October 15, 2016 | 4:10pm
Among the many telling kernels of truth dappling the spoor of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s internal emails released by WikiLeaks this past week, this one immediately leaped out:
“Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching . . . then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
The sausage maker was Clinton, giving one of her $225,000 speeches that she’s so long sought to conceal from the public, in this instance to the National Multi-Housing Council in April 2013. It came at a time when the just-retired secretary of state was coyly gearing up for a White House run, little tin cup at the ready, raking in nearly a million dollars that month alone.
Her public career has been based on showing one face to her gullible supporters and another, more ruthless one to allies and adversaries behind closed doors.
When her ode to pragmatic two-facedness was called out by Donald Trump at last week’s debate, she lamely blamed it on Abe Lincoln, as portrayed in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film. Never mind that a high-priced collection plate and the passage of the 13th Amendment have little in common. It’s all in a day’s work for a woman who claims to be for the Little Guy but spends most of her time frolicking with the political and financial elites.
Then again, Hillary has long believed that “the personal is political,” especially when political power can benefit her personally. Indeed, as the emails show, her public career has been based on showing one face to her gullible supporters and another, more ruthless one to allies and adversaries behind closed doors.
Let’s review the evidence. Thirteen years after she and Bill left the White House in 2001 “dead broke,” Hillary regaled the well-fed bankers and financial managers at Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, Inc., with tales of her humble lifestyle before she and Bubba learned how to spin the dross of “public service” into the finest gold access and protection money can buy: “I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged. And I never had that feeling when I was growing up. I mean, were there really rich people, of course . . . but we had a solid middle-class upbringing. And now, obviously, I’m kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.”
Forget that those “fortunes” came from the very rigging she was supposedly decrying; as secretary of state, Hillary had to deal with lots of unsavory characters — but sometimes their natures were made sweeter by their touching thoughtfulness toward the Clintons.
Clinton with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in 2014:
Qatar, like most Muslim countries, treats women as second-class citizens, but champion-of-women Hillary never lets a little thing like that stop her from doing business. (See: “On favors.”) And a far greater threat than murderous Muslims adhering to a fanatical 7th-century religious ideology lurks right here at home — those pesky Roman Catholics and their silly 2,000-year-old faith. (See: “On Catholics.”)
The bigotry shown by her campaign aides is a hint of what’s to come under a Hillary administration: continuing pressure on Catholics to adapt to contemporary “progressive” social-justice norms. Not that she’s likely to put it so bluntly, especially during the campaign. That might alienate potential Catholic voters.
Ah, but universal brotherhood — that’s the real Clinton goal, right? Privately, you might have to stroke a few brows from time to time. (See: “Needy Latinos.”) But far beyond the Rio Grande, there’s a potentially much wider electorate to appeal to when the time is right to admit it.
My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
Ignore the feel-good boilerplate about green energy in the quote above, delivered in a $225,000 speech to the Brazilian Banco Itau in New York City in May 2013. Emails from mid-2015 show her trying to defend her previous support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership but ultimately rejecting it publicly for populist political reasons — for now.
Secretary of State Clinton at a press conference in Doha, Qatar, with then-Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jaber al-Thani in 2011: EPA
In short, don’t expect any mea culpas when the time is right for a 180-degree spin. For a Clinton is never wrong, merely evolving.
The distinction between the public and private Hillary is masked partly via her cozy relationships with reporters — whether her aides are planting stories with sympathetic journalists, sneaking a peek at debate questions in advance or just keeping their ear to the ground: “I just wanted to make sure John Podesta had a heads up that his name will be in a story concerning the White House’s ethics policy, which could run on Monday,” wrote Washington Post White House bureau chief Juliet Eilperin in a March 21, 2015, email to an Obama staffer.
In the public eye since 1992, the Clintons have long memories, rewarding their friends and punishing their enemies, swatting away annoying flies like Bill de Blasio — “Should we care about this?” wondered Podesta privately in response to policy suggestions from the mayor — whose aid they don’t need. Like the Bourbon monarchy, they’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
Unsuccessfully floating the idea in late 2014 of changing the date of Illinois’ 2016 primary, current campaign manager Robby Mook wrote to Podesta, “This is not an Obama ask, but a Hillary ask. And the Clintons won’t forget what their friends have done for them.” Nor, it goes without saying, what their enemies have done to them. And certainly not what they’re going to do to us, should they win next month. But that’s private — for now.
The Clintons never forget
In November 2014, Mook emailed Podesta about the urgency of pushing a bill to move the Illinois primary out of March, to stop momentum for a moderate Republican candidate.
