasn’t just a reference to George W. Bush. It was also about her, and the uneasy feeling many people had that with Clinton, something else was always going on," Dovere writes.
And, he adds, Obama's critics have never accused him of doing things for personal gain as they have the Clintons.
Despite the GOP dislike of Obama, none of the scandals against him have resulted in investigations now that Republicans control Congress, Dovere added. The only thing that has had legs is Benghazi —
and that targets Hillary Clinton. It continues to live, he writes, because more information keeps trickling out.
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