Take the spot attacking her for Benghazi. According to the New York Times reporter who was invited to view the focus group assembled to see the spots, this one has at least one detractor. “I felt like it was a really low blow, even for dirty politics, to put the pictures of the people who were killed in Benghazi,” she said.
The murdered American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the three others? Is this what they gave their lives for in Benghazi, Libya — to be used in a squalid political attack ad? And, by the way, what did Clinton have do with it? Nothing, as far as eight government investigations have been able to determine.
Another ad reiterates Clinton’s “dead broke” remark, which was, to put too fine a point on it, dumb. What she meant was that when the Clintons left the White House, they were deeply in debt — with a mountain of legal bills — and after years of government service, had never been rich to begin with. But “dead broke”? No. They were on the cusp of real wealth and had to know it. Still, I know what she meant.
Attacking Clinton as being so out of touch with average Americans that she thought she was dead broke is going to be a tough argument to make if Jeb Bush is the Republican nominee. He is the son of wealth and just the other day held a bash for his rich contributors at the family compound in Maine. The Bushes have been clipping the coupons of grandpa Prescott Bush for years now. If Hillary Clinton is accused of being out of touch, then what is Jeb Bush?
The e-mails are another line of attack. But as even some of the panel members realized, we all delete e-mails, since all but a Twitter twerp think everything is worth saving — or expressing. As for Clinton using her personal account to do government business, so what? It was legal (at the time), and no one has yet uncovered any evidence that she was hiding anything germane.
Look. I have my problems with Hillary Clinton, which I have explicated in other columns, blogs and errant thoughts. She’s too defensive and often too packaged. She and Bill do have a tropism for scandal, and they sometimes hang with the wrong people — starting with Whitewater and Jim McDougal. But the incessant attacks on her, the parsing of every sentence, the jumping on her characteristic but harmless overstatements like “dead broke,” brings out the Sir Lancelot (or is it Galahad?) in me. She might not be a damsel in distress, but her enemies are making her into one.