Illinois was offered “a bonus of 10 percent extra delegates if they move to April and 20 percent if they move to May,” but didn’t change the date as it had already done so in 2008.
“Our preference would be for them to move all the way to May, but if they at least move to April 12 or April 19 they will have the day to themselves and presumably garner a lot of coverage,” wrote Mook. “They will also be influencing a big northeast primary day on April 26.”
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook: AP
“They don’t really care about being helpful and feel forgotten and neglected by POTUS,” Mook wrote.
On having two personas
“You just have to sort of figure out how to . . . balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today . . . I mean, politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”
— Hillary Clinton in a leaked speech to the National Multi-Housing Council in April 2013
“[Qatar] would like to see WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011.”
— Ami Desai, director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, wrote in a 2012 email
On de Blasio
Early in 2015, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio contacted the campaign about his Progressive Agenda plan “to organize progressives nationally to take on income inequality,” he wrote: “I believe you will agree with much of this content. Please let me know if you want to discuss.”
The email response from Podesta was: “Should we care about this?”
“I’m not sweating it,” replied Neera Tanden, president and chief executive of the Center for American Progress, who explained to Podesta: “Politically, we are not getting any pressure to join this from our end.”
The dream of open borders
“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
— Hillary in her remarks from a leaked speech to Banco Itau in May 2013
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta: AP
“A few calls you might consider making,” Podesta wrote to Clinton in an email with the subject line “Needy Latinos and 1 easy call.”
Referring to a New Yorker article about News Corp Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch (who owns The Post), which stated he is raising his kids Catholic, Clinton aide John Halpin wrote in an email:
“Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
“Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC [Supreme Court] and think tanks to media and social groups.
“It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”
Jennifer Palmieri, director of communications for the Clinton campaign, responds:
“I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became Evangelicals.”
Vladimir Putin attends the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg in 2010: AP
“I would love it if we could continue to build a more positive relationship with Russia,” Clinton said during a speech to Goldman Sachs on June 4, 2013. In the same speech, Clinton said, “Obviously we would very much like to have a positive relationship with Russia and we would like to see Putin be less defensive toward a relationship with the United States, so that we could work together on some issues.”
“One time, I was visiting with him in his dacha outside of Moscow, and he was going on and on, you know, just listing all of the problems that he thinks are caused by the United States,” Clinton said. “I said, ‘You know, Mr. Prime Minister, we actually have some things in common. We both want to protect wildlife, and I know how committed you are to protecting the tiger.’ I mean, all of a sudden, he sat up straight and his eyes got big and he goes, ‘You care about the tiger?’ ”
Out of touch
“I am not taking a position on any policy, but I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged. And I never had that feeling when I was growing up. Never. I mean, were there really rich people, of course there were. My father loved to complain about big business and big government, but we had a solid middle-class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care . . . And now, obviously, I’m kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.”
— Hillary Clinton remarks in a leaked speech to Goldman-BlackRock in February 2014
Collusion with the media …
. . . on TV
John Harwood: Reuters
CNBC host John Harwood to Podesta in an email about a Clinton interview on CNN:
“She looks so much more comfortable talking to Andrea [Mitchell] today than to Brianna [Keilar] a few weeks ago.”
Podesta was thankful for the journalist’s opinion, responding, “I think she’s over the hump.”
Palmieri also “appreciated” Harwood’s help when he emailed her the suggestion to look up a certain video dating back to the Nixon presidency that could be beneficial to their efforts.
. . . in print
“I just wanted to make sure John Podesta had a heads up that his name will be in a story concerning the White House’s ethics policy, which could run on Monday,” WaPo White House bureau chief Juliet Eilperin told then-Obama White House assistant press secretary Frank Benenati in a March 21, 2015, email.
The story appeared March 22, 2015, under the headline, “Obama promised to curb the influence of lobbyists. Has he succeeded?”
. . . and with that “leaked” CNN question
Donna Brazile: Reuters
On March 12, Donna Brazile, then vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and a CNN and ABC contributor, allegedly wrote an email to the Clinton campaign with the subject line “From time to time I get the questions in advance.”
“Here’s one that worries me about HRC…
“Should Ohio and the 30 other states join the current list and abolish the death penalty?”
Palmieri wrote back within three hours, seemingly not as worried:
“Hi. Yes, it is one she gets asked about. Not everyone likes her answer but can share it.”
Michael Walsh is an author, screenwriter and contributing editor at PJ Media. His most recent book is “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace.”