The Hillary Clinton Paradox – The Wall Street Journal

Is her victory inevitable or impossible?

By: Peggy Noonan

The Hildebeast

The Hildebeast

On the matter of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy I find myself holding opposite and irreconcilable views: “That can’t possibly work,” and “She’s inevitable.”

Her candidacy can’t work because of the deep, daily cascade of scandals that would disqualify anyone else. State Department emails on private servers, stonewalling Congress; the family foundation that appears to function in part as a high-class slush fund and that, this week we learned, paid a significant salary to that beacon of philanthropic spirit Sidney Blumenthal, a political operative and conspiracist whose nickname in the Clinton White House was “G.K.,” for “Grassy Knoll.” Also this week these headlines: “Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals from Hillary Clinton’s State Department,” and “FIFA Donated Thousands to Clinton Foundation.” FIFA of course is the international soccer organization under criminal investigation for bribes and kickbacks.

It is simply unbelievable that a person whose way of operating is so famously and chronically sketchy can be chosen as president. Her policy judgments throughout her career will come under question. She is good at politics in terms of how she perceives the game and generally makes decisions within it—good enough to be an almost certain presidential nominee. Yet she is charmless on the stump and seems always to be hiding something in interviews. In speeches she continues to do strange things, such as speaking with a Southern accent this week in South Carolina.

Why does she do that? Is she trolling the press? They know she hates them. A friend who is a veteran journalist recently explained why. In the late 1980s and early ’90s Hillary knew the boomer press was on the Clintons’ side ideologically and culturally—they were Democrats, and often friends. But she was surprised over the years to learn that didn’t mean they were on the team. They reported the couple’s scandals, wrote critical articles and books. She felt, and feels, betrayed. She thought they were friends, and thought that meant fealty. It’s not a plus to have a distanced, unfriendly relationship with journalists. (Republicans, on the other hand, can generally operate without such personal bitterness. They never had the illusion the press was on their side.)

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