Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's experience in public office was expected to be an asset for her all-but-certain campaign for the presidency in 2016, but with recent controversies surrounding her from her time in the Obama administration, some are saying it could be a liability.
According to The Washington Post
, the controversy surrounding her use of personal email, as well as the headlines about fundraising from foreign governments for the Clinton Foundation during her tenure, are raising old images of her tendency toward secrecy and defensiveness, along with a reminder of the scandals from the presidency of her husband.
"Part of the reason the story is gaining traction is that it reminds people of what the Clinton White House was like," American University political science professor Jennifer Lawless told the Post. "It reminds people of the scandals, the secrecy and the lack of transparency that were often associated with Bill Clinton's eight years in Washington."
Hillary Clinton's emails have already been subpoenaed by the committee investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack and she is expected to be called before the committee to testify about her role in the aftermath and the administration's response.
To date, Clinton has said little, other than calling for the State Department to make the emails public, but that does not quell critics who say she has retained potentially incriminating emails
Former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush, a likely 2016 candidate who also used private email but released it to the public, has said her reliance on private email was a serious security risk.
"It's a little baffling, to be honest with you, that didn't come up in Secretary Clinton's thought process," he said in a radio interview Friday, according to the Post.
Now members of her own party appear to be calling on her to speak up.
"From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her," California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
And former Maryland Democrat Gov. Martin O'Malley also expressed his unease with the email controversy saying, "openness and transparency are required of governing in the modern age."
The White House has distanced itself from the controversy, though President Barack Obama on Sunday said in a CBS interview: "The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, which is why my emails — the BlackBerry I carry around — all those records are available and archived."
He went on to say that he was "glad" Clinton had requested that her emails about government business be disclosed, The Wall Street Journal reported
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also reinforced the policy that government emails should be used for official business.
"The president does have the expectation that everybody in his administration takes the steps that are necessary to be in compliance with the Federal Records Act and with the Presidential Records Act," Earnest said Friday, according to the Post.
"And again, that means using, as often as possible, using your official government email when you're conducting official government business."
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