#1158 – The "Swift-boating" of Hillary Clinton: the e-mails and Clinton Global Initiative and whatever else is next….

An 1879 Essay about Running for President by Mark Twain: here
Many days when I walk I wear a perfectly good old t-shirt that goes back to the summer of 2004.
(click to enlarge)
It was the year John Kerry (now U.S. Secretary of State) ran for President against George W. Bush. And it was the same year that the purveyors of politics of personal destruction unleashed the Swiftboat ads, turning one of Kerry’s chief strengths (Vietnam war hero, also Vietnam war protestor) into a weakness.
The sliming of a very decent man worked….
Karl Rove was the innovator of this strategy. While Swiftboat was probably not Rove’s personal doing, at least not so far as we knew, or directly, it was basically direct application of that innovative smear, put into play by others, and funded by big money which paid for the advertising.
Swiftboating worked then, and it is in play now, big time: take Hillary Clinton’s major strengths, such as political and diplomatic experience, and her demonstrated competence, and the Clinton Foundation that does a great deal of good, and turn them into negatives by cherry picking fragmentary “facts”, or even making facts up, then churning, and churning and churning.
1. The Clinton Global Initiative “scandal” is one of those breathless non-events. Check it out before being critical. (I notice, in searching for the link, that the Trump campaign has probably purchased first billing in the search engine to try to “trump” Clinton Global Initiative….)
So it goes. You can find Trumps link on your own, if you wish.
(While you’re looking, check into another great former Presidents initiative: the Carter Center.
Clinton and Carter were Presidents who chose to do good not only in office, but after they left office.)
2. The e-mail non-scandals (that’s what they are) will fade into the background, doubtless morphing into new sensational charges about other things…this has been the modus operandi against the Clintons for the entire time they’ve been in elected office, from Arkansas forward. There has been relentless smearing of them for years, all the while, the Clintons remain among our most admired people.
(The e-mail thing is something I relate to, since I do many e-mails. Personally, I have 32,528 “sent” messages saved on my computer. These go back to October 9, 2010, nearly 6 years ago, when I bought this computer; and there are many other archived messages which go back much longer.)
It seems insane to keep these old e-mails, but occasionally they come in handy, most recently at this blogspace, recalling Feb. 2008, Hillary Clinton 2008001, when I first wrote about why I was supporting Hillary Clinton for President (my personal endorsement continues.)
I muse about what would happen to me if some enemy felt a need to grab my e-mails, mine them for whatever data could be found, and then use bits and pieces of the e-mails to indict me for some sinister or unseemly deed. Would it be easy to find material within those 32,528? I’d think so. All you need to do is find a sentence, somewhere in there, a subject line even, and then milk the daylights out of it.
Could I defend myself? First, would I even remember whatever the e-mail was about? Hardly.
But, that’s how this dirty game is played.
The only antidote is to refuse to be sucked into this conversation. The Clinton folks know how to deal with this. I have a great deal of confidence in them.
Years ago when an organization I was part of was forced into a corner by attack after attack by the opposition, we finally figured out that there was not a thing we could do: a response to one attack was answered by another attack about something else.
Our troubles ended when we went on the offensive.
The times and circumstances were different than now, but not much.
I have confidence.

Back to 2004 John Kerry did alright after losing his run for President. George W. Bush got his second term from 2005-2009, and life went on.
After Hillary Clinton‘s honorable stint as Secretary of State, John Kerry was appointed, and he’s doing a great job, best I can tell.
The Republicans have been brutal in their attacks on their former Senate colleague, and I think the main reason is that she is extraordinarily competent and well prepared for the most demanding office in the world.
They know she is, but they cannot admit it.
And all of us are stuck with Donald Trump, whose campaign is so untruthful it’s not safe to believe anything that he says….
It’s not long to the 2016 election. Vote and vote very well informed.

August 25 and 26, 2004, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to actually participate in ‘boots on the ground’ in the John Kerry campaign.
A small album can be viewed here: Kerry Mpls 8-25-2004001
Along with John Fitzsimons, a teacher in Anoka-Hennepin School District, I was assigned to a truck whose role was to carry press gear to the downtown Hilton Hotel when Mr. Kerry came to town for a campaign stop. It wasn’t flashy duty, and there was a lot of hurry up and far more waiting, but it really did give a unique view into the reality of campaigning for President.
My recollection is that we showed up for duty early in the day at the Executive Airport section of the Twin Cities airport. You don’t just show up for this kind of duty. Security is a concern.
We had earlier volunteered as part of Veterans for Kerry and were thoroughly vetted.
The photos show the nature of our duty: in the afternoon we loaded up the Press equipment that had come in with candidate Kerry, and joined the motorcade to downtown Minneapolis.
The next day we reversed the drill, and at the airport in the afternoon all of us had a chance to “press the flesh” with Mr. Kerry before he re-planed and left for his next stop.
Our task was very mundane, but as I think back on it, it was one of many unseen essential duties.
Apparently I wasn’t fired.
October 26, 2004, I was back on duty, driving some press people in the motorcade of John Edwards, vice-presidential candidate, to a morning event at the University of Minnesota.
The drill was the same as before.
Here, we drivers had an opportunity for a group photo, and I indulged myself in a “selfie” at some point in the morning.
Both candidates were most gracious.
Essentially three full days of work for myself and the others; and the candidates got a few column inches in the press, and a few seconds on the TV news.

Drivers for Edwards motorcade Oct. 26, 2004.  Dick Bernard 2nd from right

Drivers for Edwards motorcade Oct. 26, 2004. Dick Bernard 2nd from right

Dick Bernard selfie, October 26, 2004

Dick Bernard selfie, October 26, 2004

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